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“I hear you! Homeschooling my daughters was my choice on my own time!”

Looking back at when I made the decision to homeschool my daughters, what now seems like a lifetime ago, it was not a decision that came easily to me at the slightest.

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Aurthor

Karen Matamoros

Karen Matamoros is an alternative education coach and founder of Project: KAring, who decided to homeschool her daughters after a couple of years in the system, taking them on a journey through deschooling, unschooling and, the last few years, road/worldschooling as they travel full time. Click here to get her free 10 tips for flow in home education.

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“Is there ever enough time?”

This would be the phrase that would linger in my mind every moment of every day, as I felt the enormous weight of the relentless workload ahead of me. Running a depleting business, a crumbling household and catering to my children’s whole being seemed like a black hole never satisfied with the timed it sucked in. I always needed more.

I yearned for moments of freedom bursting with the luxury of choice.

Time was a commodity that had to be purchased with money, a creation of the system that gave me very little choice on joining the work force as a means for survival, to avoid homelessness and starvation.

The term financial freedom was a glimmer of hope. I had gone from self-employed to an entrepreneur in hopes of finding the coveted pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that would allow me to work less or at least dictate my own hours, to simply spend time with my daughters or just live life a little.

This seemed like a plausible possibility as a means for freedom until I was hit with the realization that my schooled children had been sucked into a very similar situation.

They didn’t get a choice to opt for freedom from their heavily regulated daily lives, reliant on the school’s tight schedules. They were often inundated by busy work that kept their young minds away from the natural development of exploration of the world around them or their own inner presence and feelings. Socialization was based on social order instead of an organic yearning for friendship. And their afternoons were filled with more busy work at home that they struggled to complete distracted by the craving of a moment to decompress, to just be, or to get a choice on what activity to do.

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(Pictures 5 years ago, first day of homeschool)
 
 
      I remember so clearly the moment I decided to pull my kids out of school. Our family was in upheaval, my ex-husband had finally moved out, we were in the process of pealing every aspect of our lives apart that had been intertwined for 10 years. The pain our little family was in was so deep and confusing, that it would spill over into their school day and would have to be handled by their all-encompassing and big hearted teachers.
 
     Our life was rubbles and every assigned task, every must, every item on the agenda that had to be done, was killing us just a bit each day. It was too much doing with no time to digest the circumstances the universe had handed us.
 
     Up to this point, the thought of homeschooling had been on my mind for two years. But the fear of being responsible for my children’s education had been a bigger monster than I could handle. A monster that was not only charged with my own personal insecurities of “Am I enough for my kids?” but those of every single family member or acquaintance that had an opinion on our life.
 
But this was different.
 
This was new.
 
It was based on emotions.

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Is it possible to be free and part of society?

I guess it depends how you define freedom.

Watching my daughters grow has been the most enlightening process I have experienced in my adult life. I’ll never forget looking into my daughter’s eyes, as she tried to understand the world she was seeing for the first time. After a few months, that look was usually followed by giggles and then laughs. Her discoveries were joyful. Not based on any ideology as they hadn’t yet adapted any. But just pure love radiating through her being. As she grew into a toddler, tears started to come from being restricted to explore freely and not being able to pursue the avenues that her curiosity took her through. That was the moment I started taking her freedom away.

Her freedom, or what she was allowed to do, was based on what I, as the parent, deemed acceptable.

I scrutinized every action my child took and corrected it. I mean it was my job as a good parent to keep her safe and teach her how to properly behave. Right? Every correction was based on what I deemed necessary for what I perceived as her safety or for my own comfort. It was my decision to make for her.

But was this a distorted ideology?

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