"WE are the examples that are inspiring others to jump into it(homeschooling). Look out ladies! Someone is watching you and dreaming of living your life!" -one of the ladies on ora et labora
I feel constantly aware when I am out in public that our family might be the only impression of homeschooling people receive. I worry too much that I look like a put-together, educated mother who has all my little charges under control. I try to have the children clean, well-dressed, and behavied so there are no accusations that I am not doing a fine job. Maybe I am since I haven't had any comments since the crazy lady started screaming at me in the commissary a few months back. So I can relate to the idea that others are watching me and judging homeschooling as a whole by my family's example.
However, the idea that someone is dreaming of living my life gives me the giggles. I instantly think, do they want to be woken for 3am feedings, to wipe runny noses every 10 min, to break up arguments, explain what a direct object is for the 9th time, yell "don't whack your sister," and pick up the living room all day-every day?
Maybe not, but without the sacrifices there are no perks and the perks are really wonderful. (a parallel with the Christian life) Last night the older children were sitting on the sofa with me while I was reading The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgeson Burnett. I was sharing one of my favorite stories with two of my favorite people, trying to replicate the Yorkshire speech prevalent in the book (not well, I might add). I read aloud while thinking, "I am so content and happy with my life. Thank you dear God for giving me this gift of children."
If someone was able to see this lovely moment they might indeed dream of living my life. Since many of the perks of homeschooling in a large family are private moments, they are hard to ever see. This is one of the reasons for this blog- to share some of the struggles and highlights and allow someone to believe they could do it (homeschool) too.