I am Still Homeschool Atheist Momma!
I was having a conversation with my daughter this week where we were thinking about things I wanted to write about on this blog, when she and I got into a really nice conversation about what it is like to be a homeschooling parent. She had some great thoughts on the matter so I thought I'd share them here with you.
Being a good homeschool parent, being a good parent, in Elizabeth's opinion, requires a few important qualities, beginning with flexibility. She acknowledges that having children can make days, weeks, months a bit...unpredictable. Being able to Go With the Flow, to change plans, and to switch directions on the fly can make life a bit less chaotic. Have you had any weeks like that??? Seems like many of our weeks are like that. lol
Elizabeth also thinks that a good parent should be a person who continues to learn throughout their lifetime. Reading, studying, researching. All of these things, according to my daughter, teach children to value education and, equally as important, keep a parent vital, informed, and improving. I thought she was pretty smart to include this one on her list. Maybe it's the pile of books beside me that make me say that... *wink*
Next on my daughter's list of qualities for a good homeschooling parent is the ability of the parent to adjust approaches to material. In our years of homeschooling we have switched up many times. From one book to another. From one approach to another. From one level to another. Heck, switching approaches is my specialty. But, seriously, between you and I, how did this kid come up with this one. LOL
High on her list is respecting individuality; who didn't see that one coming? Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that this is, in fact, one of those things that I work on diligently and regularly with my daughter. It is wonderful to know that she sees that, acknowledges that, and recognizes it. I have learned so much by being the parent to this child. I am so touched by the fact that she recognizes it.
According to my oldest kid, a good homeschool parent should be encouraging. Kids, she says, especially teens, can get very bogged down in self-doubt. Parents with the ability to support honest effort can make a real difference in the ability of a child to really see themselves in a positive light. Elizabeth was quite adamant about this one.
And finally on the list, she reports that a homeschooling parent, any parent, should be gentle and fun. These qualities, according to Lizzie, make a parent who is wonderful to be around. Our family is quite dedicated to gentleness, bullying and sarcasm are quite frowned upon, but understood and treated with compassion...
Listen, I'm not saying that she would always admit that her own mom is mighty, mighty. But yesterday, at the end of another long and busy day, she was relaxed and happy and willing to help me out. And I don't claim perfection as a parent, far from it! But I am here to share the imperfect journey that our family has taken and to encourage you on your unique journey.
THANK YOU, Shooshy!
You are amazing!