If someone asked me five months ago why I homeschool, I'd give them, what I'd consider, a valid, concrete answer.
Then, the crisis hit.
I mean THE crisis. Of 2015.
Well, that's assuming that there won't be some other type of crisis this year. I'm an optimist.
And so it begins...
A dear friend of mine told me about a Waldorf charter school in our area. I was immediately intrigued. I went right home and researched it.
You have to set an appointment for an orientation to find out more about the school before you can put them on the waiting list. I signed up for it and then started researching.
See, that's what I do. I research. It's kind of a hobby of mine.
Along the way, I thought, "if you're going to send them to the charter school why don't you just put them in public school while you wait?"
I mentioned this to my husband. It started a long, trying road, to figuring out just what I wanted to do with our kids.
I cried. I prayed. I struggled.
I wrestled, and I mean singlet, mat, sweat.
I was wracked with guilt. I just didn't know what to do. I wanted to do the right thing. Not just for the kids, but for me as well. I didn't know what that was.
I felt sick inside every time I thought about my children in public school. It felt wrong. Very wrong. And yet, something inside me was tempted by the prospect of free time.
I felt selfish. So so guilty and selfish.
I reached out to everyone I knew for help. I prayed and cried and researched some more.
VERY long story short, I came to my decision through multiple avenues.
Examining it all
I have struggled with my health for quite some time, and have recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto's (that's a whole other story). I work part-time as a transcriber for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I also want to expand and grow this blog and business. We want to have another baby, but I have HG when I'm pregnant, so it's hard on all of us. These were all major factors in our decision.
Things were looking up with my health, though. My energy was higher than I can remember it ever being. I think I've been tired since I was in high school.
I reached out to: family, friends, Facebook groups, moms with kids in public school, moms with kids homeschooled, etc. They all said a variety of things, all helpful, yet not what I was looking for.
I spent a lot of time in prayer. If I wasn't actively talking to someone, I was probably praying.
I wrote a ton of pros and cons. A ton of pros and cons. I love and hate pros and cons lists.
At the charter school orientation the presenter was showing developmental information on children. He said, the most influential person at this child's age was their teacher. The teacher could tell the kid that 3 + 1 = 5 and they'd believe them, no matter what their parents said.
Does that freak out anyone else?
As an ASL interpreter and transcriber, I have daily experience with classrooms and the information taught. Suffice to say, I'm not liking it.
The rest of the meeting he went over all the things they did, all these things seemed revolutionary to the rest of the parents in the meeting. They all had kids in public school. I was nodding along, thinking, duh, get on with it already.
I already knew this stuff, I was already doing this stuff. I believed it, we lived it.
I don't know why it took me so long to realize this. I just took what we did for granted. I didn't realize what a rich life we led.
I also spoke with a friend that had gone through a similar crisis the year before. We talked about her experiences on both sides, her regrets, things she wouldn't change, etc.
After more thinking, I came upon my answer, slowly, yet suddenly.
I knew the answer all along, l'd just forgotten. I had gotten in my own way. I was so caught up with this tempting idea of having some free time. Maybe some time to nap, to read, to potentially go out with other ladies, or to go to the store without 3 of the 5 kids.
Those things weren't important, in the scheme of things. I knew how to get my free time, my alone time, my time with friends all along. I wasn't going to go out with these ladies at lunch time anyway. I can nap and read if I want to, even while homeschooling.
I don't have a lot of time with these kids in my home. I don't have enough time. None of us really do. Even if we get the full 18 years. Is it ever enough? I say eternity isn't enough with our angels in our arms.
All that anguish, guilt, turmoil, stomachache, and heartache went away when I made my choice. Or, I should say, remembered my choice. I was filled with peace, confidence, and a surity that this was right for me and the children.
So now, when you ask me why I choose to homeschool I have an answer that reaches to my very core, my heart and my mind.
Want to know my reasons?
- Lots of time with my kids
- I can pick our curriculum
- Tailor their learning
- Use the method that resonates with us
- Time for a more rigorous scripture study
- Character improvement
- Help our family be close and strong
- Focus on the things I want them to learn
- Time to develop interests, hobbies, and talent
- Good environment
- Able to thrive in their education
We also have access to a charter school that has educational and social opportunities. We are joining a great co-op this next fall that will be a great opportunity for them to be involved with kids and other people, in addition to giving me a few hours of time with the youngsters and other things I need to do during that time.
This experience strengthened my resolve to homeschool and has helped me to grow and to really have set in stone what I want for our children. On top of that, I think it was a great thing to have this debate with myself so that I could find a better solution for our temperaments and our life situations.
The relief I feel is amazing. Even looking back I can't understand why it took me so long to figure it all out. Sheesh.
If you ever need someone to bounce ideas off of, or help sorting your thoughts, I'm here for you! For reals.
Why do you homeschool? Have you ever doubted your decision?