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My kids have been home educated pretty much their whole lives. Two of them did a brief stint in public school when I was down with a pretty brutal virus and its brutally brutal neurological after-effects.

For the most part homeschooling has been something we have done not only out of personal conviction that it was the best thing for them but also because it was my joy.

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Don’t get me wrong. We had our bad days.

And our really bad days.

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But over all, we have cherished this lifestyle. I have counted it my joy to be the one to teach my kids to read, see that light in their eyes as they discover and hone their abilities. We have grown through the Everests that have sprung up on our path along the way, mountains that we had no choice but to climb, climb and climb on.

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These days, where homeschooling is a joy to me, have steadily decreased over the past year.

Don’t get me wrong. We have still had our good days and weeks. But I’d be lying if I said that there was a full month inside of which I was desirous of continuing this homeschooling journey we’ve chosen. Truthfully, I’ve wanted to quit at some point every day for the past year.

I have spent far too much guilt on this subject. Wasted guilt. I have things that deserve my real guilt – the kind from the Holy Spirit – where I am brought to repentance and joy in forgiveness. Not the kind that comes up because I am contemplating paying other qualified human beings to teach my children while I continue to love them and be their mother just as my mother did for me.

I suppose it’s possible that I’ve been in a year and a half long homeschooling slump, that I just need to “de-school” and unschool and (add your favorite negative prefix here)school. It is a real possibility.

But I must leave room for the possibility that I am possibly being called to do work that enables me to send my children to a good school where they can, at least for a time, experience a day when their Mom is not uninspired, frustrated, overwhelmed, self-brow-beaten and well… given all of that… a really lame teacher.

There are some who will tell me that “this too shall pass.” They may very well be right. But I believe that I might discover if that is so with my children in school.

And if it comes down to guilt next year… I think, at least for a year of testing the waters, Lord willing, I will choose the guilt of sending them to a good school where they get solid teaching every single day than the guilt of feeling like a bad mom, teacher and home-manager every day.

I have loved homeschooling. I may grow to love it once again… another year. As most homeschoolers will attest to, we often get asked the, “Will you homeschool all the way through” question a lot. The answer has always been, “We plan to but we will take it a year at a time.” If I have learned anything over the past two years (plus) it’s that our plans are something that God laughs at. He laughs, not mockingly, but knowingly… He just knows better.

So my plan (should the Lord endorse it with the blessing of financial ability) is to send the kids to school next year. All of them. And if someone asks, “Will you send them all the way through?” (though in reality, no one ever asks this of the traditionally schooled) I will answer, “I have no idea. Ask me next year.”

5 thoughts on “School Choice

  1. I will post the same long-winded and experientially-colored comment here and on FB. In short, it saddens me that devoted moms feel they have to justify these decisions to their circle. It is your job and God given mandate to do what’s best for your household … which can be a different thing for one or another child, or a different thing for the same child in different stages and phases of development. That also takes into consideration the changes you go through as Mom and the complete dynamic of multiple students in different places educationally schooling in the same space. Echoing your entry, the right choice for your family may be a different choice one year to the next. It’s okay. When my first child went into public school, I was annoyed at the holier-than-thou homeschoolers who had the nerve to scorn, as if they know what’s best for every student, for MY student. That child is still genuinely thriving in public school, despite its many negatives. Our second child is a different sort and since he began homeschooling with me 1.5 years ago has exhibited amazing growth in every area, including his social skills. The brick-and-mortar school proponents, as fanatical as the homeschoolers, urge me to set “returning to regular school” as our goal for him. So moms like me are on everyone’s hit list. Whatever. The validity of our choices isn’t dependent upon others’ agreement. Good for you that you are strong enough to reassess and make course adjustments as needed, where another mom might feel desperate but locked into a path that was no longer getting everyone where they need to go. I hope you all have a satisfying school year ahead.

  2. I hear ya. I feel ya. Praying for you. No justification needed. It is what it is. We have done it all, private, public, and home. Different things work for different seasons. Hugs!!

  3. I love how sometimes, God leaves decisions up to us and then takes care of the rest, regardless of what we choose. I’m looking forward to seeing what God does in the midst of this change for you!

  4. Great post…I love J’s response up there! 🙂
    And picture number 3?! Instant classic…I have to admit, I busted out laughing when I saw it. 🙂

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