A renaissance gal passionista and her amazing family.

I’ve been deep in research, planning, and organizing our homeschool adventure.

It’s confusing, daunting, and exhilarating.

I decided (pretty much on a whim) that our start date is August 29, 2011.

Our first year of homeschooling…

Wait…what?

Can I do this? Will I mess up my kids? What happens if I’m off by 15 minutes in my weekly logged hours? Will the government arrest me? Will my kids ever have friends? Can I teach them everything they need to be prepared for college–and the real world? Will I go crazy? Will my kids resent me? How often will I have to explain that we are good without god? How often will I have to defend our choice to people who think they know my kids better than me? Will my house be messier? Will we go on all the field trips we plan? Can we afford this? Will I continue to lose sleep because I have so much to do? Should I have a baby amidst this chaos? Does freedom come with anxiety?

CAN I DO THIS?

WILL I MESS UP MY KIDS?

Fear. I was taught to fear things unnecessary. But shaking it off or un-teaching myself is challenging.

I understand natural fear to be a good thing. It’s a survival mechanism.

HowStuffWorks.com says: 

If we couldn’t be afraid, we wouldn’t survive for long. We’d be walking into oncoming traffic, stepping off of rooftops and carelessly handling poisonous snakes. We’d be hanging out with people who have tuberculosis. In humans and in allanimals, the purpose of fear is to promote survival. In the course of human evolution, the people who feared the right things survived to pass on their genes. In passing on their genes, the trait of fear and the response to it were selected as beneficial to the race.

But some things I shouldn’t be afraid of – like homeschooling.

There is also fear conditioning.

From Reframe Reality:

From the moment we are born, our ego develops off of our experiences to help give us an identity, to help us define ourselves. Through these reference experiences, we then learn mechanisms of reaction to certain circumstances and scenarios. One example of this is social conditioning — how society brought us up to act, things we learned were considered taboo or bad, etc etc. From birth, we are told repeatedly ways to act or be, what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad. People, although they mean their best, impose their own conditioning on you because it is all you know. If you are born with introverted parents, scared of society and people, there are large chances that on some level, you will carry this fear as well.

So, I’ve been conditioned to fear many things that aren’t really part of the “fight or flight” response. Not that this is new information.

It permeates many aspects of my life and has come from so many sources I am probably oblivious to most of them

Parents, Teachers, Peers, TV, Non-Secular Homeschoolers, Media, Ads, Church, Friends, Employers, etc.

How can I unlearn the fear about homeschooling?

WebMd says:

Exposure therapy indeed works, as his clinical experience and laboratory experiments have shown. However, he’s found that either multiple exposures in a very short period of time — or exposures spaced quite far apart — will get someone past anxiety disorder, Davis tells WebMD.

My job (to add to ALL the other ones) is to expose, expose, expose!

Just start it – get to it – homeschool away!!

And in time the irrational fear will leave. I don’t expect to never question, be skeptical or stop feeling the need to step back and critically think about what I’m doing and how I can improve our homeschool.

Growth and evolution in our adventure is necessary… fear is not.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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Comments on: "In The Beginning… I Created Our Homeschool" (16)

  1. I want to answer some of your questions because I have too much time and think I’m funny.

    Can I do this? Yep, at least as well as crazy religious home-school moms, but probably better and for better reasons.

    Will I mess up my kids? Probably in more ways than you can count. Homeschooling is probably the least of these.

    What happens if I’m off by 15 minutes in my weekly logged hours? 15 more minutes of sleep?

    Will the government arrest me? They seem too busy juggling money and wars to care about education.

    Will my kids ever have friends? As an adult I find friends to be over-rated.

    Can I teach them everything they need to be prepared for college–and the real world? I wish schools taught more about the real world than college. High School prepares you for college and college expects you’re already prepared for the real world.

    Will I go crazy?

    Will my kids resent me? Only if they’re teenagers at some point in life.

    How often will I have to explain that we are good without god? At least once a week. Isn’t that how religion works?

    How often will I have to defend our choice to people who think they know my kids better than me? Often

    Will my house be messier? I suppose only if reading is messy.

    Will we go on all the field trips we plan? Always getting to go to cool places with your kids? How could you miss that?

    Can we afford this?

    Will I continue to lose sleep because I have so much to do? I hear getting a wife can help take off some of the load.

    Should I have a baby amidst this chaos? I can’t condone this activity.

    Does freedom come with anxiety?

  2. […] original article: In The Beginning… I Created Our Homeschool « This entry is filed under Feeds, Tweets, Uncategorized and tagged 17-nbsphours-nbspago, […]

  3. Another one of your posts I enjoyed!
    I know that feeling SO well, the fear gets in there and takes over for awhile.
    Of course, we come back to our senses and see the evidence right in front of us!
    Peace.

  4. I am one of those cuckoo for cocoa puffs types that has started researching homeschooling before I even HAVE kids! I’m a fellow humanist, if you will, who got suckered into marrying an Army guy and frankly I’m not a fan of the schools associated with the military lifestyle so I thought, why would I put a kid in a system I don’t believe in?! And then this evening, magically, I happened upon your blog which I have now bookmarked for further reading (:ahem: laughing) – I just wanted to let you know that I think you’re fabulous and an inspiration for someone who’s sassy, ridiculous, and in every way possible NOT the typical home school researcher 🙂

    • I don’t think it’s crazy at all to be researching already. I wish I would have had the forethought and maturity (and internet resources) to research my options when I was just beginning parenthood. Most of us grow up being taught and believing that traditional school (public or private) is the only way to educate your kids properly to give them the best chance at a good life. So, most of us don’t even bother researching.

