I’ve been in the homeschool community for nearly thirty years. While I don’t pretend to know all the answers or to be an authority, I do know a lot of homeschooled graduates (I am one), a lot of homeschool families. And I know that no one’s story is the same.
Some unschooled, some loved unit studies, some traveled, some started late, some began early, some homeschooled to graduation, some returned to public school in high school, some went to college, some didn’t, some loved it, some hated it. Everyone has a different story.
Your story is going to be different, too, unlike anyone else’s. It won’t be like mine. And that mom on Facebook or in your co-op, it won’t be like her’s either. So, as a friend, I want to share that you have permission to be you, to create a custom fit for your homeschool, and to not worry about what someone else may be doing differently.
You have permission to take that grace week or month while the kids are sick and you adjust to the new baby or the move or the other dramatic life-change.
You have permission to call a redo, take time off to research, and try again.
You have permission to take a month off for Christmas or an early summer vacation.
You have permission to go back and redo that unit in math and add some manipulatives and not worry about finishing the book at the end of the year.
You have permission to spend an extra week on Egypt because your kids are loving it and learning and asking questions.
You have permission to let Wild Kratts be your go-to science curriculum for right now.
You have permission to try something and fail and try something different.
You have permission to move up a grade in a subject or back a grade in another (I often call it levels when my kids freak out about the number. “I’m not in fourth grade!” “It just refers to a level, honey, don’t worry.”)
You have permission to let your kids sleep in and do school after lunch or even after dinner.
You have permission to get up early and finish before 9 a.m. (bless you! I don’t know how you do it.)
You have permission to be you, the parent of your child, who knows and loves your child. You have permission to be the family God made you to be, with the interests and eccentricities that make you all unique. You have permission to pursue what you all love and what you are gifted at. You have permission to follow the script that God has crafted for you, and not worry that the lines are different from someone else’s script.
Yes, follow the state requirements. Yes, teach your child to learn and to read; prepare them well. But in the end, embrace homeschooling for all that it is—the opportunity to be at home in your school.