Editor’s note: read the full series here.
Have you ever woken up feeling like you are the only human being on the planet who has made the decisions you have?
My decision to homeschool made me feel like a green unicorn who could breathe under water.
I knew no one who homeschooled, and had no one who supported my choice to do so.
“Do whatever you want, Karen, you will anyway!” my ex-husband uttered.
“As long as I’m not involved!” my mom reassured me.
“I just want to make sure you are doing what is best for your girls!” my sister added.
Their responses did not deter me, but having no support created more doubt and fear. Was I doing what was right for my kids? Would they grow up to be illiterate or fall behind school kids? Would they become awkward hermits who never want to see people?
Yes, I honestly considered all the options, and I was scared to death. I knew emotionally I had made the best decision, as our family unit was falling apart and the weight of the emotions needed time to heal, but academically, I just didn’t feel strong enough to teach them anything.
As an entrepreneur with a business mindset, I looked into outsourcing, finding someone who could teach them the things I didn’t feel confident in, which at that point was just about everything. This is when I found more green unicorns who could breathe under water just like me. Well, maybe not just like me—they came in all shapes, colors, backgrounds, and lifestyles—but they were all homeschoolers. And their kids were not only okay, they were thriving!
Within seconds of meeting my first homeschooling mom, she made me feel like I was okay, like I had made the right choice for not only me, but for the girls. Just having one person believe in me seemed to make all the difference in the world.
This group opened me up to the possibilities on the other side of institutional schooling. It created a mindset shift in my level of competence, radically shifting my self-esteem. I am forever grateful to each and every one of these families for helping me create a life of freedom, by showing me the endless possibilities of how children learn. Now, I try to offer the same type of support to my clients as they embark in their homeschooling or schooling at home journey.
No matter what style of education you choose, you need a community. Having a support system assists in countless ways!
>> Support when you run into something you don’t understand, like sending the letter of intent or creating a high school transcript for your teen’s college admission.
>> Creating learning opportunities with other children and sharing a teacher.
>> Socialization with like-minded individuals.
>> Play dates or drop-off scenarios that can allot you some free time.
>> Knowing you are not alone in your journey.
It takes a village to raise a child. The village does not need to be related to you by blood; they could be chosen as a way to assist in making your child well-rounded.
If you have a business mindset, it works the same as outsourcing the things you may not excel at or that are not your forte. And the village will assist in creating organic socialization in which kids are exposed to building relationships from a point of attraction.