Turning Down the Noise

Can you hear it?
Thousands of opinions calling out for attention.
Should you listen?
Do you tune in?

Everyone has a right to their opinion.
After all, I would be remiss if I didn't advocate for our First Amendment, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

Yet, I have the right to decide if I will listen, agree, or abide by the opinion.

You may speak all you like, but I have the right to disagree, and possibly even ignore your opinion.

Such is the case in all of life.

Why, then, can it be so hard for homeschoolers?

During the first years of our homeschool, I felt adrift. The decision to homeschool was not an easy one for our family. We were the only homeschoolers in our family, circle of friends, church, and community. Talk about feeling isolated!

By homeschooling, we felt we chose to take the least known path. How to walk that path was difficult to discern. I listened and tried almost every piece of advice I could find. {The internet was not bursting at the seams with homeschool blogs or websites at the time. I shudder to think what that would have been like for me if it had been!}

Almost a decade later, we feel completely at ease in our decision to homeschool. We are no longer alone. There are numerous friends and church members who homeschool.

Along the way, we have become comfortable with our own homeschooling style {somewhat eclectic, leaning toward classical} and our own way of homeschooling {similar to one room school house method}.

Each year, though, I am faced with a plethora of options concerning homeschooling. Should we change direction? Use XYZ curriculum? Add a supplement? These thoughts are a worthy part of our annual, or semi-annual, evaluation.

When you add to these valid assessments, the well meaning, but unsolicited, advice of others, then the decisions can become almost unbearable. Granted most people are simply trying to be helpful, by sharing what works for them or their children. {Something I do on this blog.} For the most part, I think these suggestions, testimonies, or real life examples are helpful, if received appropriately.

The damage comes to the listener {or reader}, when they start comparing/contrasting their own family's academic achievements, life-style, extra-curricular activities, or general homeschool to another family's.

Each family is different. Do not try to emulate another family's homeschool. Choose to walk your own path, taking what works for your family and implementing it.

If the noise of opinions, even in homeschooling support circles, are creating a whirl pool around you, which threatens to wash over you, then choose to turn down the noise. Close the book, click to another site, or change the conversation. You have the right.

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