Monday, August 20, 2007

Our decision on homeschooling

This topic is something that I've thought and prayed about so much over the last couple of years. I very seriously considered homeschooling. In many ways it seems like a natural fit for me. I've always been a firm believer that I should be the primary caretaker, nuturer, and molder of my children's character. So, when I quit working to stay at home five years ago, I did just that. My kids have never gone to Mother's Day Out, preschool, etc. I wanted to be the primary (read that as only) influence during those precious, early years. I wanted to instill my values and standards for acceptable behavior in my children, not those of a stranger.

So, for the last five years I have spent my days coloring, painting, playing, exploring nature, singing and dancing with and teaching my children. Everything has been very informal and unstructured, but I think it has worked well for Jonathan and he is well prepared for kindergarten. So, should I continue being his primary educator into his more formal schooling years? That was a tough one. To be honest, the thought terrified me. I was so afraid of messing up. What if I didn't teach him how to read the right way and I messed him up for life?? The thought of researching curriculm was daunting and I was intimidated by the organization that homeschooling would require. Could I really do it when as it is I can't even keep up with the laundry?

All of these thoughts were going through my head over the past year when I was pregnant with Augustine. It was a very tough pregnancy. I was extremely ill (even with medication) for the first five months of pregnancy. Wonderful friends from church brought us meals every other day for months. Even after the nausea, vomiting, and dry heaving finally subsided, I was very weak and it took at least another month to regain my strength and energy (at least as much energy as a woman in her last trimester can expect). How could I homeschool in such a condition? (How do you do it, Lillian? I know you get very sick when pregnant as well.) We want to have more children (God willing) and unfortunately I've been getting sicker with each pregnancy rather than the other way around. Such incapacitation during pregancy would force us to abandon homeschooling and I want more stability in my children's education than that.

But, I know all of these objections could be overcome if I really felt that God was calling me to homeschool. He can make even the most impossible things happen if it is His will. But, after much reflection, I don't believe that He is calling me to homeschool. I have not be blessed with the drive and passion that would be necessary to overcome all these difficulties. While I respect and admire homeschoolers very much, I lack the passion for it that I see in the homeschooling mothers I know. That passion helps them push through all the hard work, frustrations, and exhaustion that comes with homeschooling.

So, after finally determining that I was not called to homeschool, what was God calling us to do with Jonathan's education? Well, the answer was, for me, very clearly to send him to Catholic school. I felt an unextiguishable passion for Catholic school. But, the road to it was littered with just as many obstacles and difficulties as that for homeschooling. But, God made it happen. I'll share that wonderful story (that I still can't believe happened) soon.

God bless and good night.

1 comment:

Lillian said...


You are such a good mother. Everybody needs to discern and follow their heart. You sound like you have peace with your decision and that is what's important. I'm glad you didn't choose a path just because others have chosen it.

Now you need to run for PTA President!! That's what I would do if my kiddos were in school! I'd be the most involved mom ever! LOL!