"My child wants to go to public school," said one mom with an exasperated expression.
"My daughter cried herself to sleep last night because she says she has no friends," said yet another.
Why are we hearing things like this so often within so many homeschool settings? We are using all the right curriculum. We are creative, biblical, high-tech. We have homeschooled in the woods, and climbed through ear canals under our kitchen tables. How could our kids want to go to a traditional school? What went wrong?
I believe the one crucial element many of us have missed in our homeschool journey is the value of community. Every homeschool parent I know is "so busy!" Many of us wonder, how we could possibly get out for play dates, or attend a homeschool co-op?
Many of us are secretly stay up to 10 pm, just trying to make sure our 8th grader's math is finished. We have pizza boxes overflowing out of our garbage pails. And, we can't remember the last time we made a home cooked meal, unless you count macaroni and cheese!
Have you ever noticed that all of us are soooo behind in our curriculum? May I share a realization I have had that I hope may help you?
There is good news. The problem is not that we are so behind! The problem is our own perspective! Many of us have gotten stuck trying to keep up with the "Joneses," while the "Joneses" are trying to keep with us! And, the result is- we are all getting burned out. And, our children, for all our good intentions, are missing out.
So, how can we have a different perspective?
First, if our homeschool (the academic side) is taking over our lives, we are stuck in a homeschool rut! We must retrain ourselves to look at our homeschool from a more holistic approach. Let's try telling ourselves (and try to really believe it) that we do not need to do every assignment our curriculum offers.
Second, if our curriculum consistently requires us to stay up to 10 o'clock every night, perhaps it is time to try an inexpensive alternative.
Finally, we must decide what is truly valuable. To do this, think back with me to when you were a child. What was most important to you? If you are like me- the most important things were friends, family, and candy! Well, guess what is valuable to your kids too? Let's keep that childlike spirit in mind when we make plans for your homeschool.
As a believer, I also want to instill in my children a love for Christ, and make Him the cornerstone of our day.
So let's start a revolution against the "I'm too busy mentality!"
Maybe it is time we join that co-op? Let's choose activities that the whole family can do together. Let's go to that extra church event! Let's organize a group of homeschool kids for a trip to a nursing home, or homeless shelter. Our kids will be doing good deeds, and getting the interaction they crave! Everybody wins!
And, next time the yellow bus goes by, our children just might be having too much fun with their new friends to even notice!
Evonne Mandella is a Jewish Christian and teaches the Currclick Live Class "Learn to Read New Testament Greek Today." She is also the author of the "Read Hebrew Today," "Read New Testament Greek Today," series, and "Wholesome Learning" (a Multilevel Bible Curriculum with a focus on the Biblical Languages. She lives with her husband and her two children in Dothan, Alabama