All that changed a few years ago when various circumstances led us to pull our oldest son out of the public school. That dream of future peace evaporated overnight.
Now here I sit, three and a half years later. My house is "well loved" and rooms are never clean for more than a few minutes at a time, and never all at the same time. My days are filled to the brim with doing things for others. I juggle laundry and dishes while cooking three meals a day for five people; educating my 1st, 2nd and 5th graders; trips to the library at least once a week; grocery shopping with kids in-tow (which typically takes at least three times longer than I could get it done alone); managing the family finances; taking the boys to enrichment classes two or more times a week...just to name a few. Add into that the typical parenting responsibilities such as frequent argument mediations, boo-boo bandaging, disciplining bad choices, rewarding good ones, etc. I am always answering questions. Everything I eat and drink is room temperature. A shower is not necessarily a daily activity. And anytime I steal a few minutes of "me time", I am inevitably interrupted.
Not quite what I was envisioning a few years back!
So why do I do it?
I am glad you asked! There are many reasons why we chose to pull our son out of the public school back then. And as the years have come and gone, the reasons to continue homeschooling are piling up.
I often hear the same questions (and I know the true sentiment behind them, as well):
Where do you get your curriculum and is it state accredited? (Are you actually teaching them what they need to learn? They are going to get a poor quality education.)
Do you have to have a degree to homeschool? (What makes you qualified to teach? There is no way you can provide as good of an education as a traditional school will.)
Do they participate in any activities outside your home? (What about socialization? Are you keeping them in a bubble? They are not going to be able to function in society.)
Then there are the loaded statements and blank stares I get from some. Statements are as full as:
Well, you are an amazing woman for homeschooling...I could never do that! (You are crazy!)
You are such an organized and patient person to do that. (You must be a saint!)
And sometimes as simple as:
Oh. (You are one of those...)
You quickly get used to the answering these same questions again and again. So, I will do so yet again for all of you.
On the curriculum:
|The only battle they should fight at 5!|
So, no, we are not keeping them in a bubble, away from all outside contact and influences. We are training them up according to what we believe...preparing them for the future that lies in front of them.
On being a super-woman:
Let's just get this one out of the way: I am NOT a super-woman, a saint, or even an unusually patient person. I am not incredibly organized. I'm not a morning person. I am not always pleasant and am most certainly never perfect. I have so many flaws and quirks, it's shocking!
I am a typical woman, plain and simple.
My kids frustrate me on a regular basis. (I frustrate myself often, for that matter!) But at the same time, my kids can fill my heart to overflowing.
I get tired and crabby sometimes. But, I also get to play and have fun with my kids. I get to see the light-bulb moments when they finally understand a concept they've been struggling with. I get to explore with them. I am the one who is shaping their character. I am the first one to celebrate achievements with them. I am the one who sees the best and the worst of them (often in the same day).
There are some moments when I wonder if I am doing it all the right way. Am I making the right decisions for my children?
I see the wonderful personalities and hearts that they are developing...
I see them being creative and learning how to entertain themselves...
I see them taking the initiative to help someone in need...
Is it exhausting? Sometimes. Is it overwhelming? Occasionally. Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!
Because this entire homeschooling journey is not just about providing the best education for my children. It is not just about providing them with a physically, emotionally and spiritually safe place to learn. It is not just about building their minds. It is not just about shaping their character. It is not just about real-life experiences I can give them. It is not just about teaching them how to help and serve others. It is not just about learning how to navigate relationships. It is not just about learning time-management skills. It is not just about learning patience. It is not just about my kids.
It is all that and more. I have said before that homeschooling is the sandpaper that God is using to smooth out my rough edges. Some days, that process is more noticeable than others. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. Homeschooling has changed us all for the better, and continues to do so day by day.
We homeschool because we can see that it is absolutely the best choice for our family, with all the trials and triumphs included.