Well, we made a last minute decision to attend the Texas Home School Coalition Convention and I am so glad we did. Crazily, this is the third conference I have attended this summer. I attended one at the beginning of the summer and it was a blessing in the end, but not quite what I was thinking it would be. I walked away with a lot to think about... some good... some not so good. In the end it was a major turning point in my thinking... like I said, some good... some bad. I have spent the summer really sorting through my thoughts and my mixed feelings. A couple of weeks ago I seriously started thinking that maybe homeschooling might be a mistake after all. Anxiety began to set in about the beginning of our homeschool year. Conviction reminded me that God had revealed to me that if I could just look at it long term, then I would see it would be the best thing for our family.
This summer I also got a glimpse of homeschooling that I did not like as much... I won't go into all that, but I have seen a side to it that does not appeal to me as much. My kids are in a position to be hurt by the decision to homeschool in some ways that are hard for me to come to terms with. I have seen their hearts being broken some this summer and my kids are already used to too much heartbreak within relationships outside the doors of our home. Now I do realize I can not protect them from all heartbreak, so we made another important decision this summer that I initially did not want to do. I decided to enroll them in a local homeschool co-op where they will attend classes twice a month. I am not interested in the classes really, but rather have made this decision in an effort to encourage the forging of new friendships with children that are leading similar lives to theirs. So, yes... we did decide to continue homeschooling.
The next thing I did was attend a smaller local conference that made it's debut. The Mid-County Home School Confence and it was such a blessing. The workshop sessions were honestly better than the conference I attended at the beginning of the summer (... uhem.. partially because they were all presented by fellow homeschoolers... rather than people that have never homeschooled... I think that is important... just me and my point of view). Being at that conference calmed my anxiety... roughly by about 90 percent!! So, I got to thinking that maybe one more conference would do the trick, if it was good.
We decided (after I bore my poor husband with all my thoughts and wishy-washy discussions) that it was worth a shot to attend the Texas Home School Coalition Convention. Maybe it would be just the thing to calm those last little bit of nerves. The timing is not so good, but maybe it is just the right timing... My husband returns to his job as a public school teacher on Tuesday following the conference and I am beginning our homeschool on Monday. Anyway, good timing or not we are here and I am glad we made the decision to come. I have never seen this many homeschoolers in my life. It is almost unbelieveable and it really makes you realize that so many people are switching to homeschooling their kids. They are just everday normal people. I "stepped on some toes" after attending the first conference when I jokingly (half jokingly and half seriously) made some comments about my concerns about what my kids would turn out like. I am sorry to those that may have been offended, but I am human... not a perfect being. I do not want my kids to be outcasts or considered strange. And no, I do not want them to be worldly either.. I want them to set themselves apart from the world as Christians (and they already do). If it came down to their salvation or being popular or trendy, then I, of course, would want them to be saved nerds with really out-dated clothing. :) It is great to see that the vast majority of homeschoolers just blend in and do not look strange.... come on.... we have all thought it.... and you should know that I for the most part have no style and need to lose 20 pounds... can't stand make-up , but wear it when I feel I have to... am toooooooo talkative to a fault... dress my kids in hand-me-downs and mostly bargain clothing (although I am choicey most of the time when we are out of the house)... I am not at all trendy and if it remotely appears that way it is only after a shopping spree (rare)... I wear buns and funky ponytails to avoid styling my hair... I am NOT trendy or in-style most days ... nor care, so I don't really have huge vanity issues... BUT I still feel I have an obligation to not make my kids outcasts, etc., if it can be prevented... I want to make them well rounded individuals to the best of my ability (AND GOD'S, OF COURSE). All that to say I am feeling bettter after a trying summer about our homeschooling decision. And I have met some phenominal people homeschooling!!! (more on that later... got to sleep... it is after midnight and the bed is calling)