I have heard homeschool parents on frazzled days talk about driving by the public schools and threatening to ship kids off.
I understand. Believe me! (I have done the same!)
I realized something at one point in our homeschooling career. I believe it was a message from God: Be committed and don't live my homeschool days thinking in reverse.
When our husbands are being butt-heads and won't take the garbage out like we asked or pick up milk on the way home from work, do we drive them by a 'singles only' apartment building or threaten to ship them off? Ok, maybe sometimes we are tempted... but what would that tell our husbands?
Like I said, I have been there, know that I preach to myself here. But the message I got, the truth I realized, is when I do that, I tell my family that their behavior determines my commitment to them. I create insecurity and a 'must please mom' attitude which can backfire at the worst times.
Like a car with no reverse (which, by the way, I have one) we can't go back. In order to do so, you must get out and push... how much work is that? With no reverse, the only time you look back is to check the review mirror and make sure all is calm behind you. To be certain no emergency vehicles need to pass (or pull you over! Oh, did I say that out loud?) and that no one is about to wreck into you.
No reverse, means only forward.
Sometimes we can roll back. Usually not deliberately. Though sometimes we roll back because we need to get into a good place (like a parking spot). But we can't 'drive backwards' when we have no reverse. We can't go far in the opposite direction with no reverse.
We shouldn't go far in the opposite direction in homeschool either. We may need to roll back a bit, recheck skills and behaviors, but we shouldn't be driving in reverse, only getting into a good place.
Whoever looks at homeschoolers as slackers and people seeking an easy life, never homeschooled for more than a day. The first two years we spent homeschooling I did try to click the shifter in reverse. I did threaten my kids with public school. I did wonder if someone else could do it better.
But I learned.
I saw where my kids needed to know I was a confident driver, committed to driving forward with them. They needed to know that when we had fender benders I wasn't going to bale and give up, but instead that I had insurance and I was going to keep moving forward. They needed to know that my faith in God covered my faith in them to do better each day, even when we had a bad day, God is our gas... or shift in the right direction, our strength to keep our eyes on the road ahead.
Walt has a quote that we kept on our classroom wall until the move. It is our family's favorite:
"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we're curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." Walt Disney (Meet the Robinsons)
Be curious... about what your children can become when they have faith in your ability to drive forward, without reverse, because you believe God is in control of your homeschool and there is no going back!
Blessings for a homeschool without reverse!