Who Knew??

It was 60% / 40%.

Or maybe 70% / 30%.

Okay...fine.  It was totally 95% / 5%.  I was only going to go for the fun girls that were going with me.  And because it was a fantastic excuse to ditch the testosterone and surround myself with estrogen for three whole days. 

I mean, really, how much fun could a place harboring under the name Great Homeschool Conventions be?  I was imagining a dresscode that required apple appliques and an addition problem sewn somewhere onto one or more pieces of clothing.  And the speakers?  Seriously?  They were, no doubt, going to be have-it-all-together-apple-applique moms. 

Yep...definitely going just to get out of the house and hang with super fun girls.

Lemmetellya...I'm still munching on my words, and they taste like crow.

I learned a ridiculous amount from ridiculously normal people and came away feeling ridiculously bonded to a ridiculously amazing community.  Sound hokey?  Nada....

Here's a snippet of what I learned:

  • All homeschooling moms want to pull their hair out.  And if they say that they don't...they're lying.
  • All homeschooling moms want to strangle their children at some point.  And if they say that they don't...they're lying.
  • Most homeschooling moms are disorganized and can't seem to stay on top of maid/teacher/wife/mother/chauffeur/short-order-cook duties.  And if they say that they can...they're lying.
  • If a homeschooling mom actually manages to be somewhat of an organized personality, something in her home/life/school is a complete and utter disaster.  And if she says that everything is perfect...she's a liar.
  • Homeschooling moms also have the joy of dealing with ADD and ADHD kids.  We just can't send them home at 3:30 everyday.  We get the pleasure of hanging with these precious pups 24/7.  Lucky us.
  • Most homeschooling moms feel totally overwhelmed and completely inadequate at the idea of holding their children's entire educational future in their hands.  But most of us are actually doing a darn good job. 
  • Really.really.really.normal people homeschool.  People who use the tv as a babysitter just so that they can breathe for 5 minutes, and people who think sports are important, and people who let their kids play way too many hours of video games on school nights.  Really normal people. 
  • And.
  • And.
  • And.
My list could go on and on. 

I did learn some very specific tips and ideas, and I made some very serious curriculum decisions while there.  But, mostly what I took away from the convention was that homeschooling isn't weird anymore.  It's becoming very much of a social norm.  I felt very comfortable in this skin that I'm wearing, and I came away with a new outlook on this very.very important role I'm playing in my boys' futures.

I've also realized that I am in a position of great privilege.  I know that I am, along with my fellow homeschoolers, the envy of many folks.  Folks that, for whatever reason, wish that they could do what I get to do, but can't or don't or won't.  I get the joy of not only being in control of what my kids learn and when and how they learn it, but getting to witness every second of their little lives. 

Sure, there are days that I am looking for the first big yellow bus that will drive by the house, so that I can flag down the driver and shove the offspring onboard.  But, far many more are the days that I just lavish the time.

I started homeschooling because the other options just weren't working.
Now I realize that I'm homeschooling because I just love being with my kids.

Remind me that I said that the next time you see me waving down that school bus.......

(To Brandi, Jennifer, Sadie, and Amy....thanks for the great company, the great talks, and the great encouragement.  xoxoxoxo)


Kimberly said...

You have me very intrigued! I've always wanted to have the opportunity to homeschool my kids. I'd love to be able to, but wouldn't have a clue where to start!

Jim said...

Dear Daughter/Teacher of Rascals:
Keepin' your "school kids" while you were away soakin' up the "dear.ole.golden.rule daze" with your best buds, was and is always a new.thang.a.minute for us. Really enjoyed though the.old.bones.ain't.what.they.used.to.be! I've been gettin' more in shape lately - so bring um on when you need another break and baseball season is over.

Love you,

Christi @ Writing the Waves said...

I soooo wanted to go to that convention...even blogged about it, but it just wasn't meant to be this year. So glad to hear that you got a lot of great info and had fun! I am going next year FOR SURE! :)

New Every Morning said...

This is why I love you so. We are kindred hearts. And we don't wear denim jumpers.

I'm so glad to hear others do the #7, too. Makes me feel better.

Angie said...

For encouragement, validation, and mostly the conformation of long held suspicions-the homeschool 'June Cleaver' try-to-be's are wack!!!
From one real mom to another - you're awesome.

Marla Taviano said...

You make me want to homeschool.

Elizabeth said...

I was going to say exactly what Marla said.

I'm actually thinking about it with my two little kids (because I am not going to even attempt it with my middle-schooler). Honestly, I just don't know if I would enjoy it. I'm already going nuts!

Are you ever alone? That's what scares me about it the most.

Sandy said...

Love this! Home-schoolers ARE normal people!!! But the neatest thing is that you recognize how special it is that you "get to spend this time" with your boys... that it's a privilege!
So glad you had this opportunity.

Kerri870 said...

I couldn't have said it better myself, Amber.
I was having a really bad day a few weeks ago and was wondering what I'm thinking home schooling. I was just completely falling apart and wanted to quit. Just a minute later I turned a corner and found my baby girl(well, she's 6 yrs old) curled up asleep with our puppy in a laundry basket. It was so sweet! I just started bawling and realizing those special precious moments I would be missing if I gave up home schooling.
God is so good at bringing back the right perspective!
Like you, I now home school mainly because I love being with my kids! And there's no need to apologize for that!!!
Thanks again, Amber! You're great!