Five years ago this summer, I was considering homeschooling. I was exhausted by the thought of one more useless parent/teacher conference, and the idea of dropping my son off in the car line come August nauseated me to no end.
I started playing around with the idea of homeschooling in my head and eventually spoke the words out loud to my husband. He was supportive right away and urged me to take the leap. I found that both encouraging and frightening.
When I began talking to other homeschooling moms I knew, I was overwhelmed with the information that would get thrown my way. Some of the moms scared the crap out of me and made me feel like I could never do it, but there were others who inspired and encouraged me. It felt like we actually lived on the same planet, and they made me feel like it was actually a possibility.
Of course, I'd share my doubts...
But, I am not a teacher.
How do I keep track of grades?
How do I make sure he's where he should be?
What happens if I can't teach him something?
How do I know what curriculum to buy?
What?? What did you say?
Wait. Let me write that down.
That was the old me.
I was insecure and timid, still worried about what others would think of my choice. I clung to the ideals of a system I wanted nothing to do with anymore, yet I had no idea how to let go. I wasn't sure what homeschooling would look like for our family and I wasn't even sure it was something I could do, but somehow I decided to do it anyway.
Our first year was filled with so much trial and error it's amazing we made it through. My oldest was struggling with the change and I'm pretty sure my toddler spent 10 straight months shaping Play-Doh with cookie cutters. Some days were filled with tears. Other days I wanted to drive my son up the road and drop him off at school declaring I had made the biggest mistake of my life.
But, then there were the good days.
By the grace of God, in the midst of our chaos, I got to see my son smile again. I assure you it had nothing to do with me or my teaching abilities. I think it was just being home. It helped give my son a break from all if his struggles. Eventually, I got to see him grow excited about learning again. He went from a scared little boy to the child I knew was hiding beneath the surface. He was himself again all of the time, not just on weekends.
We were no where close to where we needed to be, but the difference in my son was too remarkable to ignore. I kept trucking along, toddler by my side, and we made it through our first year. All the bad days were outnumbered by the good and I breathed a sigh of relief when it was over. It was a miracle. I didn't break him, and he did in fact learn something.
Homeschooling has taught me that I don't always need all the answers. In fact, I won't ever have them, and that's OK.
It's taught me to let go of insecurity and believe in my choices for my children.
It's taught me to be a better mom, not because I homeschool my kids, but because I believe in myself as their mother.
Five years later, I'm still spending my summer considering our options for the fall. I'm not sure if that will ever change.
I'm stepping out of my comfort zone again, as I begin to make new choices for our family's homeschooling journey. We've joined a co-op, and I'm making some major changes to our curriculum.
I'm continuing to let go of so many of the restrictions I've placed on the way we learn and they way I teach my children.
But, I've learned I can do it.
Making decisions and changes isn't hard anymore, it's just exciting.
I'm sharing this post at Pour Your Heart Out.