I have fretted over our decision to homeschool for months, now. A better description might be to say that I have been trying to make the best decision for us. Since our move, I have worried that I just can’t homeschool. Between adjusting to our new life (location, no friends, super-strange weather patterns, etc) and The Man’s new work schedule, I just didn’t have the mental capacity to keep the kids home and stay sane. Little Man runs around like a mad man, and we would much rather be playing Legos, coloring and reading books than listening to me. And, Little Girl has far too much angst in her 3-year-old life to focus on school. She is only calmed by books and cuddling.
After the first two weeks of The Man being on his new schedule (gone 5 days, off 3, work 1, repeat), I just wasn’t sure I would be able to handle kids ALL THE TIME. They scream, fight, NEED, eat, play, are loud and plain ol’ torture each other for 16 hours a day, at least 6 days a week. Right?! Right. My house wasn’t unpacked. My books didn’t even have their own spot (and still don’t…and they just may never, here), how am I supposed to have a place for all the kids’ homeschool stuff? Paper, books, workbooks, manipulatives, DVDs, crayons, markers, more paper, crafts, on-and-on, etc., etc.
Well, as it turns out, I just needed a refresher. I don’t even know what it was. I have been genuinely praying for peace in a decision…whatever choice I should make…I just want peace in it. I didn’t care what the decision was…homeschool or conventional school, I just want to know what I should do!
We had picked out a private school to send the kidlettes to. We took a tour, talked with the the staff, and met with monkey’s teacher. We were visiting on Chapel day, so we got to see what that was all about. We went over curriculum, daily schedule and spoke about the importance of us, as parents, as decision makers and leaders of our children’s education and character influences. We had been mulling it over for months. Even after the tour to the school, I wasn’t at peace with the idea of sending our kids to school there. We took one major, personal issue with the school, and it held us up.
We have been bouncing between two different churches, and when we were speaking with a family we had met the first service we attended (and I also knew the mom from our base homeschool group), our private school choice came up. As it turns out, the church used to financially support the school, but stopped after the pastor was censored at a speaking engagement at the school. He was asked not to speak about salvation-specific issues. When he asked why, the administrator stated something to the effect of everyone at the school being “saved.” Um…what? Even at our last church, which was a bit like Cheers, in the “Where everybody knows your name”…and social security number…and work phone number, salvation wasn’t assumed. The short of it is that the idea that the school would do that did not sit well with us. After the feelings we already had, the news added to our idea that this was not the place for us.
After about a week, that feeling that I had been waiting for really started to sprout. Several weeks ago, though, it was almost as though that little sprout turned into a full-blown…asparagus?! Asparagus is the best thing I can come up with, right now. The way I see it, is that I am not going to come to this moment just once. In about 12-15 weeks, I will come to the feelings of anxiety, again. My asparagus will have been harvested, and I will wonder how I am going to make it through. But, as asparagus does, it will grow strong and delicious, and I will harvest it, again. From what I hear, it is a never ending cycle. I am so happy to have that peace I was looking for. I am grateful, hopeful and happy.
One of the biggest, most helpful moments I had came from a conversation I had with a veteran homeschooling mother. She is a super smarty pants, married to a super smarty pants. And, in all of my anxiety, she said to me, “We are required to do many things as mothers: make sure our children are fed and clothed. We have to give them baths and love them. We do not have to homeschool.” The requirement I had made for myself suddenly became a choice. For some reason, that helped so much.
Anyone working on a similar situation?