Guilt, fear and parenting choices.

Once upon a time, I had to stop reading “Biblical parenting” books and websites after I made the decision to quit spanking. If I read them, I would become frightened, and wonder if I was failing my children. With almost 2 years of gentle parenting under my belt, I have reached the confidence level where I can handle reading about other types of discipline. But now I find myself filled with anxiety and pain over homeschooling.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept. I’m glad that families choose to homeschool. Some of the gentle parenting blogs I follow also homeschool, and I’ve had a lot of fun reading about cool projects or ideas related to homeschooling.

But when I come across blog posts that argue strongly for homeschooling, I feel overwhelmed and depressed. Will my kids ever have time to play? Will they hate reading because they are in school? What if the education they get in school is sub par, maybe I can give them a better education that I got as a homeschooled kid. I read posts about bullying, or kids being trapped and bored day after day, and I feel guilty.

 
I remember the old messages engrained from childhood, “homeschooling is ALWAYS the best choice for children” “People who don’t homeschool don’t love their children enough” People who send their kids to school are being selfish” “Someday when you are a mom, you will understand why we made the choice to protect you from school”

 I’ve never even been to school, I’ve only ever been told it’s evil, how can I consider sending my kids there?

And yet, I know myself. I have 4 little kids right in a row, I am very busy caring for their needs, and learning how to be the parent I want to be. I get hit with waves of depression and I have lots of memories related to homeschooling. It makes me feel panicky to even imagine teaching my children at home day after day. As an introvert, I have this tendency to shut down and hide when I am depressed or overwhelmed, so most of our homeschooling days would probably involve me hiding in a closet. Not exactly a great learning environment for children.

Homeschooling is not a good choice for me right now.

If that changes in the future, that can happen in the future.

************************

My experience as a child, (coming from a background where it was better to inflict pain on your children than to allow them to make mistakes,) has given me an urge to prevent my children from ever feeling pain. Surely I can protect them from ever being hurt, and that includes school!

 

Recently, I’ve realized that I don’t have to do that. I cannot prevent them from being hurt by life, sometimes life hurts. (-Awesomely helpful article!) I can be there for them. I can be that safe place that they know they can always come to and be accepted and loved and comforted. I can teach them how to care for themselves and give themselves the comfort that will sustain them through the tough times in life. But I don’t have to keep them from ever having to face discomfort or disappointment. I don’t have to protect them from school. I can be their encouragement and support as they learn new things from a new teacher. I can be their advocate when they face a bully or struggle with a certain teacher. Being an involved, loving and supportive parent who does not inflict pain, doesn’t mean that I must prevent my children from experiencing anything painful.
******************

Since I know that I am making the right choice for me, I’ve had to limit my reading of books and articles that argue aggressively for homeschooling. I don’t mind reading posts from parents on why they love homeschooling. But just like I used to doubt my choice of gentle discipline in those early months, I get barraged with feelings of guilt and shame whenever I read about why I should homeschool my child.

I’ve also found it very helpful to read stories of people who have made the choice to send their child to school, especially if they used to homeschool. I feel a huge sense of relief to know that these people’s children are not languishing in the school system. So I thought I’d share a few of those links here, in case anyone else has the same doubts and fears that I do and could use some encouragement.

A Christian mom explain why they chose not to homeschool.

A Homeschool Mom decides to send her kids to school.

This mom explains beautifully the way fear can control our lives and our choices in unhealthy ways, including school choices.

This mom talks about how choosing not to homeschool changed her world for good.

This is a moving story of one moms choice to send her kids to public school.

Another post on Homeschool burnout.

Thoughts on using homeschooling to shelter kids.

A well thought out post on school choice.

Another Christian mom explains why she does not homeschool.

Here is a book I am hoping to get soon. 

Do you have any books or articles that have encouraged you lately? Please share them in the comments!

  • Anonymous

    I'm years away from having to decide about schools – if I had to decide tomorrow I would choose the local Catholic school – but I just wanted to say that I went to public school all the way from kindergarten to bachelor's degree and I have always been a voracious reader. (I did have a rough time socially, though, but it was also first as an adult that I grew out of being shy and awkward.)

