Tuesday, June 28, 2011
The Big Question: Education
I cannot make decisions.
I am serious. I literally can. not.
I hate this about myself.
I will look at a choice one way and decide, yes, this is definitely the correct choice.
As soon as I decide this little voice will remind me why the other choice is clearly superior, and I will then think, yes, the second option is definitely the correct choice. Over and over and over . . .
For those people who seem to so clearly, so indisputably hear the Voice of the Spirit, I envy you. Sometimes it makes me wonder why I am missing this key component of my relationship with Christ . . .
(but then last night at a bookstore I picked up a book about Knowing God's Will, and it was, like 5,000 pages long and I thought, ya whoever wrote that must not know how to hear it, either).
So this is my current dilemma: homeschool or public school?
Please indulge me (and try to refrain from judging me, ahem), as I fret through this decision on my blog . . . why? Well, I don't know, maybe I shouldn't . . .
(I am assuming, btw, that I will have some form of a community to homeschool with- I wouldn't do it if we didn't have other people to meet with at least on a somewhat regular basis).
This is the camp my husband is currently in and I am persuaded to be in, too (so for those shut-up and submit to your husband people, one point for you). This is our reasoning:
1. Life is slightly overwhelming right now with the two younger, sending Sam to school would give me time to focus on them, especially some one-on-one time with my middle, and give Sam a "break" from her younger siblings (whom she handles very well and never complains, but maybe it would be nice for her to have some time without them.
2. I have great hopes and ideals for home educating, but will I constantly feel like I am failing and unable to live up to my own expectations?
3. The part of teaching that I would love is preparing, gathering materials, planning lessons, doing projects and field trips, and reading together. The part that I will least enjoy is the repetition (this is a verb. a what? a verb . . .) which, after all is the teaching part, right?
4. What if I burn-out? What if I don't enjoy my children anymore? What if they resent me? What if I over-protect them from the realities of life? Will I regret giving up time for my own dreams? Am I investing too much in my children out of some unfulfilled need in my own life? Will we become isolated from our culture?
1. First of all, Ann Voskamp's excellent post convinced both my husband and I that we were committed to homeschooling. Jim only changed his mind recently when I have been overwhelmed, in wanting to take pressure off of me. If I take out the weariness factor, which, I hope, will improve as the baby gets older and begins to sleep at night (Lord have mercy), then I think we are both on the fence.
2. What really convinced Jim, from Ann's post, was the idea of our children gaining their identity and sense of self from us rather than a classroom of kids or a worn-out teacher.
3. My desire to homeschool is rooted in my hope to give my children a vibrant, free, whole, curious, creative and wonder-filled approach to God's world. This is the best that I can hope to give them as a mother. The thought of doing this for many years is both thrilling and intimidating. I'm not sure I have what it takes to do this, but it is my wish.
4. I fear a public education (forgive me public school teachers! I know that this is not always the case) doing the exact opposite: taking the wonder and joy out of learning.
5. Flexibility, being able to learn wherever we go. If Jim's job ever changes we can easily move.
6. I really like being with her, I will miss her being gone all day every day.
7. Inspiring homeschooling moms who have fueled the desire, like Heidi, Misha, and Janet.
There are other reasons, but these are what comes to me at the moment . . . just thinking out loud here, we will continue to prayerfully consider what God wants us to do. Even if Sami does begin public school this year, our plan is to revisit our decision each year and with each child.