(If you haven’t already read the previous post entitled "Oh, Really?",
please read it HERE.
It will help this post make a lot more sense!)
The Rest of the Story
Last week, in my entry "Oh, Really", I shared a story about a conversation I had with a retired educator and how that one conversation changed me. As a new blogger, I was amazed at the response I received from that one blog entry. (I honestly had NO idea there were so many people out there that read blogs!!)
By far, the most significant response I received was from my own daughter. After reading my blog, she shared something with me that I NEVER expected to hear. I knew that the comments and questions of the skeptics often offended me….I just never knew they had also affected my children.
During her years as a homeschooled student (she’s in college now), my daughter struggled with insecurity. She was always a good student, but often doubted her abilities. Her insecurity spilled over into other areas of her life and has at times been rather difficult to overcome. Well, the other day, after reading my blog, she confided in me that she believes a certain degree of her struggle with insecurity was caused by–certainly exacerbated by–the negative attitudes and insensitive comments made by "well-meaning" friends and family members over the years.
I lay part of the blame at my own feet for allowing my children to be exposed to the skepticism of these misguided and misinformed people. I guess I just never realized it could effect them that way. I somehow thought that the confidence my husband and I had in the homeschooling process would supercede all other opinions and that our children would grow up with the same level of confidence in the education they were receiving as we had.
For my daughter, just the opposite seemed to occur. While we had the utmost confidence in our ability to provide a first-rate education for our children, our little girl was wondering if perhaps those people weren’t just a little bit right! What if all those stereotypes about homeschoolers really were true? Those seeds of doubt created the impression that she was always being scrutinized. The result was the fear that she was, both academically and socially, exactly what the critics expected her to be.
While those doubts threatened to take root, Janna is beginning to see things differently now. She attributes much of her academic success to her homeschool upbringing. Her maturing faith in Christ has resulted in a level of confidence that was missing in her younger years. In fact, recently she expressed it this way,
"When it comes to making choices in my life,
it’s the opinions of those who know me best…
God, Dad, Mom and me
…that I care about most.
What everyone else thinks really doesn’t matter."
(This post was co-authored by my daughter, Janna.)