I like to spend some time reading other blogs about homeschools. I follow a few, and I sometimes just explore the homeschool tag on wordpress. Some are encouraging, some discouraging. This winter I’ve been feeling a little anti-Charlotte Mason, which seems like such a naughty thing to say because CMers are loyal to Miss Mason. When one of the CM blogs posted Charlotte Mason’s poems every few days, I sighed and said, “So she wrote poetry, too. Sheesh. Wasn’t writing six large volumes of educational philosophies enough?” I’m not anti-CM education. I still think it is wise. I’m just tired of hearing about Charlotte herself. I’ll get over it, hopefully before my next CM Book Study meeting.
The other blogs that tend to discourage me are the ones written by moms with super-organizational skills. The ones who make their schedules and then write posts called, “How to schedule your homeschool for a month.” The ones who create all sorts of worksheets for their children and then sell them as downloads on their money-earning blogs. I only download the free ones. And only if they look useful and not just cute. I suppose I am happy they are out there. Where else would I have found our ever-popular alphabet bingo game?
The blogs that encourage me the most tend to be written by unschoolers, or relaxed homeschoolers, or delight-directed homeschoolers. These are the ones with a gentle vision, a long vision, and often a godly vision. They also tend to take lots of nice nature-study photos. I am inspired to go out on a nature walk and find as many different dried plants as we can (preferably when the temperature rises above 10 degrees Fahrenheit). I am also inspired to drive to the beach we enjoyed so much in the summer and see what it is like now. I am encouraged to forget math for a day, forget the whole house for a day, and spend time elsewhere. I am encouraged to get out the art supplies and work on a big project that will be messy and time-consuming and will have to be hung somewhere when it’s done. I am encouraged to make Bible time as pleasant and memorable a time as I can for my children because I want them to love the Bible. I am also encouraged to stick with the schedules and routines that do work well for us.
When all is said and done, I still have plenty of courage to continue homeschooling. And I still count it a blessing to read the posts of so many parents going through similar but different learning times of their own.