This post has to do with my own concern in this area: I'm not sure that I can homeschool my child(ren).
Unlike most other homeschoolers I've met, I'm quite insecure about homeschooling. In some ways, I'm terrified by it...even having done it with Matthew for a school year now. Maybe because I've done it with Matthew for a school year now. Like I said in my last post, objectively, I think our year's gone pretty well, and I'm gearing up for our second year already. And based on what I've seen of Manitoba's curriculum for grade 1 students, I feel perfectly fine about our plan for next year.
But I'm still anxious:
- I wonder how other parents seem to be able to get their kids to actually sit down to work at school stuff on a regular basis. My kid seems very resistant to regular school work - or is it me and my methods that are off? I don't know. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you can work with your child's style and adjust accordingly. But as well as I know Matthew in many/most respects, I don't know that I've figured out his learning style yet so that I can adjust accordingly. Why don't I know this stuff?
- In some ways I've been very relaxed about homeschooling. I don't care if we 'do school' every week day...and sometimes, we've even done school on weekends! In fact, I even suspended it altogether for about six weeks at one point in the winter, in favour of games and puzzles and other fun stuff, when I sensed that Matthew was feeling overwhelmed by things and getting frustrated by his ability to 'get' things. But I get stressed when I hear other homeschooling parents speak confidently about their child's work/progress, or hear them talking about their kid's amazing accomplishments.
I'm writing this on Friday evening, July 02, sitting at the kitchen table at my parents' cottage, overlooking the lake. I'm watching two families of ducks swim past the dock, heading out to the bay. Oddly, as I watch these ducks, my anxieties lessen. Maybe God sent those ducks to me for a reason - to give me a different way of thinking about things. Maybe not. But those feathered little families are prompting me to remember why we're homeschooling in the first place: because I believe education starts at home; because I want Matthew to orient himself around his familial roots and to derive his values from those roots instead of from a peer group; because I want him to be surrounded first by his family and by a small community who will contribute to the raising of him; because I want him to learn in the way(s) in which he learns best; because I want him to be 'socialized' in a way that is different than the norm; because I, like every parent, want the best for my child and because I hope that, for Matthew, this is the best.
On Canada Day, Geoff and I had over for dinner a (homeschooling) family that we're just getting to know, and really enjoying. At one point in our conversation, the Mom in that family commented that she's often heard people say that they make the decision to homeschool on a year-by-year basis, rather than committing to it for the longer term but being willing to change their minds if it's not working. Her comment struck me because of how often I've said to people that we're going to make the homeschool/public school decision on a year-by-year basis. The truth is that it's really only my own insecurities that lead me to say that to people. The truth is that I would dearly love to homeschool my child(ren) from this point to the end of his (their) high school education. But the truth is also, to bring this post full circle, that I'm not sure if I have the ability to do this for that long. And the truth is, too, that maybe it's my ability that needs to be re-evaluated on a year-to-year basis, rather than my desire to do it.
* Thanks so much for the comment/empathy/encouragement, Michelle - I think I needed all three!! And wow on having the kids right across from you next year - that could not be more perfect. I'm glad you've found a way to make that work!
* Oh, you are all so kind - thank you, thank you, for your comments and encouragement. I, like, dove into your words and felt like I wanted to absorb them for their comfort!! This is such a learning curve and you're right, Darci, I feel like I might just screw him up somehow...which is, of course, the last thing any of us intend to do with our kids. I have to say, though, Darci, that if you saw some of my kid's manners (the burping and the farting, and the gales of laughter that follow each of these types of events), you'd question how effectively I am teaching him certain things! Thank you all!!!!!
* Donna, I think I need to remember the 'strong drink' remedy for certain days!!