Monday, January 5, 2015

Year 3/Week 7: Homeschool is the easy way out...and the hard way

We backed into homeschooling. We had never even thought of homeschooling until the public school system completely failed us. We worked for over two years with our school administrators and teachers, attended countless meetings, drove our son into Baltimore for extensive and expensive evaluations and cried countless tears..all for nothing.
Because we had no choice for our sons education and mental health, we dove into homeschooling. In some ways, and I'm sure to some people, it looked like we took the easy way out. We didn't stay and fight, because I didn't want anyone we had to FORCE to do the right thing teaching my children. And because it was such a relief and Godsend, it did feel easy at first. But I now know all the reasons that homeschooling is the harder least for me and my children.

1. Homeschool owns my life. At one time, I sent my sons to "professional teachers" and I did my own mommy things. These "things" included cleaning, grocery shopping, and a part time job,  which quickly fell by the wayside and were replaced by class preparation, grading papers, driving the boys to homeschool classes in art, music and PE..oh, and teaching various subjects from English to ancient Egyptian history. At the exact moment in my life when I thought I was going to escape these four walls and return to "my" life after a wonderful decade of being a  stay at home mom, I was sucked right back in without even a preschool class reprieve. This one hit me the hardest.

2. I..and I responsible for my sons' education. That one thought has kept me awake countless nights. I can no longer just drop my child at the big brick building and assume all his education needs will be taken care of. If I forget to cover health this week...they don't learn it. Period. I can't blame anyone else, which leads me to...

3. There is no one to blame but me. This is the hardest one. As much as I hated arguing with the school, at least I was the"good guy" and they were the "bad guy". I had righteous reasons to complain and somewhere to aim. Now, the only person I can blame when my son doesn't know in the mirror.

All these things are humbling and terrifying and I often wish they were not my life...but when I try to think of myself on the sidelines of my sons' education again, I really can't picture myself being meek and mild again and so...

4. I've become very choosy about whom I will let teach my children. Now that I know what they need and how they work, I will need to trust a new teacher an awful lot before I will feel comfortable leaving them in charge. They are no longer just glorified babysitters who educate my boys in some strange, indecipherable method which I could never do...I am doing that job and I have expectations now. This one didn't hit me until this year and surprised me.

So don't let anyone fool you that homeschoolers sit around all day and make cookies in our pajamas...

Because actually we DO do that .....but we do much more. :)

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