I must admit that I have become a bit of a copycat mom lately. Inspired by the incredible homeschooling moms in our local homeschool groups, I have been incorporating new ideas, new routines, and new challenges into our day. For example, many of my friends don’t even own a television set—and somehow manage to quite nicely survive the day—so I decided several weeks ago to virtually eliminate routine TV watching in our home. The kids never watched much tv, but I have found that this new change has really helped us to maximize our days and create the type of home learning environment we desire. My homeschooling friends have also inspired me in other ways recently, including: helping me to integrate more Waldorf homeschooling components into our day (such as lots of outdoor nature time, unstructured play, and baking); motivating me to introduce new musical and artistic activities into our day; and stirring in me a personal desire to learn how to knit!

I think there is a tendency among moms especially to sometimes compare ourselves to each other. While I think it can be easy to fall into the trap of focusing on what we are not doing that other moms are doing, I have found it to be amazingly enlightening to learn about how my homeschooling friends approach their day and structure their learning. It has created new opportunities and new goals for me and has helped me to clarify the type of learning environment I want for my kids. It also reinforces a truth about homeschooling in particular and parenting in general: we don’t need to have all of the answers; we just need to have a willingness to learn, to experiment, to continuously improve, and to gain insights from others along the way.