    I think the most important part of children's schooling is not necessarily where they go, but that their parents take the child's welfare seriously and get involved in whatever degree is necessary. In retrospect, public school was fine for me academically, but my parents knew I was not thriving socially and did nothing about it. I consider that more of a problem than public school as such.

    R.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00539628551735497651 Rach

    Thank you for this post! I was homeschooled, and I frequently get asked if I'm planning to homeschool in the future. I don't know – my son is ONE. His daily nap is much higher on my priority list then his future schooling. However, right now I would lean towards school outside the home. I didn't have a bad experience homeschool; quite the opposite, actually. My parents worked hard to give me varying social opportunities. But as an extrovert, that wasn't enough for me. I think I would have thrived in the community that school offers.

    That being said; my kid(s) are not me. So, I will probably make schooling choices based on what's best for our family. Do they need more social (or more mom) time? Do I need to further my career and have a few hours to myself? Can my husband (or me, if I somehow become the primary earner) make enough money to afford decent homeschool curriculums? All of our needs will have to be considered when the time comes to make that choice.

  • Anonymous

    I am a pastor's wife, and our kids go to public school. It's been great for us — our district has a number of charter schools, and our kids are in one that we love (featuring E.D. Hirsch's curriculum). People often assume that I homeschool because of my husband's job . . . and I sometimes can tell they're surprised that we don't.

    If something changed with our family (for example, if our next child to come home through adoption needed extra attention) I would be open to what's best for her, including homeschooling. But for now, my sons are thriving and littlest daughter will go to school in 2012 as planned.

    I'm glad you're overcoming the shame and fear with not spanking, and I hope you will soon be able to write the same thing about your school decision. In the end, you know your children (and yourself!) best, and can make the best decision for them. No apologies, no guilt! :o)
    Nancy

  • Cyn

    You can visit the school, they have an "open house" for new students here, so you can see the classrooms and other areas, and meet the teachers and staff.

    Also, you can sign up for PTA to be more involved, or just volunteer in the classroom. Just being able to see the school and the people, and be involved will ease your fears (and your child's) considerably.

    Signed, a BTDT mom.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11557037093560947882 Anne — QuicksilverQueen.com

    Glad you're addressing this! I don't really want to homeschool…I don't think I'm a great teacher, I have no inclination, etc. I think either I'll get a good job and my husband will homeschool, or public/private school. I think it may depend on the child, too.

    I've had some people say "Your parents fought for homeschool liberties!", trying to guilt me…but it won't work. My kids, my life. I don't have to be my parents.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05598890631695015818 Pippi

    Thanks, this post is encouraging. I just made the next appointment for Andy to have his 3rd round of vaccines (minus a couple I don't plan to ever get) so he can have the option of public school this fall. If he hates it, I can always take him out. I don't think I can homeschool at this juncture, but I will do my best – IF all else fails.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04274507983353868813 Practicing Mammal

    I wrote an article on homeschooling for This Rock magazine several years ago, I don't know how to add a link, but I will put the address here:

    http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1999/9910fea3.asp

    Its on the "Consider the option" aspect of Home Ed, so don't know if its exactly what you are looking for. Also, on my blog, I have an ongoing article called the Thursday Thingy Archives which is just meant to be a practical hands on help to home ed and mommyhood and keeping on top of it all, most of them address educating children and how to chill about that!

    So, for encouragement about family life in general, I have loved "Only Heroic Catholic Families Will Survive" Every chapter is an essay, an article, a talk or a homily given by different people. Just good family life stuff.

