Hello? Anyone out there? Is it just me or does it feel like everyone is sending their kids back to school? I'm not judging them, believe me! I came very, very close this summer to doing that very thing.
The truth is, it leaves me a bit scared. So many homeschoolers I know have either sent their kids to school, private or public, or have joined co-ops, charters, and the like.
I am feeling a little bit alone. Like perhaps I am too much of a rebel. My kids are not enrolled anywhere, the local co-op won't accept us (for a few reasons but generally because I don't have anyone to watch my little kids while I try and teach a class and some of the people don't like me... maybe I am too much of a rebel... ANYWAY...), I tried the charter schools a few times and it felt like I was banging my head on the wall and it was hard to have someone come to the house once a week for 5-6 hours because that is how many kids I have. We aren't enrolled anywhere, because let's face it, the money tree in the backyard died.
A rebel. You know in my thirties that would have made me giggle. "Yeah, look at me! NFP practicing Catholic, homeschooling my nine kids in a counter-cultural home. Boo YA! Take that!" Now I just feel tired. I want more support, but I don't want to pay for it (remember the tree?). I don't want to feel like I am on this road alone.
I wonder if I am doing it wrong. Am I selling my kids short?
In the last few weeks our epiphany on workbooks quickly fell flat. No one likes it anymore. There were tears everyday and often times that included mine. We had been traversing a whole different philosophy of education, and you really can't jump midstream into something so different and not have everything melt down. We thought about just pushing through, but that only got worse and worse as the forcing was not what we wanted in our homeschool.
My lack of discipline in the last year took a toll and now I could see that our more traditional model of homeschooling foray was not going to work. I was unwilling to see us all break down in tears everyday over things when I knew we could approach them differently and be more successful at it. What I had thought would be a relief, a way to manage our homeschool, became a yoke around our neck and an unnecessary one at that.
I see all these other moms who have decided that homeschooling isn't for their family and I get it. I am so close myself. There are many factors keeping my kids at home, one of them is that I really believe in homeschooling. I believe it can work. I am watching all these kids in their uniforms and I wonder... will that be my kids next year? Because while I believe it can work, I wonder if I can keep doing it alone.
I'll tell you what. I will pray everyday for all us moms doing this homeschooling gig on our own. Will you join me? And maybe a few prayers that the money tree will start to grow fruit again. That would be cool.