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.
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!
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.