2/22/2009

I Love It, I Love It Not

We are at a turning point. For the first time EVER in the history of Marvin and I being parents, we are having a disagreement about the path to take with one of the kids. It's major, it's about education. Where, when, by whom?

I've always loved the idea of home school. For me, I feel like it's
my responsibility to teach my own kids, not to send them off to some other person for their education. Now before all the anonymous nasty comments, let me say that that's just MY opinion for MYSELF. Not anyone else. There are wonderful teachers out there, I had some wonderful teachers when I went to school. There are also many great schools out there, public and private. Now then, let's move on!

I'm also somewhat selfish. I really, really like the quiet afternoons when I'm free to do my thing. Ava's napping, Benji's playing in his room, Alec's at school, I'm sewing or cooking or cleaning or reading or whatever suits me for an hour or so. Ahhhhh...stress lifts for a moment.

We have had some issues with Alec this year at school. Several health issues that we have pinned down to an allergen in the school building. Also, an academic conundrum, a catch 22, so to speak. One that would be completely and totally solved if we were to teach him at home.

Here's the problem: Marvin has very limited knowledge about home schooling, and has had very little exposure to families that do so. Because of that, he was quite resistant to even discussing the issue at all. We came to an agreement that he would do some research on his own, and we would talk with several homeschooling families similar to ours, asking them to share their experiences and reasons for doing so.

Meanwhile, I myself was not totally sold on it. While I like the idea of it, I waver back and forth, thinking about the fact that I'd be with
all the kids, all day, all week. Oh, but that's ultimately what I want, right? Well, yes, but IS that what I want or is it just what I SHOULD want? And what about the clutter? Have any of you ever been into a "home school house"? Have you seen the stacks of curriculum and papers leaning against the walls and invading the kitchen counters?

So last night, I sat down and wrote two lists. One titled, " Why I don't want to home school", and one titled, "Why I do want to homeschool". I wrote them very fast, and didn't stop till I was finished with both of them. I wanted my first, unedited thoughts.

My eyes were opened as I read through them. The "don't want to" one was totally and completely selfish. I wrote things like, "I don't like clutter" and "I like my alone time". The "want to" one was amazing. I filled the page with my subconscious longing to spend time doing meaningful and productive things with my children. Things that can't happen squeezed into the tiny amount of time in the day that is left empty when school lets out, homework is finished, and dinner is eaten. I wrote that I had already missed enough of Alec's childhood and I didn't want to miss anymore of it.

I wrote that I want to re-learn everything right beside them. I want to be there to see their faces light up when they learn why a whale has a blow hole or why the pyramids in Egypt are shaped like triangles. I want to be the one that watches Benji and Ava write their first sentances or listens to them recite the alphabet for the first time alone. I don't want to hear about all of it after school.

So, after meeting with three families, and another one scheduled for next week, and a plan to attend a conference in the summer, where do we stand? I'm prayerful. Marvin is silent. We are waiting. Waiting for the moment when we look at each other, the time is right, and we agree. The Lord knows the path we should take, and we're waiting on Him.


7 readers took time to leave a thought:

Irene Joy February 23, 2009 at 12:26 AM  

Oh Shelly this is a hard one. I battle with this so much. To home school or not to home school. I was actually planning on bloging about it too this week with my own list. I pray that the Lord leads you to the right decision and gives you both peace about it.

Aleah February 23, 2009 at 1:39 AM  

That's EXACTLY where we were last year.

Home schooling this year has been fun, exciting and rewarding for all of us even though it's been a lot of work!

It's hard to know how it'll go until you just take the plunge! Along with prayer!

A great book that was recommended to us to read together that I'll recommend to you is:
Family Matters - Why Homeschooling Makes Sense by David Guterson.
A highschool teacher that chose to, along with his wife home school their own kids. His take from both sides.

Praying that you two can come together about this decision!

PS: Philip was resistant at first : )

Katy February 23, 2009 at 12:10 PM  

WOW! I have no insight for you....just prayers for what is right for your family. And what is right for each child.

All the best -

~Kate

Charity February 23, 2009 at 2:46 PM  

Honestly, it sounds like you should just go ahead and try it and then you will have the insight and answers to know if it works for you. Because really, there is no family or situation exactly like yours so even talking to other people probably won't give you a clear picture.

I would try your list again from the perspective of your son. What things do you think will be better or worse for him? That might expose some of the potential downsides to homeschooling that you could prepare for and mitigate in advance so you set yourself up for success if/when you try it.

There are some AMAZING charter schools too that I have heard about. Really different than the standard schooling curriculum etc.

Faith Hope Love Mama February 25, 2009 at 10:05 AM  

Shelly, Maybe you should do a pro and con list for Alec. It might help make your decision for him and take out your needs/wants out of the scenario.I know that you are the one that will be left responsible for his education but ultimately it's for him and his benefit. My husband is very much against me home schooling and I feel his reasons are valid. However, I know a lot of families that home school and do great. You are a great mom and don't be too hard on yourself by thinking that you are selfish. Keep praying. I'll being praying for you in this decision. :)

Katy February 25, 2009 at 2:20 PM  

I sure wish I had some determining factor for you to consider, but I don't.

This is such a big decision and all I have to offer is prayers for the answer to be clear!

~kate

inspired March 18, 2009 at 7:40 PM  

I just happened upon your blog and have really enjoyed "lurking". I am a homeschooler and have homeschooled my five children from the beginning. I want to encourage you to be in prayer and to wait on your husband. It is so easy to be the mom and just "do it". Lots of things in life end up "happening" because mom got it done. If this is truly what God wants your family to do, he will bring both of you to the decision of "yes". The yes does not promise to be "firm". What I mean is you may both still have doubts, but you will know in your hearts that it is what you are suppose to do. God will bless your patience and faithfulness to give your husband the time he needs to find the answer.

Stephanie@inspired
www.homeschoolblogger.com/inspired

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