I always enjoyed the stories we read to the kids about the Pilgrim's journey into the New World. They had the courage to face the unknown, armed only with a belief that life could be better outside the oppression in the Old World. I view the earliest homeschooling moms in the same way. There were no promises made to them. They faced hardships daily. They had few, if any, external resources to draw upon. They set out with the conviction that, no matter what came their way, their kids would be better off at home than in a traditional classroom setting. For all the Pilgrim homeschooling moms out there - the ones whose kids are grown and may be raising their own children - my hat's off to you on this Mother's Day. Well done!!
But what about the Pioneer homeschool moms? You know, the ones who grew up in a New World established by the Pilgrims who also answered the call and decided to chart a new path. These are the homeschool moms of today. Sure, Pioneer homeschool moms don't often face the same terrors as the Pilgrims (kids removed from their homes, fines and even jail,) but the Pioneers face their own challenges. Along the "Oregon Trail" are many threats, such as disapproving parents and hostile neighbors. There are also dangers aplenty, like scuttled college plans and worldly distractions. Through it all, our Pioneer homeschool moms preservere in pushing toward the dream. Unlike the Pilgrim moms, Pioneer moms can find outposts along the way - for example, homeschool conferences, on-line resources, friendly homeschool consultants - however, they are still in largely uncharted territory.
So once again: Congratulations, Pioneer moms! You have earned a day to reflect on the journey and give thanks to those who went before you. Your children will bless you and your husband will cherish you for what you have sacrificed along this dusty trail.