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