Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another Homeschooler's Blog?

Why I'm Jumping Into the Fray.....

  I have been a homeschooling parent for a total of three years now.  I homeschool my soon-to-be 11 year old daughter who we fondly call Punky.  She is in the 5th grade.  Our reasons for homeschooling are similar to many families, yet, as with all families, varied and personal.  Our journey over the last three years has been mostly filled with 'misses', yet we move forward because we still believe it is the right choice for us.  Over the course of these three years, I have scoured through books and the internet looking for help, answers, resources, and anything else that even pertained to homeschooling.  I found A LOT.  Too much really.  So much in fact, that I was reminded of a story the AVC teacher relayed to my class in my Senior year of high school.  And yes, I am old enough that they were still teaching Americanism vs. Communism when I was in high school.  It was the story of a Russian woman who had immigrated (fled) to the U.S.A.  She was standing in the grocery store trying to choose a toothpaste and after looking upon all the options, she broke down in tears.  She said that in her country there were only two choices and having so many choices was just too overwhelming.  I was a bit like that Russian woman.

I know that it is AWESOME how far homeschooling has come (thanks to all the pioneers)! There are now more options than there are days in a homeschooling year for how to homeschool, what resources to use, and other opportunities for our children to partake.  That doesn't make it any less overwhelming though.  Adding to my 'dilemma' was the fact that I just don't 'fit' into a slot.  I didn't want to do school at home, but unschooling seemed too scary.  I didn't want to use boxed curriculum, but I needed guidance and didn't want to have to write my own curriculum.  We are not an 'organized religion' type of family (a sore point to some - as I reside in the Deep South) and I want secular materials.  I wanted to be 'relaxed' but my anal retentive side wouldn't allow for that to happen with any real comfort.  Furthermore, I'm not 'that' mom.  I don't bake.  Heck, I hardly enjoy cooking.  I don't sew, quilt, knit, needlepoint, or anything of the kind.  I suck at crafts.  I am not 'arty'.  I don't live on a farm or in the woods, nor am I raising my own chickens or any other livestock for that matter.  I'm not technologically savvy (it's a miracle I was able to figure out how to start this blog) and I don't love science.  I could go on, and I probably will in future blogs, but I think you get the idea.

All the resources I found, all the creative ideas I gleaned from some awesome homeschooling mom's websites, all the inspiring stories - yeah, well....none of it was me.  It didn't work FOR ME and I've learned that what doesn't work for me, isn't good for my daughter and our homeschooling experience because I'm too freaked out and stressed trying to do things that do not come naturally to me, to enjoy the journey and then she is miserable too.

It was in the last six months that I began to seriously question what 'type' of homeschooler I am.  The only most accurate answer I kept coming back to was 'inappropriate'.  I couldn't check mark any box.  Not entirely.  I seemed 'inappropriate'.  Add to that my very adult, inappropriate sense of humor, view points, and opinionated commentary on life and there I was back to 'inappropriate'.  Where were the homeschooling moms like me?  Why couldn't I find reflections of our homeschooling days on blogs?  I don't have an exceptionally intelligent daughter.  She's no Sheldon Cooper, that's for sure.  Yet, she has no disabilities either (well  not ones that can be labeled on a government form) so she doesn't put us in that box.  She does well at some subjects, and struggles with others (MATH).  She has strengths and weaknesses, but she's not Harvard bound at almost 11.  She's not milking cows, feeding chickens, and learning science on the farm (though she'd love to try).  She's not baking or cooking to learn math.  She's not learning to write Code to make her own computer game nor is she inventing a new life-saving medical device.  She doesn't have an idea for her own business yet and she only has a passion for one thing, really - acting.  (Which we pursue trust me, least you think I'm not providing her with any activities or creative outlets).  Those children's achievements and activities are terrific and a part of me envies those moms for what they provide for their children.  But it's not us.  It's not me and it's not Punky either.  She would rather sit around watching 'Dick Van Dyke' reruns, musicals, and 'Doctor Who' all day than do anything else - other than attending acting classes or rehearsals for the community theater she does.

Since I couldn't really find 'me' in the homeschool blogs, I decided to join the bloggers and ramble on about our journey here.  First, so that there would a diary, of sorts, for us to look back on one day or our journey, second, so I have a creative outlet of my own, and third, in case anyone else out there is an 'inappropriate homeschooler' too.  I won't be posting resources I created myself (but I love those moms who are kind enough to do so), pictures of the cool projects we finished (ours usually turn out wrong somehow), or anything else that you'd more than likely find on all those fantastic homeschooling mom's blogs.  Nope.  All you'll find here, for the most part, are my occasional rants and my ramblings, which some say I do very well.  I'll ramble on about homeschooling, raising a daughter, being a military wife, and any other nonsense that strikes my fancy.  And if you join me, I hope you'll be entertained along the way.  The only thing I can guarantee is that in one form or fashion, I will be inappropriate.

~Mari B.


  1. Love it! Yep, you ramble quite well. :)

  2. Trust me when I say "You are not alone!" I would fit most of that bill, as well..:)

  3. You are definitely not alone. I guess I qualify as an inappropriate homeschooler since I am not conservative or even radically liberal, we don't unschool or "school at home", no special skills going on here, definitely no farm animals thank you very much and basically we are pretty mainstream in our choices for books, tv, movies, video games, and the like. We're lazy, I don't come up with my own ideas, and we stay up entirely too late. We aren't even really full homeschoolers it seems like since my daughter attends six enrichment classes per week. And what little time we have left at home, we try to squeeze in the basics. We're often time not mainstream enough for the mainstream public school kids and moms, but not homeschooly enough for that crowd either. It's pretty impossible to find others like us where we live and I've given up so it's refreshing to at least know there are others "like us" out there somewhere!

  4. When people ask me if I'm going to become a famous blogger (I have like 6 followers, ha!) I say I just don't have that thing that makes me stand out. I'm not an artist or super funny or anything. I'm just me. So I write about my average life and sometimes I post things that may be helpful, like which bottle my breastfed baby would finally take! You're not alone in the world of "average" bloggers ;)


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