Writing a blog is scary. I questioned the idea over and over. Would people read it? Would they appreciate what I had to say? Would they like me? Fear pressed in from all sides until I wondered if there would even be a blog at all.
Isn’t that the way things go with most things we attempt in life? We have great ideas, great plans, and great confidence…until the first “what if” sneaks up on us. It zaps our energy and destroys our initiative.
For the past 25 years I’ve been heavily immersed in education – public school teacher, private tutor, homeschooling mom. Almost every big idea that has swirled around me during that time has been rooted in an element of fear. We worry more about covering the basics and making sure no child slips through the cracks than establishing true excellence in education. Does anybody in America really believe that our schools inspire children to achieve at high levels anymore?
I find that homeschool parents are often driven by this same fear of failure. This fear grates on us daily and rattles our foundations until our homeschooling looks just like traditional schooling – rudimentary and uninspired. We scoff at traditional schools and then turn around and use the same types of texts and curriculums, the same kinds of classroom activities, and the same systems of grading and evaluating. We know, instinctively, that much of this does not work or we wouldn’t have turned away from traditional schools in the first place. But we are immobilized to change because we ask ourselves, “Wonder if they’re right and I’m wrong?”
A few years ago I resolved to set fear aside when teaching my own children. I was tired of fear dictating my every move. I was tired of doing the same wrong things over and over again for the same wrong reasons. I was tired of ignoring everything I had ever been taught or had experienced for myself about how children learn.
So I changed the way I homeschooled my children. And a funny thing happened: My kids got smarter. My home got happier. And our homeschool took a big, gratifying turn for the better.
This blog is about educational journeys – yours and mine. I want to tell you about my mine and I want to hear about yours. I was once employed as a news reporter so I’m naturally inclined to be curious about what people do and why they do it. I want to hear great thoughts and good ideas and I want to write about them.
I will try to be both practical and provocative on this blog. I will try to share both small suggestions and big ideas. And, just to keep things fun and interesting, I will try to share a little bit of myself in the process. I’m looking forward to it.
Until next time…Stay fearless.