Sunday, November 23, 2014

Homeschooling and Finding a Community for Support

November is a terribly busy month for me. We celebrated my second son's birthday this month and I'm almost ready to pop (39 weeks and counting)! I've been trying to finish as many pending tasks and projects both in our homeschool and at home. But November is also a special month because of these two communities/groups that I am a part of. I'm writing this post to express my gratitude to God for leading me to these communities/groups and for the wonderful people I have 'met' in these groups.

The first homeschool support group I became a part of was ROCKERS. I learned about this group through Teacher Mama Tina. ROCKERS stand for Roman Catholics Keeping Education Real. It's composed of Catholic parents who are currently homeschooling their kids, who previously homeschooled their kids or are still discerning about homeschooling. We recently had our All Saints' Day gathering/party and I am very thankful to God for the blessing that this community is to me and my family.

Our little saints during the ROCKERS All Saints' Day Party.

The second homeschool support group that I'm a part of is the Gifted HomeschoolersForum (GHF). GHF is composed of families/parents who are raising and homeschooling gifted kids, twice exceptional kids and/or are gifted themselves. GHF is celebrating its 10th year anniversary of being of service to families of gifted children worldwide this year. 

Click here to read the blog posts of the other bloggers in this group. 

Both are online communities or groups but I find these groups very helpful. 

What I love about the members of these two communities/groups are their PASSION and DEDICATION.

I am inspired and encouraged by the stories that my fellow parents from ROCKERS share on how they live out their Catholic faith through their homeschool journey with their kids. I am very grateful to God for leading me to this community of believers who choose to make the teaching of their Catholic faith an essential part of their children's education. Like most of them, I believe that our faith should be the bedrock or foundation of my kids' education for the love and fear of the Lord is the source of all wisdom. I want my children to learn even at an early age to always turn to God first and to the Catholic Church for guidance in their decision-making. This is one of my main reasons for homeschooling my kids because I have learned through the years that there are times in our lives when we make decisions that are not considered rational or wise by worldly standards. There are many decisions that we make based on faith and if we are to live radical lives for God, a lot of times, God would give us opportunities to walk by faith and not by sight. That's what I love about being a Catholic homeschooler and being part of ROCKERS. The passion and dedication of the parents in this group to raise little saints for God and to pass on their Catholic faith to their children is contagious. The fire of their devotion to pass on this legacy of faith to their children inspires me and affirms me that I'm on the right path. 

I am also inspired and encouraged by the stories that my fellow parents from GHF share or blog about. I learn a lot from them about giftedness and how to accept, embrace and advocate for the special needs of gifted children. I love the courage that many of these parents show by their words and by the way they choose to live their lives. I once heard someone say that only a pilot would really know/understand what it means to be up in the air. I think this metaphor applies to families with at least one gifted kid in it. Only parents who are caring, raising, homeschooling gifted kids would really understand the unique and special needs, challenges and joys of other parents who have gifted children. I remember when my eldest son was still a little over two years old... it must be my mother's instinct or intuition that moved me to search for answers and expert advice when I started to notice that my son is not typical. It must have been this same intuition that made me consider the possibility that my child is developing way too fast for his biological age. Thank God that I had the courage to act on that intuition! The developmental pediatrician's assessment affirmed my hunch that my child is in the gifted spectrum. When I somehow panicked because my two year old was already learning and mastering preschool and kinder materials, some parents told me to take it easy and slowly. Believe me, that's what I wanted to do! But, what does a parent do when it is the child pushing you to move at a faster pace? That's why I'm grateful my husband and I discovered homeschooling! We can provide our eldest son with materials and lessons that he is ready for and eager to devour at his own pace. We need not limit him based on his biological age. I'm glad I found other parents who understood my concerns and my quest for seeking answers on how to feed my eldest son's curiosity and intensity. I'm delighted to discover that I am not alone in my concerns for my gifted child. That I'm not alone in my challenges of understanding giftedness and how as a family we can make this work.

Choosing to homeschool your children makes you part of the minority. Homeschooling a gifted child makes you part of an even smaller group of people! Thus, I consider it a big blessing to have found these communities and to be getting support from the people who make up this group. 

Are you homeschooling your child, too? Have you found the community or group that supports your decision and lifestyle? I hope so. If not, I invite to join any of these communities/groups that I am a part of. 

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