      Well… they aren’t right. It’s not the only option.

      I also was taught that only uber religious people homeschool.

      Again.. not right.

      We teach our kids everything they know until they go to school… and an involved parent continues teaching things at home as well as helping with school work. We are our children’s first teachers! Why shouldn’t we be taught that we can also homeschool them? (the answer to that I’m sure is very political and research and post is for another time) I read a book several years ago ‘Scream Free Parenting’ that has stuck with me. Not that I’ve memorized or even vaguely remember most of the book. One statement however, has been a guide for how I see me as their parent – I don’t just have a responsibility for my children, I have a responsibility TO my children. It’s my job to teach, to be an example, to help them.

      Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a mushy all rainbows and hearts kinda parent. I don’t go on and on and on about how wonderful being a mommy is and how perfect my angels are. I fully realize we are all flawed – and it’s more fun that way anyway. I also realize that being a mom (or dad) is effing HARD! I have no problem admitting that. I have no problem admitting, also, that teaching my kiddos how to be amazing humans does, on occasion, bring a tear to my eye.

      I wish you many years of researching, learning, and evolving. Your comment made me “aww” out loud. It’s so amazing (wish I had a better word) to know that other people are so supportive. Your words have impacted me 🙂

      I hope I can live up to your expectations 😉

    • Love your photos!!!

  5. Oh my word–are you for reals? A homeschooling Mom who is NOT a devout Christian and appears to have a sense of humor? Could it be true? I can’t be sure. It’s too exciting to jump to any conclusions. But–I’m hopeful! And excited to have found your blog and look forward to future posts.

    I have been homeschooling for three years. My kids are total nut jobs and we have a great time. I cling to my sense of humor with a kung fu grip because most days, if you don’t laugh, you might cry. Or get frustrated. And I prefer to laugh.

    • You are not seeing a mirage – I am in fact… for reals.

      Not a Christian for sure.

      We laugh a lot in our house – it helps hide my stomach as people pay attention to my giant mouth instead.

      Thanks for finding me. The internet is a curious place to get lost in 😉

      You and your blog are freaking outstanding and HILARIOUS! I only had a few minutes to skim/peruse this a.m. – but I literally lol’d.

      You are going in my google reader. (perhaps that sounds creepy… not my intention)

      Laugh it up new blog friend 🙂 Life is too short and stinky to not enjoy it with laughter.

  6. I just want to say I love your blog! My son is 2 almost 3 and we made the “official” decision to home school him about 6 months ago. The things people say to me about our choice is nuts!

    We are by no means religious either. I get asked often “if God told me to home school”….really?!?

    I love all the questions b/c I have asked myself most of those plus a million more.

    OMG Team Suzanne…love your about me section…mostly the part about “Our kids being smarter than yours!”

    Now for the stupid question…how can I follow you blog? Do I have to just keep coming back to the site? I saw you mentioned something about google reader…any help would be great b/c you and Team Suzanne have some great blogs I would love to follow…the support is everything!

  7. This literally makes my day. More than having anyone say I am funny (which I also sincerely appreciate), I sincerely appreciate finding some fellow homeschool parents to connect with via the web. I have really had a hard time finding someone who shares the homeschool experience–but who is also not easily offended, has a sense of humor, doesn’t have a religious/political value system that alienates me or suggests some of my friends should burn in hell, etc. Hooray for you guys here!

    As far as how to follow a blog–I’m pretty new at it. I have a Gmail email and Blogger account and it allows me to “follow” blogs. You just “add” one and paste in the URL–and then it allows you to automatically see updates from that blog. I’m sure there are other “readers” of this type–a Windows/hotmail version? Or others? If you don’t have access to that–I’d just bookmark me at http://team-suzanne.blogspot.com/ and check back! Thanks for reading–this long-ish comment and my blog!

    Katie–the questions from people never stop. Eventually you’ll come up with a response you’re comfortable with that will stop them in their tracks.

    Looking forward to future posts here…

    • I use Google Reader to keep track of the insane number of blogs I (attempt) to follow. I don’t always get to check everyday but it keeps a list of what I haven’t read and I can share any articles directly to my Twitter, Facebook, email, etc. It’s massively helpful b/c my bookmarks is already a giant mess of folders and more insane amounts of websites or pages I MAY want to reference in the future. It’s my own way of hoarding 😉 I’d like to see an episode of that – clearing the clutter in my bookmarks and computer files.

  8. Yes it is so nice to find some other down to earth homeschooling moms! I am also excited because I am from IL and I think you are both from MO! You know the area vs. being someone from Oregon and has no clue how nuts it is around here!!

    Keep up the great blogs both of you! I love them!

    • Yes indeed – I didn’t realize how much flack was going to be received in being a secular homeschool. It’s as if I have Medusa’s head when I tell some people. “What… wait… then HOW do you know how to be GOOD?”

      Honestly, I’m dumbfounded by the gross ignorance… *looking around* did I accidentally get in a time machine because I thought this was 2011… 😉

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