I don’t think that I have been completely honest with my readers for awhile. And for that I do apologize. Something I never want to portray is that my life is perfect. I think that when people put up that persona, they are not being true to anyone.
At the same time, I never want to come across as smearing all my and my family’s weaknesses all over the internet. My children, especially, are young and not mature yet. They still have time to grow and mature and become all God has for them to be. And really, I do too.
So I apologize if I have ever made it sound like homeschooling has been a breeze for our family. It has not. We have struggled for a few years- persevering nonetheless. But it has been far from easy.
Most days are spent battling attitudes and actions that leave school work unfinished. Balancing the education of four in different grades, while challenging, is nothing compared to trying to care for toddlers and infants simultaneously.
As if that isn’t enough, our family business has grown to the point that my husband is not able to be at home as much as any of us would like. And while he is not the main educator, having to do this without his help is even more difficult.
Here is the thing- I think that homeschooling is great. There are moms who rock at it. They are able to engage their children to truly love learning, which is the ultimate goal. They’ve been able to provide their children with plenty of enriching activities and adventures to add to their experience in ways that school children do not always get.
I do have some children who did pick up that love of learning. It is a joy to watch them investigate and independently learn on their own now. But not all of my kids are picking up on this… so something has to change.
This fall, our four oldest are attending Christian schools. The goal for my oldest has always been to get her into a high school- this is her year, and she is so excited! : ) The three middles will be able to get a fantastic education, as well as opportunities I cannot provide for them at this time.
Evelyn will be doing preschool at home with me. We do plan to begin each of our littles in homeschooling to build a foundation. I’m happy for that.
As always, we will reevaluate every year to see what is needed for each child. If I have learned anything from homeschooling- and parenting- it is that no two children are alike.
When I tell people about the change in plan, I get the idea that they think we are giving up on parenting altogether. Some of my kids even think this! The truth is far from it. I know that these schools will partner with us in their education, but not substitute for us- and I appreciate that.
This decision has come about through much prayer and leading by God. Even so, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t had guilt about this step. That I don’t feel like a failure at some level.
I know there are moms out there in my shoes, and with even more kids, who are doing so well with homeschooling. I know that there are moms more dedicated, more knowledgeable, more creative, more energetic…. I know that in some ways, I have failed my kids.
But instead of wallowing in self pity, I am accepting what is our reality. We have a lot of kids. I have a limited schedule and resources. I want more for my kids than what I am able to give them.
My feelings are so mixed on this. I am fearful and excited. I am nervous and relieved. I am sad and hopeful. In the confusion I know one thing is certain: we are still, as a family, living this life as an adventure in faith with our Lord. As long as we are walking with Him, He is not going to let us slip.
So all this to say, pray for us in this transition. The kids and this mom could sure use it!