Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's that time of year again

Well, it is that time of year again: contracts have been sent out by the kids' schools and we need to decide about school for next year. Back to the same old question: to homeschool or not to homeschool?

Last year, I was so excited about the prospect of homeschooling. I had read the books, researched curricula, even attended a homeschool convention. But, long before the idea had ever really solidified, we had signed contracts for the kids' private schools. Sure, we could have pulled them out and home schooled anyway, but we would be kissing our hefty tuition goodbye. Did I love the idea of homeschooling? Yes. Was my husband on board? Yes. Did we love it enough to eat the full year's school fees? Not quite.

But, here we are again. I love how life is so circular and God gives us so many chances. Our contracts are due in a few weeks, and I am really considering what to do.

One thing that came out of my summer homeschooling experiment was I was able to experience how overwhelming a change homeschooling will be for our family. It is not only about the actual education of our kids (although that is a significant part). But also the daily management of our home, the management of differing personalities and conflict. Managing my own side-tracked self. Finding ways for me to unwind - exercise, quiet time, prayer, reading. It is a lot to tackle all at once. At time, it made me want to give up.

So, I am thinking: why not break off a little piece at a time. Why don't I homeschool one child first? Then, I am eliminating the sibling rivalry quotient. I would then only need to concentrate on one curriculum and one set of academic needs. I will be able to slowly get used to this aspect of homeschooling, while also trying to figure out how it works for me as a whole person.

My dream is that it will be so wonderful that all of the kids would homeschool the following year. But, as I have come to learn, my plans are not always the best. And that is okay. If it is only one year, or only one kid, then so be it. At least I will have tried. At least I will have listened to this relentless voice that won't let me drop this crazy idea despite all of the nay-sayers and really very good arguments against it.

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