A couple of weeks ago I found myself looking up a local charter school for my youngest. I found pictures on their school website of smiling uniformed children building robots and for a day or so I wondered if that would be better because well, would it?
I started looking up all sorts of alternatives to homeschooling and daydreamed about what life would look like if we didn’t homeschool anymore.
Mornings to myself don’t sound so bad.
Would I go back to work?
Get involved at the school?
How would my youngest do in a classroom setting when he’s never been to public school?
We’re definitely at a transitional stage in our journey.
My oldest is off to 10th grade and I feel like we have a path we plan to take with the remainder of his high school years, but my youngest is only going into 4th grade.
He’s just at the beginning of what will become his middle and high school years.
It’s a good time to think about the changes that are ahead.
If there’s anything I’ve learned about homeschooling in the past six years it’s that every school year is different.
Each year has it’s own struggles and strengths.
Each year holds it’s own memories and milestones.
But this one?
This past school year has officially been the hardest.
There were days that left me in tears and days that filled me with joy.
There were days when I felt like the best homeschooling mom on the planet and days when I was sure I was depriving my children of a quality education.
We didn’t complete every single lesson on the plan. Some subjects turned out looking nothing like I thought they would and many days of the year left me questioning my decision to homeschool in the first place.
Each year I make the decision to homeschool again.
Homeschooling wasn’t something I started and thought to myself, “I will most definitely be able to do this forever.”
In fact, when we started homeschooling 6 years ago, I figured I’d try it for a few years and see how it went.
I wanted to give my oldest a chance to regroup and get past some struggles. I wanted to give him a change to grow and mature at his own pace. I wanted to help him gain back confidence that had long since left him after years of struggling at public school.
And we’ve accomplished that and so much more!
It was so great for him that we followed suit with our youngest and six years later we’re still hanging in.
But, homeschooling looks very different than the early days of 5th grade and preschool. The Play-Doh that used to keep my youngest occupied hasn’t seen the light of day in three years. ABC’s and 123’s have turned into 5 paragraph essays and division.
I didn’t know six years ago that my youngest would hate math and that some lessons would make me want to run and hide. I didn’t know that on some days I actually would hide! In the bathroom.
I didn’t picture our worst days. I didn’t picture the weariness of it all. I didn’t know that juggling all.the.hats would be so hard.
But, don’t even get me started on the blessings! The good days. The best days. They’re wonderful.
I’m not going to start a pros and cons list right here in this post. The point is: Quitting crosses my mind.
Not in a quitting-giving-up-sort-way, but in a next-phase-reevaluate-be wise-sort of way.
The truth is? I consider quitting homeschooling every year.
Wouldn’t I be fool to not consider what’s best for my kids each year?
I’ve never been do or die. I know that children change and the needs of those children change with them.
Each year is it’s own new beginning and I’ll be praying about the direction our family is headed in the fall.
There’s one thing I know.
Every summer I obsess about the upcoming school year.
I drive myself crazy with worry over school, decisions about curriculum, continuing on this path, etc.
Why would I think that this moment of panic is any different than all the other times quitting has crossed my mind?
For now we’re taking a good break and enjoying our summer!
Deep down I believe that homeschooling is still the right choice for our family, but I’m wise to know that it doesn’t always have to look one way.
I’m seeing how making the decision to quit homeschooling is just as big of a decision (if not bigger!) than making the decision to start.
The beauty of homeschooling is that there are so many avenues a family can take to make their journey successful.
What worked one year doesn’t necessarily mean it will work forever.
I’m not sure what fall looks like yet, but I’m open to change!