Quitting homeschool, that is. And I thought I should tell you that. So often, we homeschoolers make this journey sound like its all roses, all the time. We have a tendency to talk up the benefits of homeschooling constantly.
After all, there are many : improved academic opportunity, better socialization, increased family time, the ability to weave our values all throughout the curriculum…the list goes on (and on).
We talk up homeschooling because we like to talk about it, but we also do it because we are constantly defending our choice to educate at home. At least I know I am.
Well-meaning family, friends, and random passersby ask questions, make comments, wonder why we are crazy enough to take on this whole education thing, when a decent (more than decent- the elementary school in my neighborhood is fabulous!) public school is at our disposal.
Any apparent deficiency of my child’s is immediately blamed on homeschooling. My 7-year-old doesn’t read fluently. Maybe it’s because we homeschool. My 9-year-old throws fits when her handwriting isn’t perfect. Maybe it’s because we homeschool. My 5-year-old has the attention span of a flea. Maybe it’s because we homeschool.
Yeah… I’m worried about that
Far be it from me to admit to any one of these naysayers that sometimes I have these doubts myself.
I believe in home education because I see incredible value in the child living and learning in the context of family life. Because I want sibling relationships to be stronger than peer influence. Because I want my child to love learning, long after graduation. Because I know that my most important job is to guide these children to the doorstep of Heaven, and I’m convinced that will be a heck of a lot easier to do if I can stand by their side for a good long part of the journey.
I believe all of this, but it doesn’t make Monday any easier when I’m facing crabby kids, laundry spilling into the hallway, marker all over the dining room table, and four tantrums over the math book, all before 10:00.
You see, we homeschoolers have talked up this way of life in order to encourage and support one another.
But then when things don’t go according to our beautiful plan, we feel a bit cheated- like this whole homeschooling thing is not as wonderful as we were told it was.
Not the whole picture
We must try to remember- the good days are not the whole picture. Just like this blog is not the whole picture of my family life; it’s just a glimpse. A pretty glimpse, perhaps, and not untrue. But surely incomplete.
In homeschooling, the good days punctuate the ordinary. And sprinkled throughout (sometimes generously) are bad days. But there is grace poured over all of it. Nothing worth doing is easy, my friends. I am convinced that home education is worth doing.
And sometimes, I feel like quitting.
But I won’t.
And I thought I should tell you that.
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Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace
by Sarah Mackenzie