  • Kristine

    I am Incongruous Circumspection's wife, Kristine. I hear you PTL. We started out homeschooling because of how we were each raised-me being home schooled as a child, him from an ultra conservative upbringing. So when the time came we started school. The first year was fine. I had 3 other little ones and my Kindergarten daughter who was excited to learn. The second year also went pretty well. The third year all h**l broke lose. I had another in school now and 3 younger ones. I quickly realized it became a choice of social home school activities, which make it hard to get school done that day, or stay at home 5 days a week and have children that had no idea how to interact with others. On top of that, the only adult that my children thought existed was me. I was burned out and started to hate my children, was having to choose between socializing my children or homeschooling them, and my second daughter could not grasp reading no matter what curriculum I used or how I taught. Last summer we decided maybe public school was the best option. In the fall I excitedly walked 3 of my children into school their first day. We are now finished with our first year of public school and it is the greatest thing we have ever done for our family. My children are more independent, knowing they can ask others for help when needed. My second daughter is flourishing in reading, being taught by professionals who are trained to help her. My children have some amazing friends that they get to study with all day and then come home and run around the neighborhood playing with all evening. On most days we have half a dozen other children playing at our house with our kids.
    Am I saying that public school should be the only option? No. My children may encounter bad teachers or bullying or gaining knowledge about things that I would rather they not know about. If those days come we will reevaluate what is best for our family.
    Permission to live- my strongest recommendation to you would be to never put your children s education into a box. Recognize that you have the power to change your mind no matter what decision you make public, home school, charter school, or any other way you can dream up. Don't eat that lie that says if we Moms REALLY love our kids, we will home school. I say, if we Mom's really love our kids we will do what is best for them despite what others say.

  • Anonymous

    I don't have a book to recommend but I have my own experience. I started out homeschooling because I lived in a community where I felt particular pressure to do so, and the school options were not that great. However, I had another baby, we moved to a better town and I had to take a good hard look at myself and what I was and was NOT able to accomplish. I just was not good at it. I was okay at the character development side, butbroutine and real "education" not so much. So, being honest with myself, I decided to send my kids to a small public school in our town. It's really been the best decision I could have made. They have all thrived. Really thrived. In areas where, when I was trying to teach them, they struggled. I do try to stay very very involved in there lives both at home and at their school. For the last three years I've been on the board of out PTO, the second two as president. I get involved with how decisions are made at the school, I stay close to their teachers, I am involved with their homework, and so far it's going great. My middle- schooler, a boy, just finished 7th grade with straight A's, was taking an accelerated math class, and, was so loved by one of his teachers, I got a call out of the blue telling me how much he was appreciated as a student. (my 6th grader and my 3rd grader finished with all 4's and my kindergartener went from knowing nothing-I am not kidding cuz I am really just not good at teaching them anything ;-) to rudimentary reading and addition and subtraction). My experience has been very positive, but I bring
    ALOT of positive energy to my experience. I went into it saying to myself, I
    cannot homeschool, but I still very much want my kids to get a great education
    and to love school, so, I have brought my energy and I am being a part of it.
    Both my husband and I still work very hard to demonstrate to our kids the value of education every day. And, one final note, my kids are very happy. I am very lucky that they have access to a great school. So, it can work, coming from someone who understands the appeal of homeschooling, but had to be real about it not really working for us. Mel

  • Alice

    My favorite articles include "Why I'm not sure if I'll Homeschool,"(I think you already have the link ;)), "Home schooling : the 'medicinal choice'" http://catholiccultureandsociety.blogspot.com/2011/01/home-schooling-medicinal-choice.html, and Simcha Fisher's blog post http://simchafisher.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/why-were-not-home-schooling-next-this-year/

    I was homeschooled K-12 and it was purgatory. When I was in college, I was in a class with a guy who was trying to come up with a reason to introduce himself to me and finally found it a few weeks into the semester when the subject of homeschooling came up and I said something about how in my experience it wasn't about the ability to teach the truth but to teach whatever Mom and Dad said was the truth. That guy is now my husband and he's insistent that we not make the same mistakes my parents made with our children. So homeschooling is a probably not. Never say never, though.

