Friday, June 24, 2011

It's a Thin Line Between Love and Hate

Another school year is over.  I could list at least ten reasons in five seconds of why I hate homeschooling my children.  After two years, I still have not necessarily gotten "the hang of it" or embraced it like so many homeschooling moms. I'm constantly revamping my approach, because I have yet to find one that works well with my laziness.  I hate Math.  I hate threatening the older two with all that they hold dear just to get a journal entry.  I hate that my only escape during the day is urinating, while tiny bodies throw themselves against my bedroom door.  I hate that I may very well be screwing them out of colleges and jobs.

As much as I hate homeschooling, I do love quite a few things about it and I'm sincerely glad I invested in it these past two years.  We have a lot of fun times and I truly love the time spent with my kids. I love the laughter we share.  I love the freedom of flexibility.  I love not having to drive them to school every morning or loading toddlers in the car to pick them up in the afternoon.  I love not packing a school lunch.  I love that they like one another and that they genuinely miss one another when they are apart...well at least some of them do.

My love-hate relationship with homeschooling is leaving me with some big decisions to make about next year, larger than what phonics curriculum to use.  I am definitely homeschooling Ryleigh and Keely, mainly because they are pleasant to teach.  The two older children have been a struggle since day one.  The early foundation of attending public school has left them with a desire for it once again and alas, they have requested to go back to "real" school.  Jace in particular is leading the homeschooling revolt.  He says he is ready.  Nothing against me, or homeschooling, he just wants to be in a classroom setting and have that "experience". Immediately I love the idea, my mind says, "This is great, now I won't have to teach Algebra." The more I ponder it, I hate the thought, "You're thirteen.  How do you know what you're ready for?  I'll miss you."   I've entertained the request.  I've called around to the private schools.  Wow!  Tuition.  Ain't gonna happen.  I've  recorded the mileage and figured out the gas to the school at the Air Force Base and I might as well pay tuition with gas prices close to $4 a gallon. Not to mention the three hours of the day commuting and waiting would take.  If I even let the thought of the local public school in my mind, fear grips me.  It's not South Central, but it's not Mayberry either.  It has it's share of issues like any other public school, but as much as I love the idea of freeing up my day a bit, I hate the thought that they would have to deal with those issues.  I know that great kids have come from our district and some of the best people I know work for the local school.

It's just that as a mom, I can't help the pit that rises up into my throat when I think of the decisions they will have to make.  Sometimes I hate free will.  Couldn't God control us like puppets when it's in our best interest?   And if he's opposed to that couldn't he give parents special permission by overlooking manipulation as a sin and providing a holy magic mind control button?  How is life going to work for them when I, their loving mother, am no longer the main source for information?  I hate the thought that there will be others that could interfere with their moral compass.  That they might follow a crowd down the wide and inviting path.  Youth rarely recognize the power of  their passion, and very few have developed the ability to temper it.  I can imagine what insane and crude things they will see and hear as their peers try to establish themselves and be heard.  How will they handle the kid who thinks they've been wronged and with hatred welling up wants to fight?    Worse yet, I hate the thought of  the pretty girl or smooth talking guy who will win their hearts and cloud their judgment with talk of love.

I'm not sure which side of the line I should be on in this matter of stopping homeschooling, but right now I'm feeling more pulled to the "HECK NO!" side


"FAITH" said...

Wow Sounds like you really have some decisions to make. I will be praying that the Lord will put up the big flashing neon sign to help guide you in your decision.

Annette W. said...

Big decisions are never easy, but God will guide you and bring you through it.

Tonya said...

So you write out the pros and cons. Let the kids write out a list of pros and cons. What does Brian think? But probably one of the biggest things I would look at with my kids is their maturity level. Are they already peer dependent? Are they leaders or followers?

I have the same love/hate relationship with homeschooling. But we feel that God truly chose this for us. And funny, even on the VERY worst days, I don't want to send them to school. I don't want to DO school, I don't want to clean the house, make them do their chores, I just want to ENJOY them more! :-)

Tiffany said...

Oh how I can empathize with you. Homeschooling can be so overwhelming at times. I've also had a child that wanted & needed to go to public school. I just want to say - that it just displaced the issues. WHERE she was really didn't fix WHO she was. And as much as i hate to say it - you still have homework issues. "Making" your kids do schoolwork for homeschooling or coming home from 8 hours of schooling to do at least 1-2 more hours of homework can be a battle too. Yes, there are more social issues outside the home. For us, it just seemed like we traded one set of problems for a set of new problems that we had even less control over. With that said - the peace that came in the house for the time she was gone was nice. VERY nice at times. It is such a tough call. I agree with all your pros & cons. Homeschooling isn't for everyone (parents or kids) & sometimes it just serves seasons of our lives. I am so sorry your journey has been so difficult & discouraging. I will say that if establishing boundaries & working on character issues are necessary - STOP the rest. Spend time building good habits & establishing rules. Work your way into "work". For older kids, maybe consider computer based programs for all or some of their work - like Switched on Schoolhouse. Math - Teaching Textbooks is AWESOME!! I love your blog & your honesty. Hang in there & I will be praying for you!

Life by the Handful said...

Thanks, ladies for your words of wisdom, prayers and encouragement. Tonya, I'm with you I don't want to send them to school, I truly love hanging out with them, it's just the work I dislike. (I guess the kids come by it honestly.) Tiffany, Thanks for your suggestions as well. I think I am going to stick with it at least one more year. I've gotten some great ideas from your site and have implemented some new "rules" and charts to see if we can get scheduled. Maybe that will alleviate some of the issues.

I'll keep you all posted.

Anonymous said...

waiting for next post