My Opinion Doesn’t Count

I am always gob-smacked when someone asks for input from me.  All I can think of is, “Why?”

“Why on earth would someone want my opinion?”

Generally, if I were to truly answer myself, it would be that they don’t.  They just feel, for some bizarre reason, that asking others for their opinions is the polite thing to do.

Either that or they are waiting for the inevitable odd thing that will pop out of my head and remind them that they had made a mental note never to ask me such things again.

Without further ado, the question is:

“[What is] your top tip for homeschooling through high school?”

Let me answer this by starting with a story (AKA “inevitable odd thing”).

A number of years ago we were over visiting with some friends which included a young mother and her baby, whom she was trying to feed some jarred baby food.  He was having nothing to do with it and causing her no small amount of frustration.  My husband asked the name of the blend and upon hearing it declared that he probably wouldn’t eat it either and something along the lines of being surprised she was trying to feed it to her child.  In exasperation she declared, “But it’s ORGANIC!”

My husband held her gaze for a fraction of a moment and then smiled and said, “So’s my poop, but that doesn’t mean I’d feed it to a baby.”

I don’t mean to make light of the question, because it is a rather in-depth one, and I’ve seen lots of “good” answers.  However, like so many questions related to homeschooling these answers are given from personal perspective.  A “been there done that; have the t-shirt” imparting of information that is absolutely. . .not helpful.

It is incredibly important that you understand that.  Because their input is based on them, on their situation, on their children, at their location, with what’s available to them, etc.  Not that it makes their input “bad”.  It doesn’t.  It could be similar to your situation, and therefore very helpful.  Yet, there is one thing that I’ve learned about homeschooling and that is that it is very individualized.

So, my “top tip” is this (which is not limited merely to “homeschooling through high school”):

Be brutally honest.

Ask yourself:

  • Where are you at in this time of your life?
  • What are your skills?
  • What are you capable of?
  • What causes you grief?
  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • How can you make this happen?
  • Who are you doing this for?  (peer pressure anyone?)

Ask these questions about each of your students too — because each one of them is so incredibly unique.

Ask more questions that are meaningful to you and ask frequently, because the reality is things change.  Staying on a path that you started 8 years ago just because you decided umpteen years ago to do so may not be the wisest course of action for you or your student.  It doesn’t make you a bad parent or a bad homeschooler to re-evaluate and decide that change, in whatever manner you deem appropriate, is a wiser course of action.

 

Your homeschool situation will be incredibly “organic” (good and bad) throughout the span of time you decide to stay the course.  I believe, if you are honest with yourself throughout, it will not be merely a trek endured, but a venture best lived.

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