Everyday. Everywhere. There is this pressure to fit in. to be like those around you. To think the same. To do the same. To act like everyone. Talk acceptably. . .
But I don't fit in. I never have. Trying to fit; trying to be like others; trying to understand what is right for me and my family when the world pushes us to be like others is SO stressful.
Right now our kids do kindergarten at home. Which is acceptable here in LV. There is a program at a local kindergarten where they go once a week for a lesson and then are given homework. I also teach them an American Christian Program from Heart of Dakota.
But every week or (it seems even more often) I am asked why my kids don't go to kindergarten. Do they go or some other similar question. The pressure to attend, since that is what most do is so STRONG.
Then there is the question of school. Next year our oldest will be in first grade. Most people assume he will go to school. But since I was home-schooled and some know that they assume I will try to do it (since now it is possible here).
I like teaching my kids. I enjoy seeing their progress. But it IS stressful. I have too many hobbies. I sell my art online on Etsy. Balancing lessons, and art and running a household is VERY tedious, and chaotic.
I want my kids to be involved. But I also don't want them or me (our family) overwhelmed. They need time to be kids as well. Knowing the balance is an art. This year my oldest also started music school. He is learning violin, and has theory lessons. This is good, but another thing to fill our time.
I don't know what is best for our family concerning next year and homeschool vs. public school. There are moments where I think sending my oldest to school would be so easy, and he probably would like it. But is that what's best for him? Is he ready?Is his character established? I know that I would feel like I wasn't doing the right thing when I imagine sending him next year. I am praying hard to know what will be best for our boy. Each child is different and as parents we must take that and our circumstances into account.
I guess when I think of the prospect of keeping him home next year and doing home-school the thing that scares me the must is the pressure and comments of others. Homeschool is not accepted here. Until recently only sick kids were taught at home by teachers. I fear what people will say. I fear the pressure. I fear being different. I fear standing out.
When you live in another culture and perhaps even in our own we long to fit. But when you are in a different country you really don't want to stand out any more than necessary. But lately I have been realizing yet again it is OK TO BE DIFFERENT!
God has made each of us UNIQUE!
If I could just grasp that and if others would too then the world would be a whole lot friendlier.
Somehow yesterday I decided to watch about the Duggar family- they have 19 kids. I had never watched any of their episodes, I had only heard of them. And I have been so blessed, and encouraged by watching and reading about their family. They are godly, they are different, they are AMAZING! And as I reflected on how they raise their children and live their lives and are so very different and in such a GREAT way I was again reminded.
It IS ok to be different.
And it isn't just ok, it is GOOD to be different!