One balmy spring day in 1984, my husband and I found ourselves in an auditorium at Wheaton College listening to Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore talk about this radical idea called homeschooling.
We weren’t homeschoolers yet; in fact, our only child was just six months old. But being surrounded by all these others in the audience who weren’t sending their kids to school gave us hope that this wasn’t such a crazy idea and that we might someday be homeschoolers ourselves.
As it turned out, we had four children and never sent any to school (until two of them went to college). One constant throughout our child-rearing years was the encouragement we got from being around other homeschooling families.
After the Internet took over the world and blogging became a way for people to share their lives and interests, the Cate family decided to help fellow homeschoolers share their lives with each other, and they started the Carnival of Homeschooling.
Since then, there’s been a weekly collection of homeschool-related blog posts from a variety of bloggers for our information and pleasure. We homeschoolers certainly owe a debt of gratitude to the Cates.
Of course, as with all good things, there is a potential negative to surfing the blogs of homeschoolers you’ll find in the Carnival of Homeschooling. Take care not to compare yourself, your family or your activities with those you read about. There’s nothing wrong with picking up a new idea here and there, but when you start making comparisons with others, you risk disillusionment and burnout. And ultimately, doing so is a waste of time, because homeschooling is a very individual journey. Each family is unique; every single combination of teaching parent and homeschooled child is unique, too.
So it won’t do to make comparisons. Instead, just enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow homeschoolers as we did that day so many years ago when we heard the Moores speak. It will remind you that you’re not alone.
(Do check out the Carnival of Homeschooling archives. Though some of the blogs no longer exist, there’s still a wealth of information there.)