Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Series of Posts on Home Schooling

I thought it would be neat to blog about the part of my (our) life that contains home schooling. I have a lot of thoughts on this, but also wanted to create some picture heavy posts on what our home schooling day actually looks like, too.

For starters, a little background is needed. I was public schooled for elementary, junior, and senior high. Jason was public schooled for elementary, junior, and senior high. There are many positive things I could say about my public school experience, and also many negatives. But this is not meant to be an opinion post on different schooling choices, so I'll just leave it at that, so you will know where I'm coming from. I had a desire to home school starting as early as Dori's birth, but I really don't know why I thought about it or wanted to do it. Perhaps at its most basic, it was a desire to keep my children with me....maybe a purely selfish thing. I don't really know, and at this point, not certain it is all that important. However, it must be noted here that my husband has always been Pro whatever makes his wife happy, so that is how he comes into the picture.

I started out very eagerly when Dori was in Kinder and Micah 4 years old. I was one big ball o' stress. I had no real plan and a hodge podge of materials either given to me from other home schoolers or acquired as leftovers from friends who had children in public or private school. We had just moved to RI and I was not recognizing the very real stress that a big move puts on a family. I did not feel confident, and feared daily that my children would grow up to be unintelligent dolts who forever blamed me for their shortcomings!

In one particular stressed and frantic weekend, I decided on a whim that putting Dori in public kinder would solve all my problems. I just knew that putting her in school would take the burden off of me for her education and that my life would suddenly smooth out into perfect little homemaker bliss. I was certain of this. As I said above, Jason is in the camp of "make wife happy" so he was ok, too. In a matter of days, Dori was signed up and starting. We met her teacher, a wonderful dear who to this day we speak of occasionally with love and admiration. We bought snacks and a lunch box. I read the paperwork. Excitement abounded! And then a whole 'nother can of worms was opened.

Hurry, brush your teeth. Dori, you forgot your backpack. MICAH GET UP WE HAVE TO TAKE DORI TO SCHOOL. Mom I don't have my book that I was supposed to bring today. Tears. Hurry up, we're going to be late. I don't want to do this homework. WAHHHHHH. Mom, if you pay $97 they will give you all these pictures of me on keychains. I need to wear pink today, mom. MICAH GET UP WE HAVE TO TAKE DORI TO SCHOOL. Mom, Mrs. X says we need to bring in $5 today for lunch. And on and on it went until she was finally done in June!

It didn't end all my problems. Yes, it solved some, but created others. The whole experience was quite useful, though, because I learned that I truly did desire to home school Dori. I realized that I was doing okay, after all, and that I was on the right track--I just needed a clear plan. I realized that problems come with any schooling choice and parents have to decide which option works best for them. Thankfully, I'm able to home school my kids (at least for now) and until it is no longer is the right choice for us...we'll continue.

Home schooling can be a touchy subject for some people. I don't think it has to be, though. It's just a schooling choice. An option. I know there are those out there that believe God wants them to home school (I'm not gonna argue with you), or those that think that home schooling is wrong (you have a right to your opinion). Our personal view is to let families make their own choices and leave it at that. I'm not threatened in any way when I find out friends have their kids in public or private school--they have their reasons which are personal and real. I certainly hope I don't threaten anybody when they find out we home school.

More to come soon......

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