Mar 6, 2008

To Home School Or Not? Don't Let Their Smiles Fool You

Okay, do you think I've given it enough time to be able to tell if home schooling is for me or not? It has been a little over 6 months, and I'm still completely overwhelmed and twitching a bit. I Don't THINK the twitching is a normal reaction for HS moms. Maybe it is, but the moms have a secret pact that they never share it with a first year rookie mom.

Today I was sharing with a veteran HS mom that I wasn't sure if I was going to give it another try next year or not. By her speechless reaction you would have thought I said that I hate my children, I never want to be with them, and I'm turning in my mom badge. In all reality, it is the complete opposite. I feel like I was such a better mom before home schooling. Here are a few of the many reasons why:

1. Most importantly, I had time for me. Me time=happy time=fun mom.

2. My words were sweeter. I wasn't correcting all the time, teaching all the time, and settling conflicts all the time.

3. I actually had time to shop for dinner each day and make special treats for the kids when they came home from school.

4. I miss my dates at lunch with my hubby and our Friday mornings at home alone on his day off.

5. I know they are not getting as good an education as they did last year. There I said it. Yes, they are brilliant children by some blessing I don't deserve, but I know they could be getting better. Having to teach three children at three different grade levels is tough. Don't let someone tell you it's not.

I can't believe I'm sharing all this, but I need to see in writing what I'm feeling right now. Many of these reasons are just excuses and all can be worked on if I put forth the effort. I also want to make clear that I respect all the HS moms out there and would never in a million years want to make anyone turn away from this important personal decision. In fact, my HS friends Angie and Mollie have been so supportive and helpful that they alone make me want to keep trying. I know God will show me the path we need to take in the future, but for right now, I'm just not feeling it.

*Just by getting alone on the computer to type this post was a great feat in itself. I was interrupted 15 times. I guarantee you that I wouldn't be on the computer right now, but playing with them if they had been in school today. I'm just saying...


Heather said...

It sounds like you have gotten into the HS-Mom rut. It happens to the best of us. Really. As a mom who has been homeschooling since day one and a former special ed and elementary ed teacher may I give you a bit of advice.

Relax. Stop planning and teaching every minute--let the kids be kids and have some fun. They will learn, in fact they will learn more if you are just spending time together talking and having fun than if you are working hard at making every moment a lesson. Spend time making treats TOGETHER. Go shopping for dinner TOGETHER. Let them help make decisions or even take over making meals (all three of my kids make meals all the time and they are 6, 8, and 10.) Spend some time reading or doing what you enjoy and let them do what they enjoy--they WILL learn. In fact, they will learn better because they are learning what they are interested in and they will see you doing things and learning things YOU are interested in.

And spend some time together with God. Spend time praying together and asking God to give you each wisdom and His plan for you. He does have a perfect plan and you will find your way.

Susie said...

Thanks so much Heather for your words. We do spend time with God. Every day! We start with our Bible time and prayer time. Even when we only get a subject or two done, we still pray together. They also play a lot! I think it is a good thing to start home schooling from the get go, unlike us. My kids are in 8th, 5th and 2nd and were at a wonderful Christian school for most their schooling until we moved out of town this year. That's was not a financial possibility here, and that was a huge factor in my decision to home school. Thanks again for your comment!

Rebekah said...

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your transparency! I've never HS and have always thought about it but for the very reasons you mentioned have always decided against it. If I were in a situation where my children would be safer and better educated by HS then there is no doubt that I would HS. However, I live in a community that has some fabulous schools and I know my children are receiving a good education. I’ve chosen to have them in public schools and it has been a great ministry opportunity for our entire family. Yes, there are some challenges that come with public education but we take those as growth opportunities and teach our children to pray through them.
I’ll share with you what I share with my daughter (who is 8yo and has accepted Christ as her Saviour): Jesus Christ is in your heart and nobody can tell you the right thing to do or the best thing to do, you have to listen to your heart because that is where God is and how He leads you.
Follow your heart, girl! You know what is best for you and your family.

