Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Debunking the Image of Homeschooling Perfection

A friend and I were talking recently about the disparity between our image of homeschooling and the reality of homeschooling.  Personally, I blame the covers of certain homeschooling catalogues and magazines.  You know the ones: happy children gathered round a serene mama as she reads a selection of quality literature.  By the fireside.  Complete with hot chocolate and marshmallows, too, I'm sure.

And I'm also sure every single child in that photo has mastered the subtle complexities of long division.  And their rooms are spotless; no unmentionables flung casually to the floor in THAT household.  (Oops!  Did I just write that??)

Ah, well. 

I am so glad I discovered the blogosphere, where I have "met" other homeschooling families.  The greatest benefit, of course, is learning about what other people are doing, reading, attempting, visiting, etc.  I've gotten loads of great ideas.  But the second greatest benefit (and sometimes the most important, frankly) is the tons of encouragement I've received when I've needed it, either from comments from my fabulous followers and visitors or simply from reading about other people's experiences.

Of course, there are those blogs where everything is snuggily perfect.  They make me suspicious.

Now, we have had days wherein all goes smoothly and well.  And I have made mugs of hot chocolate for the girls to sip while I read.  Those are halcyon days.  But to expect that all the time, to fall for the homeschooling illusion (perhaps delusion is a better word) is downright dangerous:  if the going gets tough, I may be tempted to take the road more traveled (my apologies to Frost).

So I've learned to enjoy the days of perfection when they come, but I don't expect them very often.  Most days have both ups and downs.  Like life.  We celebrate the ups, and we work through the downs, and linking all of it together is a silver thread of grace.


  1. great post! I have enjoyed the discovery of the blog world. There are so many people with such great ideas and such that I can't even get to them all. It's funny because when I read your blog I think of it as 'snuggly perfect' but I am thinking our idea of that is different :) Snuggly perfect is where life is just that...Life.
    Anyway, just a wee comment to say I appreciated your post :)

  2. So true- those pictures are framed and staged. LOL We live life and sometimes it's not so pretty. But every day gives something to be glad about, and God blesses the little things as He does the big. Thanks for writing.


  3. I second every word. My blog may present my home in an ideal way (maybe because my pictures are not bad). but I've had such a HORRIBLE week with the girls, discipline, such a week, my husband decided to come early from work yesterday to talk to the girls, he saw me so stressed out, he even brought me flowers, LOL, and btw, they'll show pretty in the 'pictures'.
    After this week (I'm taking a break to gain some peace at home) I'll post, and I'm going to be sure to touch on this you have written about, Ellen. It's very important we demystify that picture perfect image of hs. Don't take me wrong, if others have it 'perfect', I sincerely rejoice with them, for those of us who have a rocky way (with sweet moments in between, of course), I'm also glad I have my blogger friends.

  4. What do you mean, delusion?

    My days are always perfect!!!!!!!!

    Well...in my dreams, they are...

    I must say that I do love those days when it all comes together though.

  5. Thanks for the great comments, ladies! Even though we live in the "real world," we can celebrate the days that go swimmingly, can't we? And we can rejoice in the Lord no matter what. :-)


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