I remember when we started homeschooling. I read every book in sight about it. I learned all about John Taylor Gatto and other homeschooling guru's. I read blogs, websites and bought loads and loads of curriculum that we didn't need. I mean, my daughter was THREE!
I anticipated the much talked about socialization questions and doubting family. I couldn't wait for the battle. I was right! I spewed out every fact and every detail about homeschooling in favour of it. I think that by fighting against everyone I was also fighting against my own doubts. My own insecurities. I wanted to believe just as much as I wanted everyone else to believe. I was fairly confident but did still have that little bit of doubt nestled deep within me.
I knew that we would be put under a microscope. "She is so sweet because she is homeschooled!" "He was rude because he is homeschooled!" Everything we did would be because we homeschool.
To be honest I don't think all the reading in the world or all the talking in the world can bring you to the place that you need to be like experience can. Sure little Johnny at homeschool co-op could read chapter books by the age of three but that isn't the same as seeing your child learn and grow on their own. Bit by bit, it happens.
Seeing my children yearn to read and learn all on their own inspires me. I see little wheels turning constantly. I hear questions like "How big is an inch?" to "Why is the ocean blue?" I listen to their laughter and their navigation of relationships. Seriously, how can they not learn. Now when someone asks me questions about homeschooling or make comments about it, I don't feel the need to argue. I will answer questions respectfully and possibly change the subject. I no longer feel the need to be right. It doesn't matter to me what others think. It really doesn't. That is because I know what is right without a doubt. I wish I could go back to when we were just starting on this journey and tell my old self - Calm down. Take a deep breath. Don't buy that. Smile and nod. That doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Take a deep breath. Calm down. Smile.