Just recently, a copy of Todd Wilson's, 'Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe' landed in my mail box. (thanks, Susan, so timely!)
You know, I have been homeschooling now for years, at least 15 years now. You would think that by now, I would be an expert? Errrr, well, no. In fact, I often have others thinking, AND SAYING THAT I must be wonderwoman, or Supermum. Hey, I have to say, there is no way I would fit the outfit! But, hey seriously I am just as normal as anyone, if you can call homeschoolers normal.
I have to say, the book had me smiling in many places. (If you haven't read it, I would definitely encourage you to read it.) I remember one time, we met a family with far more than us at the time, they were able to all stand together, and recite a large portion of Genesis. I was thinking to myself at the time, that mine would be lucky to manage a verse!! Also, my husband made a remark about how well turned out they were, and he confessed that our children don't look half that tidy. Of course, I was mortified!
Another time, I overheard another mum say to her husband quietly, ''How come her baby is so content, ours are never like that?!'' Of course, I almost choked on hearing that. Yes, Hosanna was a cutie for being content, but boy my sister in law could tell you about the time she nearly screamed her ears off, and that was from another room. All children are different, and have different qualities. So, there was me admiring others' fantastic super good children, and yet others were admiring mine! Just goes to show, are we reading the full picture? Todd Wilson shows how we aren't, we are just picking up external cues.
I remember the time another mum mentioned studying Latin. *Gulp* I thought it might be a good idea to include some extra stuff too, but you can so easily lose sight of the basics, and end up tying yourself up. Some are good at arty stuff. I am not, but love History, Music,Maths, and racquet sports. Guess what they do a lot of?!
So, I guess we need to concentrate on our strengths, and not tie ourselves up in knots trying to do stuff out of our depth. I will give an example ;Izzy, our 16 year old seems to be very gifted in areas of engineering, and electronics. He is a complete geek, and can often be found with a complicated Engineering book, sprawled across his bed. Even on Saturdays! Now, none of us have a flair for it, so where did he get it? Well, I am a believer in letting them pursue their interests, and homeschooling makes it so much easier, so that is what he did. He is coming in pretty useful too, fixing hoovers, computers, amongst many. Funny thing is, I was a bit lax on science, but that was no bother to him, he just read them all anyway. So, definitely don't worry thinking you are inadequate, and ignore the naysayers that are busy telling you their son has 20 GCSE' s all A* and how will yours possibly get a job.
Another thing I found recently, was the Trim Healthy Mama diet. I read the book, and wanted to lose weight. The book implied, that if I didn't follow all their rules, and cut out the carbs I wouldn't lose weight. For two weeks, I was becoming obsessive over food, it was as if someone had tied a millstone over my neck. I can tell you I ditched it, and now feel free, and guess what? Yep. I lost weight regardless. I am not saying it won't work for others, but it definitely wasn't for me at the time.
The modesty thing is another issue. So, so easy to end up dressing to please others. Honestly, our focus is on God, not man made rules! If someone frowns on me, cos they can see my ankle, or knee, so be it.
Anyway, I think the book definitely encourages a reality check. Next time we think that homeschooling family is perfect...... think again, and think of what image we convey to others. I hope I don't convey the image I am perfect. I have my interests and passions, healthy living, and working out. I want my tips to encourage, not to burden. Like so much in life we have to take it, or leave it if it is not a scriptural mandate.
I was reading Helen Shapiro's testimony, and she was shocked at how many new laws were being added to the Jewish laws, all man made, and yet they often had no knowledge of the true scriptures, the real, and only laws. Jesus has freed us from this, if we are believers. Yes, we still keep the commandments, but we don't add to them. But......so, so easy to do, especially in homeschool circles. Can I see you nodding your heads?