Something I've been really mulling over the past many months- WHY do we home school. As I've shared earlier , I've been feeling burned out on a number of levels and my desire to start school this fall is minimal. And I've fallen into the trap of comparing. As much as I love the social networking of FB the big drawback is the one-dimensional aspect of peeking into each other's lives. So many of my friends from college and grad school are in such a different place than I am. They are most often working, making excellent money, their younger kids are in middle or high school, they have a modicum of independence from both a time and money pov. And, honestly, some days I've deeply resented the direction this year has taken. I've resented the stress we've gone through, the hard work we've had to push ourselves to do, the stuff we no longer have and don't have money to repurchase, the exhaustion of trying to make the right choices and decisions when the reality is we don't really have a clue what the right answer is.
The siren song of a professional life has sounded lovely to my singed ears these past many months. It has sung a song called "Escape."
But, oddly enough, 2 things happened this week-end that have smoothed my ruffled feathers. For one, KB is preparing for a beauty pageant. This after lots of deliberation and prayer and angst. And I've been helping her almost daily. It's been so much fun. We do mock interviews and talk about what a poised and gracious answer would be, how to answer truthfully but in a way that is politic, what areas she needs to bone up on, how surprised I am that she has such thoughtful and mature answers to what I perceive as difficult and sticky questions.
And secondly, the co-op that we joined doesn't start until next week. I thought it started today and I don't have books ordered and I don't even have notebooks and everything is all out of order. But, I have a week still. And so we spent the day doing some simple school work, like math drills and narration and reading. The kids were more settled with some structure, but like me, relieved that we still have a week of summer break.
And in those 2 things I've rediscovered, once again, my WHY. I love spending time with my kids, getting to know them, coaching them, mentoring them, being surprised by what they know and who they are. And I've realized that we just needed a bit more time to readjust in a year that have screamed "ADJUST ALREADY." That even when co-op starts, we can determine our needs and plan accordingly. That's part of the beauty of homeschooling. Schedule and curriculum become tools to use rather than masters to bow to.
I guess it's an on-going question, the why. I know it is as we parent. It's a yearly adjustment because the family changes and matures and gets older and has new input and experiences. I'm all about that. Being a "change agent" is something I've embraced personally and professionally. And, as I've said before, I am a findcoolthings4mykids2do fool. It's partly my own fault that we have new and fresh input on a regular basis. I'm the one creating the reading lists, ordering the flicks, encouraging the kids to do this or go there. (And as an aside, I'm usually the one driving everyone to the airport, the one waving good-by and the one sniffling a bit as well).'
I just can't face another year of getting by cause that sure summed up the majority of last year.
I want, need, to live proactively, all the way down to our little home school on the prairie:
We home school because we are reaching for.....
Not: We home school because we are shrinking away from...
Catching up with friends via FB has fooled me into thinking that perhaps my why has been too shallow, too grandiose, too simplistic. Other families are getting by just fine in public school. And for many, that is a great option. It's just can't answer some big questions for me. And it doesn't allow me to get any closer to what I'm reaching for.
What are your reaching for this year?