I posted a picture on Instagram not long ago with the following caption:
’26 years of marriage. Most days chicken, some days feathers,
but one of my heart’s joys is that he still loves to hold my hand.’
It was a random pic, but my followers enjoyed it. A few even thought it was our anniversary, offering their congratulations. They saw the beauty of two people who’ve loved one another for what, in 2018, is a loooonnnngg time. Funny enough, on that particular day, I was focused on the recent “feathers” as the Lord stretches us to a new level of faith and dependence on Him.
It occurs to me that homeschooling is not remotely different in its presentation. In a recent interview with “Girlfriend’s Guide to Homeschooling” (link not available just yet), I mentioned the need for mentoring. As the homeschooling community explodes with new entrants, I see the value of veteran homeschoolers in building a community that is even better than what we found. But there was a back story in my head. I thought about…
- The larger, helpful, free communities that are disappearing as people make personal and professional changes
- (conversely) the wealth of advice—credible or non-credible—that comes at a price as homeschooling becomes big business and big money
- The impact of Hollywood, current events, and social media on the homeschool community
This latter dynamic has been impressed my heart more than any other lately. Homeschoolers are mocked , and sometimes even villainized in the media. Yet, there are an increasing numbers of Hollywood celebrities who state proudly that they are “homeschooled.”Whether it is homeschooling or private tutoring is an active debate, but okay…
I am also aware of the scores of families with Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook presence, capturing their best and brightest moments for the world to see. All these moments of splendor make new homeschoolers giddy with expectations that homeschooling is the cure for every ailment—academic or non-academic—in their child’s upbringing. Herein lies the problem. Just as I do not share the “feathers” in my marriage, very few allow a glimpse into the darker moments of homeschool.
This is where I think the veteran homeschooling community can be of most value. It is great that we, too, are putting ourselves out there, creating, marketing, building, and just plain old capturing the days. But are we leaving that mom who needs a real word in the dust? Can we lay down the picture-perfect moment long enough to talk about a cleaning schedule? Healthy and cheap food options? Burnout?
What is the message, you ask? There are an increasing number of us who have broad homeschool experience. We have been at it long enough to talk to someone about surviving the trying times as well as appreciating the blessing that homeschooling can be. I would love to see those who have lived this life for a minute rise up and make a real difference. Mind you, we are not here to tell anyone how to run their home, but instead to be an integral part of raising a level of excellence. Find a place for your voice, even if that place is not online. Perhaps your spiritual assignment is to sit before Jesus as Mary did, and seek wisdom for a few moms or a community around you. Maybe you are as gifted as Martha in the area of cooking, hosting, and/or shepherding those on the same journey, but behind you. As the numbers of homeschoolers grow, let us work—whatever that means for you—to uplift the moms (and dads) behind us. Give a hug, give a helping hand…just be willing to give. It will make all of us stronger.
In the months to come, I hope to give some of these voices a place right here on the blog. They homeschool in environments that are non-traditional—working at night, or even going to school themselves. They are dads, they are single moms. They are raising beautiful people, inside and out. I am calling it “We Homeschool, Too,” and it will hopefully bless someone who just needs all the excuses blown to bits. For such a time as this, dear friends…