Now that I'm truly embracing the fact that I am homeschooling my children, I can feel a huge shift in my world. Half of the children in my mommy groups have started Kindergarten and we're all finding what activities work for our children and those that don't. So what does this mean for me, a new homeschooling mom? It means the way my life has looked for the past four years is changing. It means that even though people are supportive, I am still sitting in this "oh no" moment. This moment of knowing that in another year more of my girls' friends will go to public school, this moment of realizing that there may be some that don't understand our choice, and this moment of wondering if I'll meet other moms to talk to who also homeschool. I am confident in what I am doing and I'm ready for the task. However, I've had to do three things to help me approach and get over this hump:
1. Seek comfort through prayer.
2. Seek out a friend to help me manage my emotions and hash out my schedule.
3. Remember the reason we chose to homeschool.
I'm still working through this process, but I am making progress. Prayer is helping me to have the strength to stand alone in my immediate circle. I have a wonderful group of friends, but if I'm being honest I am doing something different and that leaves me feeling a bit out of place where I used to feel sure. Prayer is helping me to reflect, re-center, and continue to be with my friends without so much of the self-inflicted perception of possible judgement of my choice.
My supportive friend and sister-in-law is serving to be just the remedy for those self-doubting days. The other day I was actually re-doing my schedule...again...when I stopped in my tracks and decided I needed some guidance. It was so nice to be able to call on her for support. We carved out some time for me to talk things through and get a "pep talk." Oh how I wish she were here so we could have monthly support time in person. I'm actually on the search for a support group in my area so that I can feel some local support and so that my girls can meet other homeschooled children.
Finally, remembering my girl's faces when they read a word with me or sing the days of the week song or the feeling we all get when we snuggle on the couch to read books are just the right memories to remind me to keep moving forward. When my husband and I started talking about homeschool it was out of fear of what our children would be walking into at their zoned elementary school. Since, it has become something that I truly enjoy doing. I was a high school counselor before staying home with our children and I bypassed the classroom on purpose. So it came to a surprise to me just how much I truly loved teaching when I started with Joy School three years ago. I take lots of pictures, I blog, and I post on my personal Facebook page so that I can always remember the good moments. I know these images are helping me remember why my husband and I chose this path in the first place.
I share my thoughts because I know I can't be alone in this shift. I also share because I want to know YOU! I want to know other moms who are like me, who I can share my thoughts of the personal joy I feel from teaching my children, who I can exchange ideas with, and who I can depend on for the support that I personally need. Yes, things are shifting and I've got to restructure somethings, but I know I'm going to come out on the good side of this shift. My family and I are in a new stage of life and although it's a bit scary, I know it's going to be an amazing journey!