Remember that John Mayor song, “Why Georgia, Why?” Yeah, I’ve been getting that question a lot lately with our decision to homeschool. Which actually I find strange considering the crazy mess our world is in with this pandemic. But alas the homeschooling stigma is still very much alive. Possibly there will be a shift in perspective due to many having to sacrifice and make tough decisions for their children this next year.
For me though, I’ve always known I wanted to do this. We had made our decision prior to Covid. I was raised by teachers (specifically a Doctorate of Philosophy and Doctorate of Special Ed.) who both worked in the public and private sectors of the education system. So, the values and importance of education were instilled in me from the beginning. And over the years it’s shaped my understanding and interpretation of what constitutes “quality education.”
To be frank, I’m not thrilled with the private and public options. Don’t get me wrong, both options offer rich opportunities in differing ways. But it comes down to my instinct as a mother that neither option is the best right now. And just like we trust every new mother to take home their baby from the hospital to care for their emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being, we need to put more trust in a parents ability to educate their children— especially when they choose to homeschool. I believe parents and guardians know their children better than anyone else.
An example that comes to mind is when McKinley attended an all girls private school. She was recommended for occupational therapy (for multiple reasons)— and when Jordan and I evaluated the situation— we decided we knew OT wasn’t the right decision for her. We had a better solution to what society labeled as the “problem.” And sure enough I’ll never forget the day her beloved teacher pulled me aside and said, “Wow, you really know you’re child.”
It shook me to the core. But probably because it was what I needed to hear most at that time. It should have been my own voice telling myself that statement, but instead that voice inside had been squashed overtime by societal standards, and other competing and pressuring mothers out there.
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” E.E. Cummings
Nowadays, I’ve never been more confident and sure of myself and my decisions. (Except when it comes to what we’re going to have for dinner—I love food to damn much haha!) Like being a mother, I knew a long time ago Homeschooling was something I wanted to do. Jordan and I discussed it time and time again, because It was a calling in my heart that just wouldn’t go away.
What truly finalized the decision was news about my late father. I wanted nothing more than to talk to him about this big decision and found myself grabbing my phone to call him. My mother told me he wrote his doctorate dissertation on homeschooling families in Ohio in the 90’s. I was cracked open, and goosebumps flooded by body. Here I was wanting nothing more than to speak with him about homeschooling the girls, and his dissertation lands in my lap on the very topic at hand???!!! It was fate. I’m sharing my ‘why’ today on the 7 year anniversary of his death to honor his life that was largely dedicated to educating the youth.
Ultimately, we want our girls to be running barefoot wild and free enjoying their childhood. We want them to feed their wonder, creativity, and curiosity, while cultivating compassion. We want them to pursue their own interests and be participants in their education, so they can become active citizens. We want them to explore new ideas and concepts without rigid boundaries and strict rules. And selfishly, I want to be there alongside their journey savoring this precious time together. Their Childhood.
I hope this answers the “Why Georgia?” question. I’m sending love, light, and mad respect to each and every parent out there making tough decisions daily trying to raise their children as best they can under the circumstances.