Don't you want your children to know how to function in the real world?
Do you worry about them being un-socialized?
She's still not reading?!?
Aren't they missing out?
What makes you qualified?
If you're already homeschooling, you've probably heard a few of these. When you first begin homeschooling these comments can cut through your confidence (and heart) like a knife. Rewind a few years my friends..... remember these ones?
He's still nursing?
The baby sleeps where?
If you hold him too much you'll spoil him.
Just let her cry.
Well meaning folks have a lot of advice. 14 years ago as a very young mama with a wee nursling in my arms, I flat out lied to anyone who asked where he slept. I carried him too much. Fed him too much. My heart told me I was doing it right, but so many folks questioned my parenting. (not my parents, you guys rocked!) It was rough. Fast forward a few years and here I sit in a very similar spot. A little older, a little wiser, a little bolder.
We could spend weeks debating the benefits of public education vs homeschooling vs private education, the broken school system, the importance of recess, the problem with gold stars and defining what socialization really is. And in the end, no well meaning person would be right. For me, I know my kids are learning. I know my kids are well socialized. I know that along with missing out on some fun stuff, they also get to miss out on a lot of bad. I know they feel free, and I love that.
It really, truly, all boils down to this. In your heart, you know your child better than anyone. You know by the sound of their footsteps which one of them is walking down the hall. You know the sound of their breath as they fall asleep and just the right moment to finally slip your arm out from underneath that fuzzy head. You know their sneeze, their smile, their laugh and even perhaps how many eyelashes they have. You do. None of this goes away as they get it older, it just changes.
That makes you enough. More than enough. Better than enough. Your intuition makes you your child's best teacher. Whatever educational path you choose, do it with your whole heart. Advocate for your child. Trust your gut. No matter what other's think, do what you know is right. Your journey is your own to have and authenticity will always lead to a well traveled path. Not necessarily an easy one, but certainly a good one.
To all of you, a sincere, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for traveling along with me. Your comments and thoughts this week have been inspiring and heartfelt.
To know that so many caring folks are bringing up the next generation is a very beautiful thought.