  • http://stmonicasbridge.wordpress.com Kristen @ St Monica’s Bridge

    My oldest is autistic and we simply cannot provide better services for her than our local school system can. My other two, well we have a couple more years and a few very promising charter schools. Making the best decision for you and your family is what is most important and no decision has to be forever! Blessings

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16979912092987681396 Sandra

    The number one concern of parents is raising their children is to give them the best environment in which to develop good character. This is true whether parents are religious, totally secular, rich, poor, or whatever. Parent want their kids to grow up to be Good People, however they define that. Research study after study, personal anecdote after anecdote, history, the Bible, really wherever you look, the key ingredient to children who become honorable adults is a great relationship with their parents. Parents who are always in their kids' corner, who support them in their growing up efforts, love them even when they screw it up, stand up for them, provide them with opportunities to work and play and BE Good People are the single best predictor of good parenting outcomes. (Of course, it is not a guarantee, there are no guarantees in real life. Sometimes even the best parents raise lousy kids, sometimes lousy parents raise great kids.)

    When it comes to educational styles and venues, they all have huge plusses and they all have glaring minuses. The one that works for your family is the one that most facilitates that relationship of mutual respect and support between parents and kids. And that option might change over time. The relationship will change as the family circumstances change, the kids grow, the parents grow, and it is always good to know there is no one right educational option.

    Keeping the relationship of parent and child foremost will sort out a lot of the crap that gets preached by schools and churches and social groups. No one should make decisions based on fear or should or "everyone knows". Families work best when decisions are made from "what makes this family the best able to love, respect, and serve one another."

    Karen Campbell talks a lot about "relationship homeschooling" but, really, what she says it just as true about parenting in any education-style. Kudos to you and your hubby for making educational decisions based on your family and not on what anyone else says.

  • Anonymous

    I think only you know what is best for your children and family. I homeschooled 4 of my 6 children. One of those I sent to high school when he became to much of a challenge. One of my daughters has 6 children, and she is trying to homeschool. Even though I am truly pro-homeschool, I'm not sure it is the best choice for her family. However, that is not for me to decide for her, and I support her as much as possible in her decision. Just trust in yourself, and know that you can change your plan whenever you see the need. Nothing is set in stone.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10562805251128821984 Libby Anne

    Thank you for saying this! I get so tired of people saying homeschooling is the best for every child and that every parent should homeschool. This is simply not true. Homeschooling can be an excellent option, but it is not the ONLY option!

    I also hate that my parents taught me to see public schools as these evil scary things, when they're really not. They're not perfect, no, but they can be pretty great!

    Like you, I plan to put my kids in public school – and I'm looking forward to it!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14600901961685207952 Dakotapam

    I can relate. I love homeschooling. BUT, I love my sanity, and my time alone, and I have 6 kids that range from 15 down to 18 months. Right now I need to focus on my babies, so they get the same attention that the big kids got. That means that hoemschooling is out. As a matter of fact, private schools are out too, as that money can be better allocated in our family. And I think our family works. . .it works well!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15624828638731650677 suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter}

    you know what's best for your babes–and for YOU (which matters just as much!) there is no cookie cutter solution that will fit every child or family, and it's ridiculous that people pretend that they know what's best for someone else's kids. (also, i think largely that guilt, shame, and fear are not of God. Jesus died to freed us from those terrible burdens.)

    you are a good mom, and you will pour into your little ones' lives and help to shape their worldview and character no matter where there are educated. a parent's influence cannot be overstated.

    you know i heart public school:) thanks for linking to my post. may you be at peace with your parenting decisions and trust that God will continue lead your family along the most faithful path for you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17046924507335607146 Amy

    Hi YM!

    Firstly, so totally honored that you linked to my post on this. NOT homeschooling was a really really hard choice for me to come to as well. I stepped towards it with much fear and trembling.. no joke! But it's been a really wonderful choice for my family. My kids are doing SO great! It comes back to their foundation..their family. It really does! I see that more and more. I love your attitude about it, it's mine as well… this is what is working for us right now, but I am also not saying I will NEVER homeschool…just not right now, and maybe never, but maybe not.
    That hands wide open and not clinched attitude is such a great perspective on it.

    Hugs.. Amy

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09586721197750246060 Lara

    My daughter is starting public kindergarten this fall! We looked at lots of options and this is the best for our family right now. We can always change our minds later on down the road if we want to.
    I went to public school through high-school. It wasn't perfect, but it certainly didn't ruin me either.
    I didn't grow up believing public school was evil but many of my close friends home school now and believe it's the best thing. It took me awhile to be okay with our decision. It's hard. but I am okay with it now. This is right for us.

