"For the last several years, I've conducted an informal poll asking homeschooling moms a single question: Do you feel as though you're doing a good job homeschooling your children? Would you care to wager a guess as to what percentage of moms feel as though they are succeeding? Let me just tell you—0%. So far, not a single homeschooling mom has told me that she thinks she's doing a great job."
I don't find that at all encouraging; in fact, I find that downright discouraging. And sad. But he didn't ask me, and he didn't ask a bunch of people I know.
Because, actually, I do think I'm doing a good job of homeschooling, and I do think we're succeeding. We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't think we could do it successfully. I say "we" because homeschooling is a family endeavor. It's not just me doing it all. The kids are partners in this, and of course Dr. H. is too. And God blessed me with gifts and abilities perfectly suited for being a mom and a teacher. I know that many women have reluctant kids and husbands who don't support homeschooling wholeheartedly, but please tell me I'm not the only mom who thinks I'm doing a good job homeschooling.
I understand the motivation of the article; it's supposed to convey a "you're not alone" message as well as to encourage husbands to encourage their wives who are heavily burdened with the task of homeschooling and who feel like failures. I do know a lot of moms who feel inadequate. I know a lot of moms who question their decision on a daily basis.
But I also know moms who approach this journey with determination and confidence and who are homeschooling because they believe they can do a better job than the school system. One of the primary reasons we chose to homeschool was because we refused to settle for the mediocrity that was evident in our state's public education system. I'm certainly not going to settle for mediocrity in my home education.
Why are people even homeschooling if they don't have a modicum of confidence in their capabilities? Please don't get me wrong. I know we all have our ups and downs; we have days when we wonder why we're doing this. But at the end of 12 years, is it really acceptable to say, "Well, we made it but I don't think I did a good job!"?
Of course not.
I think the "I suck at homeschooling" mentality needs to be tossed into the trashcan. God gave us big brains and a desire for learning. Teaching one's children should be a time of continual learning and growth for the parent. However our yardsticks measure success—academic, character, spiritual, athletic, or some combination—we need to have the confidence that we are doing a good job.