Homeschooling is no panacea from challenge.
David Guterson, in his insightful book Snow Falling on Cedars said,
“Some newcomers to homeschooling are likely to view it as a panacea for educational problems or as an antidote to the malaise of schools. What they find, however, is that school at home is no miracle remedy. The romantic notion of educating one’s own children soon gives way to the reality: homeschooling is work.”
“It is rewarding work when things go right, full of satisfactions for all involved, but like all teaching and all learning, it makes a great variety of demands and is freighted with difficulties.”
“Homeschooling, in short, has its own complexities, its own dilemmas and issues. Those who endure it (many don’t) are realistic about their abilities and reasonable in their expectations. They suffer few illusions about themselves and persist diligently.”
I’ve found it amusing to hear some homeschooling parents’ solution to their parenting frustrations: some days I’m tempted to stop the next passing yellow bus and get the kids on it. Been there, considering that during our homeschooled life.
But since I started my children’s educations by sending them on the big yellow bus, I know that school is no panacea for parenting frustrations.
In fact, it’s really just temporarily stalling them for a few hours while a child sits in a classroom across town. That child returns home, the parenting challenges resume.
On the flipside, homeschooling provides me loads of time to ponder those parenting challenges, to really observe my children, and observe me and how I respond to them.
Still, an abundance of time alone is no solution. It’s persistence that gets us to our goals.
Thankfully it’s not about natural aptitudes or fortitudes. My parenting inadequacies would nearly have done me in at the beginning of this journey if I’d thought my skills or aptitudes would have brought me through. I’ve had to challenge my thoughts all the way through.
An open, willing, humble spirit to learn what needs to be learned and a willingness to work through whatever needs to be worked through–that’s what’ll get me to the end.
Persistence will pay. In between those challenging moments, though, I’ll choose to be present and continue to capture all the benefits of this truly charmed life.
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