Homeschooling for Purpose and Freedom
It’s almost time for another homeschooling year. I find myself looking at so many choices: homeschooling curricula, online courses, books, ebooks, etc. I am reading review after review, forum after forum, trying to know the pros and cons of these many options now available to homeschoolers. Soon enough, I am overwhelmed. How do I choose? How do I know which ones will be best for my children?
And I ask myself again, “How do I strike a balance between finding the programs or materials that will help inspire my children to grow and learn and at the same time allow them to fulfill the requirements necessary to eventually go to university?” Every now and then, I find myself in this precarious spot – somewhere between fearlessness and safety. I personally prefer a more relaxed, interest-led approach to homeschooling but I am also afraid of “not doing enough,” of not equipping my children for college/university. And from the last time I checked with a university here in the Philippines, homeschooled applicants still need a school-made transcript to apply for admission.
Here I am, a somewhat veteran homeschooling mom for the past seven years, doubting myself again.
Thanks to the growing global support system of homeschooling parents, I’ve found inspiration to guide me and keep me moving forward.
We Homeschool For a Purpose
In her post “Purposeful Homeschooling,” embracingdestinyblog.com author Sara talks about three ways to keep your focus in homeschooling. The third way, “Write a homeschool mission statement,” was a fantastic wake-up call. I had written down a mission statement in 2010, and had made a most recent update some weeks ago. Still, when I start researching online and reading list after list, review after review, article after article, I lose focus and get overwhelmed. Why hadn’t I printed out our mission statement so my kids and I can see it everyday and be reminded of why we are homeschooling?
We Homeschool To Be Free
When I read Heidi St. John’s blog post entitled “Homeschooling Held Hostage”, I was reminded that I chose to homeschool my children because I wanted freedom. Freedom from the demands and pressures of an industrialized education. Freedom from other people’s judgements and expectations of who my children should be and what they should be doing. And I still want this freedom. I want my children to love learning, not to fear it or hate it. I want my kids to be free to discover and enjoy themselves, to thrive and share their best gifts to the world. I want my family to be free to dream and to dare, to travel and explore.
These women spoke to me at just the right time. I am reminded that whatever homeschool program, approach or material we choose, these should not define and dictate our lives and our learning. These should serve our purpose and give us freedom to fulfill our goals.