WordPress Stats just told me it’s been 19 days since my last post! The truth is that much has happened and I haven’t been able to muster the energy to write. I still don’t know what I’m going to say in this post yet, but I feel inclined to put something out there.
Chepe has moved out. It’s been 9 days now. Elizabeth and I have done maybe a week’s worth of school in the past month. I’m struggling with the panic of having to support us financially, and the sadness of all the hopes and dreams washed down the toilet.
It’s hard. It’s hard to be strong. It’s hard to stand up for yourself.
It’s scary to know what path to choose next.
As I said, I’m panicked about finances. The thought has crossed my mind to look for a regular job (aka: regular hours), rather than trying to use multiple part-time jobs to fill the spaces, but every time I do, I fear utter defeat. Utter and complete defeat. Annihilating defeat.
Perhaps the one thing that keeps me strong and motivated is the idea of homeschooling. My kids are the most important thing, #1. I need to feed us first of course, but I just want to be with my toddler as he is growing, and I want to be the one to guide my daughter in her learning: to go outside to study nature, to discuss humility as it applies to her, to study Buddhism and Christianity and Paganism and Taoism and Hinduism and etc, not simply ignore them. I want to discuss the reality of life after the teenage years, that most people have ideas of what they want to do as a career but that it may take multiple jobs to get there, that sometimes not all of those jobs will be on the same career path. I want to explore happiness, what it means to be happy: that it comes from inside, not out.
But, I worry that I won’t be able to give the best to them. I worry that I won’t get them out with other people/kids their age enough. I worry that I won’t be able to get them to educational activities outside of the home.
Watching Elizabeth interact with my friend’s daughter last night, I wondered if it would not be best to just send her to public school. Would all of my doubts be negated? Would it make things better? My friend’s daughter, who attends public school, is so sweet and polite, could Elizabeth continue to be that way too even if she went to public school? Would she not turn into an insecure
demon brat, or be bullied or taunted? Would she resist becoming the bully? Would it be possible for her to make it through unpressured by the pressures of school work and tests, and by other kids?
Of course, I am aware that all of my fears of public school and homeschooling can be flipped around and applied to the other. Homeschoolers can be bullies and can be bullied. Homeschoolers can be brats and overly pressured, as much as public school students can be polite and secure and tranquil. I went to public school, I consider myself balanced. As well, the homeschooling community talks a lot about how public school encourages kids to only be able to relate to other kids their own ages and causes segregation even from year to year because of how classes and grade-levels work. And even if I send them to public school but have to work full-time, I still may not be available to get them to after-school activities, and have to miss it all because of work.
In the end, I will miss something no matter what. That crushes me.
But, I can hardly bear the thought of sending her to school. Mostly, I think, because I have loved homeschooling so much. I think that Elizabeth has enjoyed it too. I couldn’t say if she would like public school better. That’s probably a doubt that almost all homeschooling parents struggle with at one time or another: are we doing the right thing? But I have the books and materials for next year, I have all ready sent my statement to the school that I would be homeschooling. I don’t have to file any reports this year on what we are doing with what curriculum for how many hours because she is only in Kindergarten. Technically, I’m not required by law to send her at all. She’s definitely not behind right now, and I think that the time we spend together is healing for her, it helps her deal with all that she has to deal with, it helps her feel validated and secure. As well, looking through the books the other night, I was reminded again that this curriculum (Global Village School) feels so healing, the books are soul-full and loving. I love it just for that. I enjoy reading the parent curriculum guide just because it is so validating to me as the parent, particularly at a time when I feel so lost.
(Check out a previous post about Global Village Curriculum in which I discuss many of the same ideas I’m talking about here: A Healing Curriculum.)
Well, it’s settled then. I love writing letters to myself because I can so often pick myself back up. I do have fears and doubts about homeschooling, yet I will still try to pursue this idea. I may fail, it’s a possibility, but public school in my opinion takes up about as much time as homeschooling does, and is probably just as costly in the end. I will give homeschooling my best go. I won’t ruin my child if we have a rough year, it will be rough no matter what, but hopefully she will learn from it to have a fighting spirit, determination, hope, resilience, and that I love her very, very, very much.
Share your thoughts: What are some other arguments that you have pro-public school or pro-homeschooling (or con- either one…)?