I wrestled endlessly this Spring with our schooling decision. I made lists, I attended open houses, I prayed, I cried, I decided and waffled and changed my mind and stressed and worried and fretted and wished and hoped.
And I finally went to my husband with all of the information, laid it out in front of him and put the decision in his hands. I told him my first choice, a hybrid homeschool program in which the kids would attend three days a week and I would facilitate lessons the other two, but it had a cost involved that concerned us both.
I told him my willingness to homeschool again if he felt like we needed to and I gave him all the information on the public school. And I asked him to decide because I was paralyzed. I had analyzed and dissected every option and was well versed on each Pro and every Con and it left me completely inept to see what would be best.
So I gave it to Lee and waited for him to make the decision. After a few weeks of thought and prayer he pointed me to the public school and, while that had been my last choice, I felt a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. A decision was made by my husband and I had no doubt that it was the right choice.
He wasn’t plagued by every little detail like I was. He simply knew what would be the best next step and I trust him so Tuesday I marched to the public school and enrolled Sloan and Tia for next year.
I feel peaceful, but I’m nervous. I know it’s right, but there’s the unknown that keeps me prayerful.
I loved homeschooling the kids. I really did. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. Something really special happened this past year when I had them home with me.
I fell in love with them.
Of course I always loved my children, but I didn’t always love being with them. I was happy to ship them away whenever the chance presented itself and I hoarded my alone time with no small amount of selfishness. While they were home this past year, though, I really enjoyed just being with them.
We laughed a lot.
We learned a lot.
We had freedom to go where we wanted to do what we pleased and learn what was interesting to us. I loved that.
I firmly believe that homeschooling is the best education a child can receive if the parent teaching them is doing it really well. While I was having fun with them, I still did not feel like I was giving them the best educational foundation simply because I don’t know how.
I don’t know how to teach Math or Science. I didn’t love trying to break down grammar and teaching a six year old to read is just short of being stabbed in the eye with a hot poker. It’s hard.
I really believe there are other people more qualified to teach my children core subjects at this stage in our lives, but I also don’t doubt for a second that I will homeschool again someday. I can really see myself enjoying it a little more when they’re older and are a little more independent in their studies and I have more resources for help in the subjects I am not qualified in.
In short, I loved everything about homeschooling but the schooling part. Which…well, it’s kind of a key component.
Now, to be fair to myself, I will say I did a good job teaching them this past year. When we started the year Sloan was reading at a first grade level, could barely spell and had very little exposure to Subtraction. By the end of the year he was reading at a fifth grade level, spelling at a fourth grade, writing beautiful poems and paragraphs and had a working knowledge of Multiplication.
It’s not that I can’t teach them. But I did live under a constant wave of stress all year long and there are areas where I know they would benefit from a teacher who understands how to break things down more than I did. I never doubted my ability to teach them well. But I did fully realize that if I were to homeschool again, I would need a little more help in some key areas.
So next year they will go to school, and Landon will be in preschool five mornings a week, which means for the first time in nine years I will be alone during the day time hours on a consistent basis. I’m not going to lie – that’s an attractive thought.
But it’s also scary. I’m going to miss them. So when they all start back to school, to celebrate my first day home alone, I have vowed to go to Busch Gardens and ride every single roller coaster in the park.
By. My. Self.
How do you make the education decision for your children?