c. 1300, “to call, call out; to ask or demand by virtue of right or authority,” from accented stem of Old French clamer “to call, name, describe; claim; complain; declare,” from Latin clamare “to cry out, shout, proclaim,” from PIE root *kele- (2) “to shout.”
claim (n.) a statement that something is true or is a fact, although other people might not believe it:
I am so uncomfortable with claiming when it comes to myself. Claiming in the sense of declaring, calling out, and asking or demanding “by virtue of right or authority” is easy when it’s about someone else.
But making a claim about myself is so nerve-wracking because it’s seems so definitive. What if what I believe to be true is actually false?
For verification, I turn to my circle of safety.
Am I really this? Do I have right to call myself this and see myself as this?
I have a friend in my circle named Minkie English. Minkie is an intelligent, direct, honest, and powerful woman whom I met in Colombia during a women’s gathering. We instantly clicked and kept in touch. She is in New York and I am in Costa Rica. One day I slowly shared my project and my vision. We spoke for hours about what I was doing, what I loved, and what I believed about education.
Although she was 3000km away, mas o menos, I could feel her excitement and her trademark, “Girrrrl!” I was and still am so reserved about it all because it’s all so new, terrifying, nauseating, and incredible. What arrived in my inbox shortly after our conversation set us both on a path that we have been walking together this past year.
She started to send me academic chapter proposal requests.
I was confused. I promptly looked over my shoulder and asked, “Wait. Me?” And the ugly word, like that zit that never heals because you can’t stop picking it, reared its ugly pus-infested head. You are just a mom who homeschooled.
And then that next question that I have gotten asked since we began our homeschool journey, a question that I never really pay attention to, until now, surfaced:
Are you even qualified?
Because of Minkie and her vote of confidence, I decided to take a page from my own playbook as a parent. Being at home with your kids all day, every day for over a decade, you learn that you HAVE to practice what you preach otherwise don’t bother saying it. I had to reinvent my story including my view of the word “just.”
Just do it.
(Those three words are pretty catchy.)
I had at least seven people in my life that wouldn’t care if I failed. Minkie, Chris, and my five kids would hold a very special accountability container for me this year as I navigated this new world. It’s been a vulnerable time for me putting myself out there in my writing and in my project.
I am particularly grateful for my dear friend and collaborator, Minkie, who believes in my vision and helped me clarify it along the way using her experience, her insight and asking me tough questions.
Fast forward one year of data analysis and collection, anecdotal observations, research, and lots of writing and coffee. My chapter (Chapter 4: Slow Education – A Homeschooler’s Perspective) in Global Perspectives on Home Education in the 21st Century, an edited collection of pieces, has just been published. Another chapter, one that Minkie and I co-wrote together, is about to be published. A paper we also developed together was selected for the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Annual Conference in 2021 at which we will be presenting.
In one year, I became an education researcher, a published writer, a director of a learning center, and a full-time guide to twenty teenagers.
Am I qualified?
I am ready to make the claim: YES I AM.
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