Growing kids.....hmmm. Of course what I mean is raising children. Something I'm certainly not finished doing, but am somewhat passed "just started". I'm going to take this from a homeschool view, but this topic applies to so many others.....
When we first started to homeschool, we got *all sorts* of comments. One of the most interesting, frustrating, and at the time discouraging comments ever made to me was when Sweet Son was 4. We had just "announced" (to the utter shock and horror of many) our decision to homeschool. We were at a get- together, where some kid was being mean to Sweet Son (granted it wasn't unusual for this kid to be mean, to Sweet Son, or any other child). Sweet Son came to sit beside me and said, "I'm not going back upstairs, they are being really mean." At which time he picked up a book and started looking at it. Overhearing this, Well-meaning woman replied with a roll of her eyes, that the Sweet Son "didn't get out much, was homeschooled and not used to being around other children and just didn't know how to act." ARGH! He was 4! Not even the age to be "in school" and already those around us were passing judgement. I went home **fuming**. This person was *assuming* she knew our day to day outings.....the little culprit in this scenario wasn't "in school" yet either, and certainly didn't "get out" as much as Sweet Son, who at 4, went to play groups, story time, and other group activities. Thus began the long road of hearing how our children: weren't going to be civilized or socialized, would turn out "backward", wouldn't get a good education, wouldn't be as "well-rounded", would miss out on so many things, and was simply doomed. And who were we to "shelter" our children from the "truth" and the "real world". They would have to face it someday, at which point they would "go wild and rebel". and on and on. I would get the "just wait until he/ she is 5, 6, 7, 8, etc. Where ever we were, it wasn't as bad as the next year was going to be when my homeschooled children would morph into some horrible monster. LOL
I stayed a bundle of nerves the first two years, fully expecting some piano to drop on my head (thus began(my still yearly) regular trips to have both my children tested. This assuaged my fears of them lagging educationally and I had a paper, drat it all, to show they were up to par!).
After that couple of years (and many, many hours on my knees) my anxiety about certain aspects of homeschooling began to dissipate. I still felt misunderstood...no, I wasn't out to "get" the public school system, didn't think my children would grow up trouble free and perfect, etc. etc. But I did begin to feel a little more confident when Sweet Son well exceeded my expect taions academically and as a person. Following along after him was Dear Daughter. We had challenges (and still do daily)....but I was beginning to find my feet and have more faith in my prayers.
I came to the conclusion that the general population had more common sense raising GARDENS than they did raising CHILDREN.
When we go to the green house in the spring a pick a tender plant, we cultivate it, shelter it, train it and pamper it. We don't wait until some scorching day and take the tender plant and thrust it into the burning sun and say, "well, you'll have to face it someday, get used to it!" We gradually acclimate the plant to the new environment. Of course, you might try thrusting your new plant out at first, but I guarantee you won't go back and do it again the next year....
Plants that are sheltered, tended, giving the best of living conditions as can be provided, nurtured and cultivated usually thrive better than those who haven't had that kind of care.
Not saying it don't EVER happen the opposite way, but just as a rule.
Children also thrive under such care.
I've pretty much got over my need to justify our decision to homeschool our kiddos. I have no idea how they will "turn out" in the long run. I don't have a 20 year old yet. But I do know, that up until this point the demons I had been warned of haven't been as scary.
There's still some of our family that strongly disagrees with us, and would rather swallow their tongue than give a compliment to our homeschooled children, but that's OK.
I'm proud of how they've developed and progressed.
Sweet son is just now 12, and I am beginning to see a peek of his "person". No, he's not perfect (but neither are his parents LOL) but I like the well rounded young man he is becoming. I'm proud of him. Ditto from Dear Daughter.
So, at this point, Handsome Hubby and I will continue to educate our kids at home, ask for guidance from above, stay humble, walk off of the beaten path, and grow our kids with love, patience, prayer, worship, laughter, and respect .
- ► 2010 (10)