Sunday, August 25, 2013
Profile Overhaul Part I
I've arrived at a decision that will alter my identity label once again: I am not homeschooling this year. We are enrolling the brood in a public school system; I have discerned that I am not meeting my own standards for my kids' education.
This admission hurts because it is a blow to my pride.
It took a while to face this fact, partly because I feared that in "quitting," I would validate the countless voices who poo-poo-ed, naysayed, and all out dissed homeschooling whole cloth. One pediatrician told me outright that I'd make my kids "weird;" one member of the clergy, without knowing me, insinuated that I might be "neglecting" my children because he'd "seen it before;" myriad people, strangers and family alike, peppered me with cliched questions about "socialization" and state standards. If I listened to that nag, out of stubbornness I might just continue, because damn it, they can't be right/I can't be wrong/ I just need *one more year* and I'll have it all together.
Only one year is a long time in the life of a child. And I said the same thing last year...
My pride be damned. These are my kids, and I want what is best for them.
This is not a condemnation of homeschooling. I see other moms out there who manage larger households than mine, who meet high standards in math and language arts and have their kids learning Latin and completing weekly social studies units and regular science experiments and get them to worthwhile extra curricular activities.
In contrast to the homeschooling supermoms, I found that I increasingly lived on the "survival mode" of bare-bones three R's. Gianna is gifted in art, Anna in language arts, and John Paul in history and theology. I was not getting enough of what they thrive on into them. And learning was no longer fun.
Other moms are getting it done, but I am not "other moms." What has been working for them is not working for me. Given that the definition of crazy is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result, I have chosen to embrace sanity and admit that I am not currently cut out for this homeschooling thing.
Furthermore, John Paul needs help to discover his talents. competence, strengths that are latent inside of him. He is an intelligent and sensitive boy, and I was butting heads with him, hard. Getting him to his myriad therapies was draining on me; I had nothing left to then move on to the academics with him.
I need help, and that of the professional variety.
I have always loved teachers. I married one. I worked as one. The profession is awesome, and often unjustly maligned. While I am sure that I will miss my children during those first days, and even as I feel a sentimental, "if-only" twinge as I've packed up or parted with homeschool material, I also know with certainty that I look forward to working with my children's teachers this academic year.
I am excited that my children have this opportunity.