  • Anonymous

    I think that the best people to make the decision about schooling your children are you and your husband. Do what is best for your family – like the discipline issue I suspect that things will turn out fine and you will feel more and more confident in your choices. In my case – I went to public school and loved it but my parents also supplemented the public school education with special projects (eg did advanced math with my mom and biology/science projects with my dad and literature with my aunt) – so I am not entirely sure it is an either or thing.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08942626062256558047 Karen

    Wow. No articles to share, but I so appreciated your post. Stay the course, my friend. Isn't it so LIBERATING to know that your kids can go to school, even (gasp) public school, and God will be with them there? He will meet their needs? Fascinating concept for many of us mothers who feel as if that is our job. :) Thank you for your words to encourage, and for using your words to express YOUR position, without making it a general rule for others. I love that we are all free to do as God calls us, as we parent – whether that is homeschooling or public school or private school. Contrary to some who think this faith of ours must be Family-Driven, it is a Spirit-driven faith that can move you in one direction and perhaps another in a different direction.

    Many thanks, in Him,
    Karen

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09963313242082202970 Erica

    I don't have children, but I think it's worth mentioning that I went to public school all the way through and I love to both learn and read. I love to learn so much that I'm pursuing another degree (DVM) after I'm done with my current one (PhD). Did I have some bad years and bad teachers? Yup. But the fact is there will be bad bosses and bad clients out there too. I've had two aunts decide to homeschool their combined 7 children, and while they're smart kids, they do really lack in basic coping skills. Public school taught me how to roll with the punches, and I'm very grateful for that.

    I also was able to participate in a lot of extracurricular theater and music and science projects, which were wonderful experiences that would have been out of reach had I not been involved with the school district I was in.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02510172065585770709 Hopewell

    I'm one of those parents who (twice) choose school for my kids. Mind you I was a very middle-of-the-road Christian in a Church where homeschool was odd….that said. You will clearly see pluses to both and minuses to both. Homeschool does not take 6 hours a day unless you are almost abusing your kids with seat work!! It takes a lot longer to get 18 or more kids doing the same thing than it does 1 or 2. You don't have to re-invent the wheel there are fabulous curriculum out there. School is what it is–everyone who lives in the area or qualifies for the school in another way. Teachers are great or awful. Administrators are great or awful. Special services can be had, but often really don't amount to much. Budget cuts mean "pay to play" for just about anything.

    Listen to your "gut"–you will get it right. And, if you find what you choose isn't right for your kid then relatives, Church, school, neighbors be damned and do what IS right for them.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00184616275088281652 Chantal

    Do what is best for you and your family. Some people can homeschool well others can't. Do what gives you peace.

  • http://thechurchfanatic.blogspot.com llmom

    after 16 years of homeschooling, I am putting my 5 children still left at home into private school. I have written about that on my blog and also a post on homeschooling myths.

    http://thechurchfanatic.blogspot.com

  • http://grace-filled.net jen

    no articles to share — just wanted to reiterate that it's about what works best for your family. with so many little ones at home, it might be nice for ms. action to go to school and give her some new experiences while also giving you more time with the three younger kids.

    as with all things like this, it's YOUR decision

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04274507983353868813 Practicing Mammal

    Just an aside, here. Totally agree with the last comment by Jen, its your decision and mamas need to trust their gut instinct and encouraged to do what you believe is best for you and your family. Some of your comments are Really Hard on homeschoolers!

    I've been homeschooling my kids for 20 years and of the literal hundreds of homeschool families we have met, I have only ever met one guy who was offensive about Not Homeschooling!

    We are actually pretty nice, in general! We respect your choice…we love what we do and sometimes we have crappy days, just like Not Homeschoolers! Its all good.

