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  • Sunny McCalister

Finding peace and community: how life's challenges led me to homeschool with a PSP

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Over the years I have been less and less involved in the community, be it online or in real life. This was not planned, however out of health reasons it became a need, and then lack of time also became a large factor.

I became a homeschooling Mom out of necessity. At the time, I was not only caring for my two children (one who was school-aged and one under five) but also for my Mom, who was terminally ill.

The main issue we faced that led me to homeschool, was getting the kids to school on time. There were three adults in our household at the time (including myself), and none of us shared the same sleeping schedule. This caused such a real problem for my children; they simply could not get a proper amount of sleep and still get to school on time.

Frequently, we were late to school. This not only was a disruption to the flow of the class already in session, but it was also embarrassing for my child and myself. I felt inadequate. I felt ashamed that I couldn’t make our situation successful.

Once we began homeschooling, life began to improve in several areas. The benefits that we saw from homeschooling were:

- The ability to start, stop and restart schooling in between other tasks that needed handling (such as the care of my Mom)

- The ability to choose our own curriculum-finding the right tools that met each of my children's needs while stimulating their interests and love of learning.

- The ability to provide extra attention/practice on certain concepts and subjects as needed

- Getting sick less often with the common cold and flu, and anything else that floated around our local public schools

Did homeschooling solve all our problems? No. This is because life has an interesting way of consistently providing new challenges. But for us, homeschooling gave us a chance to preserve the joie de vivre so that we could tackle any challenge that we are presented with. I believe homeschooling has given us more exuberance for life in general.

While I do not believe homeschooling to be the right choice for every family, I believe every family should know that they do have options beyond traditional school settings, should they wish to pursue them. I also want our homeschooling families to know that there is support within their community. And often, there is support that extends across the nation and beyond.

I want families to know that it's okay if homeschooling for them doesn’t look like school at all or if it doesn't look for them like it may for another family. Comparing ourselves to others is only good if it helps us improve by following the examples of others. A homeschool community that shares and supports its members can do that.

We all have unique life situations complete with the struggles and challenges that we face each day. Homeschooling allows us to adapt our children's learning to fit within those confines. Just because our days of homeschooling may not look like someone else's day.... that does not mean we are in any way failing to do well for our child(ren). In fact, we are all learning and striving to do our best for our children each and every day, surrounded by our homeschool communities.

As I continue to learn about the importance of community, I have discovered there are several resources for locating local homeschooling communities/groups/co-ops.

Here are some helpful links:

And don't forget to check out your own Facebook page and add homeschool groups in your area. A Facebook search for "homeschool groups near me" can open up a wealth of support and contacts with other families, who just like you, are homeschooling, in their own way.

Sunny McCalister is a veteran homeschool mom of two - one in high school and one in elementary school.

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