The decision to homeschool a child, or a whole fleet of children, whichever you might have (!), is a big decision. No one that has ever faced that decision would deny it. For our family it was one that we faced prayerfully, as we try to face all things in life. We always knew though, that how long we would homeschool our children was very much undecided. We decided to take it year by year. We were, however, very sure that we wanted to extend the pure and home centered childhood that our children could have by starting their schooling at home. And what fun we had!!! Seriously, it was a blast in many ways.
Like I mentioned yesterday, we found ourselves very comfortably walking away from Rebecca’s homeschooling years at this time without much fanfare or warning really! All of a sudden there we were. Partly surprised that it was really happening! But decide we did, and off went Rebecca to a “building school” as my sweet little homeschool kids call it.
Several of you have asked for specifics about our decision. For us it was a decision driven by two major factors. 1. What was best for Rebecca at this time in her schooling and in her life. And 2. What was best for our family as a whole at this time in our adventures. Part of my hesitancy to share specifics about our decision was out of respect for our girl. I wouldn’t want anything that I say to shine a negative light on our sweet girl. If you have ever met Rebecca you are aware that she has the personality of a small nation and the energy of a large one!!! She grasps onto an idea or a new subject, or project and runs and runs with it. That is part of what made it so fun and fulfilling to school at home with her. It is also what made it difficult to school at home with her! Balancing everything and maintaining peace in our home and for myself became too difficult. Her need for a bigger adventure and the experience of learning from and with a bigger diversity of peers and teachers became clear. Also clear was our sons need for a different dynamic during school time in order to excel in the way he deserved. Plus there was one more little bundle of joy that needed my attention, and a husband with a great job with long hours and a long commute. There are many days when my best friend is parenting from his office in Boston via happy thoughts…!
I am very aware that there are many families bigger than ours, and busier than hours, with multitudes of different challenges that successfully homeschool. Personally I really can’t understand how it’s done without admitting massive personal deficiencies. Which I refuse to accept. Different families are different…that’s all there is. Homeschooling is hard. Anyone considering it should know for sure that it is all consuming, and a whole heap of hard work. It has serious joys and huge triumphs…there is simply nothing like watching firsthand as a child learns and discovers the world by your side.
For our family, the needs of the other children in our family, and the ultimate peace of our home, coincided with the changed needs for Rebecca’s personality and learning. And the answer was to stop homeschooling. There are several days as I am home with my two littles enjoying the dynamic that they create and learning together with my boy that I feel a bit guilty for so enjoying a time that one of my children is gone from home. Yet each day, as I pick her up from school and see her face and hear of her joys and triumphs of the day I am settled again. Different phases call for different adventures for all of us, and right now our adventures are just the right fit for all of us.