Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Just a Normal Homeschooling Mom

Two people searched that phrase today and found my blog. That made me start thinking about what it means to be a ‘normal’ homeschooling mom.

On the one hand, I consider myself pretty normal; conventional, even. Traditional, certainly. We’re a family consisting of a married man and woman, with the requisite 2 children (sans dog), living in a single-family home on the outskirts of a moderately sized American city. My Loverly Husband works and is the ‘breadwinner’; I am a homemaker (that hates cooking) and I drive a mini-van (don’t hate; I was adamantly against it until I owned one).  My husband works a normal work week, we have relatives that live nearby and maintain a pretty close familial relationship with our siblings, parents and grandparents, typical familial squabbles notwithstanding.

As a mother, I have always been somewhat outside the mainstream. I chose midwives to deliver my babies with instead of OBs. I went into labor spontaneously, naturally and planned natural labors (though that didn’t work out exactly according to plan) and my babes were both born vaginally with no cuts or other artificial assistance. I breastfed exclusively. I made my own baby food. We co-slept, cloth diapered (part-time) and opted out of vaccination. I breastfed through my pregnancy with my second child and tandem nursed my babies. We never used babysitters; only family ever watched my kids and those occasions were (and still are) few and far between; not because we don’t have options or because we don’t trust anyone, but because we actually enjoy spending time with our kids. That’s normal for us, and I’m used to being different from others in this respect.

As a homeschooling mom, we’re right in the middle. We’re not too rigorous, nor are we totally relaxed. We use both books and computers for schoolwork. For the most part, I feel right there in the thick of ‘normal’. There are times though, that I feel like I’m really out there on the edge. I think that the determining factor is who I’m surrounded by in that moment. As a homeschooling mom, I should be part of this enormous and growing community of women who support each other and reassure each other in their endeavors to educate their kids. But as a secular homeschooler, I’m one of the smaller sub-sections of homeschooler for whom there is little support – much like ‘homeschooling dad’ or ‘working homeschooling mother’ or ‘homeschooling grandparent’.

Thankfully, the secular homeschooling community is growing by leaps and bounds. Even just over the past year, I’ve noticed more groups and blogs that speak to secular homeschoolers popping up. Searching ‘secular homeschooling’ nets more and more sites every week. That’s a great thing, because that means that what is considered normal is changing. The more label-specific groups open up, the more diverse the general homeschooling community becomes, which in turn helps to re-define ‘normal’. I sincerely hope that other niche groups of homeschoolers will also grow, further shaping society’s perception or normalcy.

I’m very fortunate to be a part of a growing and active local support group. The benefit to me and my children in having like-minded homeschoolers to meet up with definitely helps shape my idea of normal. As it is now, I am happy to be a ‘normal’ homeschooling mom, especially when my definition of ‘normal’ means that I get to have bright pink hair and kids with freshly cut mohawks.

What’s your normal?

Warmly,

~h

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11 responses

  1. Keerma

    My normal? Well, my normal is not posting like I am high and mighty and others are below me. Your children were in public school, yet you attempt to write like you are the homeschooling queen. Public school is acceptable when it suits you. Beaumont laughs at you. They do not laugh with you.

    November 23, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    • Wow, what crawled up your butt?

      I’ve been pretty up front about the fact that we’re new to homeschooling. ‘New to’ in no way implies homeschooling royalty to most people. If you’re reading here and come away thinking that I’m a homeschooling queen, well… that’s actually kinda cool. You put WAY more stock in what I have to say than the general public does. Congratulations! That makes you my Number 1 fan!

      Last time I checked, neither you nor I spoke for the whole of Beaumont. Even if you did, what makes you think that I care one single bit what anyone else thinks of me? At least I don’t hide behind a fake email address.

      Of course my kids’ school was acceptable at that time. Who does anything that isn’t ‘acceptable’? When it wasn’t anymore, I changed it. What on earth could MY choices for MY children have to do with you? If you don’t like what I have to say, then don’t waste my time and yours by reading here.

      ~h

      P.S. Upon further reflection, I have decided that I AM the Queen of Homeschooling and shall now be addressed as such by all and sundry.
      Signed,
      Her Royal Highness ~h, Queen of Homeschooling
      Now where the frak is my crown??

      November 24, 2010 at 1:19 am

  2. Jana C

    I bow to the Queen, all should bow before The Queen Homeschooler !!!

    ( That wasn’t the worse hate comment I have ever seen ! I am very proud of the way you handled it. Don’t you just hate it when people act like children and can’t say things to your face ? Hugs )

    November 24, 2010 at 7:45 am

    • LOL

      Yeah, as hate mail goes, it’s kinda lame… but hey, it’s my first for this blog, so that deserves some recognition, right?

      I am particularly intrigued by the cowardice of the fake email address. I mean, I’m ‘visible’ here. That’s MY face in the header and attached to my comments. Those are MY kids, and my real friends in pictures. That’s my real, everyday, most-commonly-used email address… I’m ‘out there’ for anyone who cares to look. I have nothing to hide here. Whoever this is can’t even work up enough nerve to say, ‘Hey man, you suck!’?

      I’m a lot of things (including the new designation of ‘Queen of Homeschooling’ – I’m so glad that you’re playing along, lol), but coward isn’t one of them.

      In the meantime, I’m happy with the extra traffic that Keerma is sending my way.
      ~h

      November 24, 2010 at 10:06 am

  3. As a faithful servant of your Majesty’s court, I say, “Off with her head!”

    God save the Queen.

    pp&j

    November 24, 2010 at 9:49 am

    • This is going to make me smile all day today. You’re awesome. 😉
      ~h

      November 24, 2010 at 10:07 am

  4. I’m so glad a new Queen of Homeschooling was finally appointed. It was getting a little dicey in the community with no authority figure to look down upon us.

    When someone asks me about homeschooling I practically trip all over myself trying not to say anything that might cause them to think I look down on them for choosing public school (because I really don’t!). You just can’t win with some people.

    Have a terrific Thanksgiving!

    November 24, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    • Maybe now we can form a Royal Homeschooling Committee and get some organization in the homeschooling community, lol.

      I know what you mean. My position is now and has always been, ‘this is right for US, right now.’ I’m not in any position to say what is best for anyone else’s family. I have a wide range of friends with kids in a variety of school settings. We’re all doing what we feel is best for our own kids, right?

      Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!
      ~h

      November 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm

  5. I don’t know or remember what normal is anymore and I’m starting to realize (through the help of co-workers and others in my community) that I am not considered normal in anyway. It’s sad. I hope that my love and support will help my children feel secure without the support of others who are too judgmental to get over their chips and realize that I’m not judging them.

    November 24, 2010 at 3:58 pm

  6. yvette

    I think we ALL should take on titles of some type or another…me, I will take court jester for the juggling act of homeschool mom, wife, business woman, ect! Great post..and good response to a silly post. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

    November 24, 2010 at 6:01 pm

  7. Nicole Meche

    All hail the Queen!

    I can’t believe someone would put this! So now because someone has confidence in what they do and what they believe that makes them high and mighty? I think if anything it makes a person more reliable and intellegent, because you know they have searched out what they are doing.
    Happy Thanksgiving Heather!

    November 24, 2010 at 8:58 pm

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