I have thought about homeschooling before, and I certainly agree with many of the reasons why so many people do. I mean, I get it. But we have decided that it is not for us. And then I read MckMama's reasons and I feel all...OMG I AM THE WORST MOM EVER.
But I know that's not true. I know that. But you know that feeling of why I can't I be that kind of Mom that haunts you?
The Mom who just loves her children oh so very much that she can't stand to be away from them for one single minute.
The kind of Mom that doesn't want other people to teach her children lest they do it wrong.
The kind of Mom who wants to be involved with every single learning moment that their child has.
The kind of Mom that thinks her children poop rainbows and sunshine.
I know, not every homeschooling/unschooling parent is like that last one. Just like every homeschooling mom doesn't wear a denim jumper with an apple crochet on the front. It's just my self conscious "I'm not good enough" self pity attitude speaking.
So I remind myself of the things that I do do for my children that makes me a great Mom. Like laugh really hard at typing do do and thinking doo-doo and then not fixing it.
We do teach our children at home. As often as possible, in many situations.
We engage with our children regarding their school work. We certainly don't expect the school system to do all of the teaching. And we don't leave all the work to the teachers.
We teach our children responsibility with real world consequences.
Our children see first hand the differences in families, cultures, religions, value systems...and we teach them about those differences, about how to value them, about how to stand up for what they believe amongst it all and and about loving, not judging.
We encourage creativity and my boys are some of the most imaginative children I know. Right now, after playing a rousing game of guitar hero, they are imagining they are on a Rock Band World Tour. They are using a map to decide which part of the world they will tour next and what songs will work best for those cultures. I may have just heard the phrase "that's not appropriate for that culture" used. (SO PROUD) Followed by "what's culture mean?" Followed by an inspiring explanation of culture by a 9 year old to a 5 year old. Also, "WOW, this stage really needs to be more organized, let's sort it all out." And, my favorite, "God music is appropriate for ALL cultures. So let's just do an all God concert." (I might die from the cute.)
I realize that people who homeschool can also teach their children these lessons in different ways. And I think that's awesome. FOR THEM. Not every idea, every way of doing something, is right for every person or family. Variety is the spice of life, right?
I do enjoy the time while my boys are at school. And I'm not going to feel guilty for that. I refuse to. I also miss them and when they return home, we have a long oh-how-I missed-you hug before the chaos ensues and I wonder how long before they get to go back. (I tease, I tease...or not...depends on the day.)
That doesn't make me a bad Mom, it makes me a REAL Mom.
We didn't rush our boys out the door for school. I have not put my boys in preschool. Chandler, our oldest, did go for one year before kindergarten for three days a week. He loved it. It worked for that time in our lives. But our other boys have not and I've kept them all in half day kindergarten as well. I know they will be gone all too quickly, all grown up, away from me for too many hours in the day. And that really does make me sad. It equally makes me happy in a way though, too.
They are learning, making friends, enjoying school (my kids love school, so far, I'm really lucky about that). I am home, with a bit more time to try new recipes, get the house for real clean instead of fake clean, and maybe one of these days actually learn how to sew. (Like for real sew, not having to call my Mommy for help, kind of sew.)
Yes, I'll have time for ME. I might even take a nap. Maybe that makes me selfish. But that's ok. I can deal with that. I spent a whole lot of years forgetting what the word ME even meant as I breastfed, changed diapers, learned how to make everything from scratch, taught my boys the alphabet and how to write their names and then promptly wiping the crayon off the wall....so many years...wonderful as they were, I am excited to get a break.
So sue me.
I am not the mom who can do all of those things and have my children at home. I mean, I can, I just don't want to. I'd rather be playing Just Dance with my favorite five year old than wiping the toilet. Having the boys home distracts me. The weekends are spent playing and lounging and loving. When everyone is home, that is all I want to do! So having them gone for a few hours during the day certainly increases my productivity!
To the moms who do all of those things and homeschool?
I guess I just need to accept that I am just not that kind of Mom. And I'm slowly coming to accept myself for the Mom I am.
I love this post called "Choosing Public School in a Faith Filled Home" and I wanted to share it with you. I agree with many of her insights about why they choose to send their children to public school. I think the biggest one I relate to is the idea that I will not be able to always meet my children's academic needs. I feel so very ill-equipped for teaching my children. I mean, I can do the easy stuff, but I think Chandler who is 9 years old and a very advanced learner is already smarter than me. (Totally wish I was joking.)
I will teach my children everything I can at home and let the learning they do at school supplement what I miss.
That feels good to me.
I still have one little guy at home. A few more months until all of my kids are in school. And I'll be honest, (I can be super-duper no one is going to judge me honest, right?)
I dread the day he goes to Kindergarten.
I am so looking forward to the day he goes to Kindergarten.
AND THAT'S OK.
Please say it's ok.