    Blessings to all…PM

  • Caravelle

    I read the first two pages of the "How to land your child in therapy" article and I don't think I'll read much further. I don't really disagree with its point, but to give you an idea why I'm uncomfortable with it: the writer starts out talking about how bad parenting results in kids that need therapy; and how her first patients' problems could all be traced back to their parents' bad parenting. And then she gets a lot of patients who have problems… But no apparent problems in their parents' parenting!

    And as she went on about how perfect those patients' parents had been and how lost those patients now were, I thought "How long will it be until she finds a way to blame it on the parents anyway ?"

    And too lines later there it is : "But maybe their parents were…. too perfect? DUN DUN DUNNNNNN".

    Yeah. Dunno.

    Aaaaaanyway, I'm happy you've found a solution that you're comfortable with ! And of course you can always change anytime if things don't work out.

    I can't wait to find out how your children experience school !

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08353667980806676067 Ami

    I think it's important to consider educational choices and choose for each child on an individual basis.

    No one can tell you why homeschooling would be best for your kids. No one can tell you why public school is a better choice. They're your kids, and it's your life.

    As parents, we have so much guilt over so many things that I think we should refuse to feel guilt over things like schooling.

    You are a thoughtful parent. If your educational choices aren't working out, you'll know and be able to take action in the way that best suits your needs and the needs of your kids.

  • Rebecca in CA now in ID

    I'm currently homeschooling (unschooling), though I myself attended public schools all my life. School was not a good experience for me, and I don't dig the educational philosophy of most schools. But I know a lot of people who have homeschooled and then sent their kids to school, or have homeschooled some and not others, or who constantly vacillate, and I think that's totally okay. When you make a decision, it's for now, as you said, not forever, and in fact you might change your mind halfway through the year. Just do what is best for now, for you. My oldest is so ravenous and curious, that for her, I am thinking a good school could be great for her at this time–I heard about a really cool charter school nearby which is a Spanish immersion course. Awesome! Anyway, don't be afraid. I encourage you to read up on good authors of philosophy of education, like John Holt and Maria Montessori, and ditch the whole homeschooling/schooling dilemma for now. The main thing is that you are the primary educator of your children, no matter what, and it is up to you to decide what you want for them and what resources you'd like to use to get it for them.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15454965172669677301 Bethany

    Do you still get comments so late after posting? :) (Sorry, I'm playing blog catch-up after our trip.)

    I just wanted to say how proud I am of you considering your needs and those of your family as more important than other people's opinions on what you "should" do. I grew up with all of the pro-homeschooling arguments too… or rather, the anti-non-homeschooling arguments, because they were really just about keeping children out of the Big Bad World… and despite knowing a mile-long list of why I "should" homeschool my children, I know with every bit of my being that it's not for me. It's not for us.

    And if it's any encouragement to you, the relationships that we've formed over the last two years with my daughters' teachers, friends, and friends' parents are precious to us. Even when conflicts arise or our girls get their feelings hurt, my husband and I would far rather use those times to strengthen communication than to retreat away from the community we've found.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06294471057002270306 Sunday

    I got some really great advice when my son was 2. This very wise woman told our Moms group that it's ok to make a decision about schooling and then change your mind if it doesn't work out. Your family situation and your kids may need different things at different times. She said that she homeschooled all of her kids at some point, but at other times, one or more were in public schools, one or more were in private schools. It just depends on your particular situation and on your particular child. And what might be the best for your family this year, could change next year and that's ok! Good luck!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10902541075652052825 Aunt Vik

    Everybody's family situations are different and I am glad in this country, parents (for the most part) are given the right to choose the kind of education their children get.

    Funny how our childhood plays into it. I went to a "great" school district… but school to me was stultifying. The work was easy and oh so boring. Lots of useless busy work, in my mind. Then I would go home to an empty house, or we family members would just see each other in passing. Only time my home felt like "home" was the Christmas season, cuz Mom went bonkers with the food and decorating and shopping.

    I also had to work since age 13 to clothe myself decently. My dad was always sending our money to poor children in other countries. Who cared if my pants were too short and my shoes had holes? Not him. After I left home I worked my butt off. Worked my way through a couple years of college. Would go home at night, not feeling like I was "home". And I was sick of working for other people. Sick of being bossed around.

