Confessions Of A Home Schooling Mom

December 29th, 2016

Decisions. It is one of the greatest causes of much angst for many people. One of the one things, I had told myself that I would never do after I became a mom was homeschool my children. I had met some children that were home schooled before and, boy, were they FREAKS with a capital F. All of the stereotypes ran through my thoughts…awkward, different, anti-social, disturbed and any other attribute that I had heard about home schooled children were personified in these kids.

This was not the life I ever wanted for my children. I wanted them to have interactive relationships with a myriad of people. This was what they would have to deal with in the “real world”, and I couldn’t always be there to help them handle difficult situations. Besides, I really didn’t think I had the fortitude to deal with them 24 hours a day. I needed my little “mini-vacation” from them. Don’t get me wrong…I love my children, but they are the same people that have been planning a coup for several years, anticipating the day when they could dethrone me. Giving them that perfect opportunity wasn’t high on my list of priorities. It was never going to happen!

Just exactly happens when a person says Never…Do they enter some sort of twisted paradox that they can never escape from? Someone was looking down on me and decided it was time to make me eat my words. It happens every single time I utter the word, never. I said I would never give up my career and become a stay-at-home mom. I quit my job shortly after finding out we were having baby number two and baby number one was only 4 months old. I said I would never have more than one child because I could not retain my status as a career woman and devote any significant time to more than one child. I have more than one child.

After my third pregnancy that had me laid up in the hospital bed for more time than I care to remember, I swore there would not be any more children. The doctor answered my request by telling me that I had developed Endometritis and therefore my chances of ever having another child would be equivalent to the odds of hitting the lottery. JACKPOT!!!!! We hit the lottery with baby number 4. Needless to say, we found out this little jewel of information the year our third child had entered half-day Kindergarten and was heading into full-time First Grade. Yippee.

No, we are not having any more. I can say that with confidence. I know…never say never, well I assure you I, and my friendly neighborhood Urologist, have taken care of that little problem. Unless God decides to bestow an immaculate conception in my future, that little baby has been put to bed. I also said that I would never have girls because they were whiny, hormonal, and often times self-absorbed. I have four.

I swore I would never Home School our kids because I believed it would do them a disservice. Yet here I am, homeschooling all of my children and wondering why I said, never, in the first place. It wasn’t the horrible experience that I had imagined. My children were not the outcasts and in need of my protective shelter. In fact, they didn’t really have any real problems that necessitated our immediate intervention. We had individuals at their school willing to work with us on the one child that was showing some concern, but it wasn’t like she was lacking socially or academically.

Our choice really came down to a question of roles and benefits, and the bonus in our decision was that our one child would benefit from a more customized learning style. We struggled with our decision at first, but we had to realize that we were only human and we were not all-powerful or all-knowing creatures that could look into a crystal ball and see how the future turned out. The questions rumbled in my head, and as I look back now I can answer many of them truthfully.

Was it an easy decision?

Absolutely not, it was our obligation to our homework and see if the choice to Home School was right for us. We weren’t even sold on the idea, even after we had made the decision to do it. In the back of my mind, I told myself, I had a safety net if it didn’t work out then I would send them back to school. Besides, I continually questioned my ability to craft them into individuals that could handle what life through at them.

Did I bit off more than I could chew?

Maybe. Sometimes I still wonder if I can do it. I give myself little pep talks every day to keep me going. Sometimes they work and I am able to handle the day. There are times they don’t and the workload for the day becomes pure torture. It is hard to stay upbeat when the work to be graded piles up, when the laundry doesn’t get done, when the house looks like a tornado hit it an hour before people are supposed to come over, when I write the checks to cover all of their learning materials, all of it combined can be a bit much to take and it is at these times the questions niggles in the back of my mind.

Maybe. Sometimes I still wonder if I can do it. I give myself little pep talks every day to keep me going. Sometimes they work and I am able to handle the day. There are times they don’t and the workload for the day becomes pure torture. It is hard to stay upbeat when the work to be graded piles up, when the laundry doesn’t get done, when the house looks like a tornado hit it an hour before people are supposed to come over, when I write the checks to cover all of their learning materials, all of it combined can be a bit much to take and it is at these times the questions niggles in the back of my mind.

Maybe. Sometimes I still wonder if I can do it. I give myself little pep talks every day to keep me going. Sometimes they work and I am able to handle the day. There are times they don’t and the workload for the day becomes pure torture. It is hard to stay upbeat when the work to be graded piles up, when the laundry doesn’t get done, when the house looks like a tornado hit it an hour before people are supposed to come over, when I write the checks to cover all of their learning materials, all of it combined can be a bit much to take and it is at these times the questions niggles in the back of my mind.

Am I ashamed of my decision?

At first, I was. Not because I thought it was a bad decision and not for the reasons many think. I just didn’t see myself as the typical homeschooling parent. I wasn’t a religious zealot that thought I needed to cushion my children from all the ills of the world. The reason I found myself feeling ashamed was when asked by other homeschooling parents as to what curriculum I was using. I was ashamed to say that my children weren’t using the main courses that taught with a slant to mainstream religious views. I would get the obligatory smile, the nod of acknowledgment, and the hum of their semi-verbal response and the underlying feeling of condemnation that I wasn’t incorporating God in their learning. Don’t get me wrong. I was raised in a God-fearing Bible-based, spiritually focused Christian home, with all of the trimmings. My parents are still missionaries living abroad establishing churches. I can even quote scripture with the best of them. I believe in God and the benefits of the life he can give, but I also am a realist who believes that my children don’t need to be of the world, however, they sure do have to learn how to live in it. It is my responsibility to prepare them for it. I don’t feel the need to have a Bible-based curriculum to teach them their moral compass. My job is to teach them to exist in the world that is around them and to prepare them for the task ahead. The schools don’t prepare them for life in the real world. They cushion them with so much political correctness that they produce of crop of automatons that need to think like the cybernetic collective from Star Trek, unable to think for themselves. While even some homeschooling parents seek to cushion and shelter their children so they don’t have to deal with unwanted situations. Well, guess what, one day those children will be out in the “real world” wondering why they were never shown how to handle the messiness of life.

Is it easy?

No. It is a process and a job worth doing is never easy and sometimes comes with a cost. There are days when I just want to scream with frustration because I can’t get my child to understand what I am trying to get her to learn. I have a hundred other things to do, but can’t because I have to deal with schoolwork and meltdowns.

Do I wish I could give up?

Sure I do, but I don’t because I know that I am not a quitter. I do not leave the field of play in the middle of the game just because I received a few bumps and bruises.

Is it worth it?

Heck Yeah! The minute my child who has been struggling to understand something looks at you in surprise and says, “I get it.” It is worth every meltdown, every minute I have put into this task, every penny I have invested because I know I have given my child that feeling you get when you have accomplished what, at first, seemed to be impossible.

If I had to do all over…would I still homeschool?

In a heartbeat.

The decision to Home School is never easy and should not be taken lightly. The Home Schooling Parents’ task is to prepare their children to face the world. Like it or not, they will one day be in it without you standing beside them to give them support. It is no easy task, but when they are equipped and able to handle whatever life throws their way the labor becomes worth it.

    Hi! I'm April!

    I'm so excited to be blogging on A2Z Homeschool :)

    I hope that people will be able to follow along in some way.