Susie said...

I am so glad you have found what works for your family, and that you are making public school part of your family's ministry. Schooling is such an emotion-driven subject, and I can tell that there is no right or wrong answer, but instead a personal one for each individual family. Praise God you and so many others out there are so happy with your choices whether it's private, public, or home schooling.

Pam said...

Praying for you, dear Susie. I sent you an email, too.

Hope you have a blessed day with your sweeties today.

Penless Thoughts said...

Never having home schooled I could not possibly have a valid opinion but that know how much I appreciate your honesty!!!! I do think people put up a good (false?) front on a lot of things instead of being honest and dealing with their true feelings and truth in general. I'll come back and read the other comments you get.
The one thing I do know.....God will lead and direct you as you seek HIM!!!!

DeeDee said...

Hey Sweet Susie! We all have seasons and some of those seasons last longer than others. God will make it clear to you how long your HS season will last. I've done all 3: homeschooling, private school and eventually, public school. God was faithful in each and every season. He has a wonderful plan for your kiddos and no matter what the future holds, they have a strong foundation to accomplish all that God sets before them. Love ya!

Susie said...

Pam- I'm sorry I didn't get your email. Thanks for praying for us.

Susan, Tiff and DeeDee- It great to have friends share their prayers and encouragemnet when we are struggling to figure out God's best for us.

Twisting his arm said...

Golly! Thanks for this post! I have been thinking about either HS or private school but wasn't quite sure. I really appreciate your honesty! It reminds me that God will let me know what to do when the time comes and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks! If they have a problem with it they can talk to the Man upstairs!!!!

Mayhem And Miracles said...

Susie, I too have done all three - public schooled, homeschooled and Cristian schooled. I too experienced the same reaction when I left off homeschooling after three years of it never improving and in fact, causing deep problems within my marriage and my household because of the time I did not have to devote to them. On the flip side, I have a friend whom I convinced to homeschool (during our first year, which went the best of the three) and she wouldn't have it any other way, even though she still confesses to it possibly being much tougher than she should allow. The difference, though, is PEACE. Her situation is not perfect by any stretch, nor is our private school, but we both FINALLY just have this inexplicable peace about where we are. I wish I could tell you I knew WHEN enough was enough. I didn't. But I did have the fact that my marriage was sinking to help make the decision easier. I think the biggest help would be for all of us Christian women to support one another regardless of our differences and trust the Holy Spirit to show our sisters if they are in sin. I have to agree, I had (and still do) a lot of FANTASTIC homeschooling friends who pray for us daily even still, but there were those who only complicated my understanding of the Holy Spirit with their judgements of my mothering abilities based solely on whether or not I homeschooled. I will pray for you Sister. I have been there and it is not easy. I pray for clarity between you and the Father.

Kelly said...

Susie--I love your honesty. I have been on both sides, and can relate to many of your struggles with homeschooling! I applaud your courage in posting and opening the dialogue. I will be praying for you and your hubby as your look to next year. My husband and I have taken it year by year and child by child.

Pam said...

I just noticed you didn't get my email. I followed the email posted on your blogger id. Is that the right one? If not, just drop me a note and I can re-send the email for you.

Hope you're having a great Monday!

jennifer said...

Hey Susie, I'm Jennifer. I saw you on Susan's comments and decided to visit. My family is considering starting to HS my olderst daughter who will be in High School as a 7th grader next year. Then as my other children finish elementary school, we will add them to Home school. STILL just thinking about it. Their first year of school we taught them at home and I thought that I had failed miserably. Then my daughter went to public school in first grade and made straight 100's on her report card. Hmmmm, maybe I didn't do as bad as I thought. All of the things that you pointed out, I have thought of. I also don't have a lot of confidence in my own intellectual abilities. A lot to think about.

Thanks for this very HUMAN post. I appreciate your honesty!! Jennifer