    Finally married (and worked some more) and then had kids. Wow, home finally really felt like home. I didn't mind changing all the diapers (my kids were so close in age that at one point, they were ALL in diapers). I was a night owl so didn't really lack for sleep. Loved it.

    I homeschool, but we do it our way. I'm not terribly structured, but my kids are about 2 grades ahead of everyone else (they are all in the same grade, being so close in age). We can go ride horses in the daytime and do our school in the early morning or evening if we want. We can take the motorhome on vacation and do school on the road, if we want. We can take the whole Spring season off and have fun, and do school in summer instead, when it's miserably hot outside.

    If I had been isolated like you had been, I would have hated homeschooling too. By the same token, I still would have preferred it to the huge public school I went to, because I wanted so badly to go at my own pace, and delve deeper into some topics. Couldn't: too much dumb busywork!

    Oh, and I never was really a morning person :)

    I applaud every parent who enjoys their children and who does what is best at the time. No judgment from me.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15061520456909635254 Michele S

    I am sending all four of my kids to public school. They LOVE, LOVE, LOVE school. Does it present me with challenges? Ohmygosh, yes. I wouldn't trade the challenges any day for what they are getting out of it: an education, a broad understanding of the world we live in, friends, diversity, relationships.

    You are the sum total of all the people you meet in your life. Every person leaves a part of them with you. Homeschooling, in the way you were homeschooled, robs you from learning who you are and who you will be.

    Send your kids out in the world and watch them blossom. It's a wonderful, scary, fascinating process. Your kids can be ANYTHING!

  • Erin

    I needed to read this today. My daughter is starting her first full week of kindergarten tomorrow. She's been home with me her whole life, and she absolutely loves school…so far. I keep vacillating if it is the right choice, although I attended public school and loved it all the way until 8th grade. Even high school was generally a good experience, but somehow, I feel guilty b/c a few of my friends are homeschooling. I do enjoy the time I have with my daughter more now that we have less time together. It's just a tough, tough transition, and I needed to see this as what it is…the right thing for my daughter and our family at this point.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00418961875537434920 michellemybelle

    I've been going through your blog and reading everything! Thanks for writing it!

    I just wanted to write a little about my experience growing up. I went to a montessori school for preschool and public school for kindergarden through 9th grade. After 9th grade I decided to basically just go to college. In my state you could be home schooled and get all of your classes through the local community college or through a public online high school program.

    Now, I wanted to be home schooled.. probably from 6th grade on. I always begged my mom. But I'm glad that I went to school for part of my childhood. I'm also glad I was allowed to leave public school because I was very happy taking college classes as a 15 year old.

    My point is.. its different for every child. What works for one may not work for the next. Listen to what your kids are saying about school and help plan accordingly. Perhaps one really needs to be in an alternative environment, like a magnet school, private school, etc.

    I'm sure you'll find a way to figure it all out. I'll keep reading! :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/racheldrydenrowlan Rachel Dryden Rowlan

    Thank you. I was homeschooled 4-12th grade and it was a wonderful experience. But my 2 school aged children attend public elementary and middle schools. My mom, the public school teacher who homeschooled me, inserts a negative comment about it at least once a month. 4 of my 4 best friends homeschool. The guilt was so big that last year I decided to try out a year if homeschooling my then 6th grader. We.both.hated.it. So I put him back in school. I have heard so much about how I should have kept him out. In exasperation I griped to my normally highly open minded and non judgemental best friend, “My mom honestly believes that no Christian should have their child in public school.” And she stopped what she was doing, looked me in the eye, and said, “I think I agree with her.”

    I talked it over with my hubby…again. He, again, said absolutely not. You hated it.

    As I was reading your blog today, something clicked. All four of my friends are teachers! Went to school for teaching. Well, in one family it is the dad who is doiung the homeschooling and he graduated with a degree in…teaching. I don’t know why I didn’t make this connection before?

    Gonna enroll my kiddos in school next year. And I’m going to really work on not feeling guilty about not homeschooling.


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