Don’t you just love it when you end up eating the words, “I will never…”
I used to proclaim that fateful statement about homeschooling. I’d heard about those weird homeschooled kids who were as socially dysfunctional as David Zellaby and his Aryan siblings from the classic film Village of the Damned. I’d seen the parents, nay, the moms whose cheerfulness was a creepy reminder of the Stepford Wives. I didn’t want my kids like that—mute and glassy-eyed—and I surely didn’t want to wake up one morning and find myself delighted about doing laundry and cooking my family a five-course breakfast.
Again, never say never…
I have been thrust into the necessary position of choosing to take the homeschooling path or let my youngest child suffer with a learning disability and hate school. God knows there’s only one thing on this planet that would make me—a former English teacher and bibliophile—even consider homeschooling and that’s having one of my children hate to read and write.
So we’re off. Or rather, we will be. The official start date is October 4th. I’ve notified our county’s Superintendent of Schools. I’ve researched and ordered my homeschooling curriculum. With my hubby’s help, I’ve finagled through my schedule between work and home leaving the instruction of the four-letter word subject (M-A-T-H) to him. As a former math teacher and the sometimes-annoying but eternal optimist of the family, he’s the perfect candidate for teaching that dreaded subject.
As I prepared for this new path, I found myself a little excited, kinda like how you feel before you jump out of an airplane with only a pack on your back that some stranger folded for you. I thought about all the extra time I would get to spend with my girls. And then I thought about all the extra time I would have to spend with my girls, i.e., time that I would be giving up for myself or work or whatever. And I almost choked on my own selfishness. I should be happy about the extra time I would have with my beautiful, rapidly growing daughters. I would be happy about it.
I began to realize that God’s up to his old tricks again. He leads me down a path under the guise I’m doing something for someone else and I find out along the way that his plans are to change me. To open my eyes and see the world in a whole different light.
So I’ve surrendered, and though I’m still choking on my words a bit, I thought it would be interesting to blog about this adventure and my new state of humility.
But I have another confession to make—I’m hoping you’ll follow me on this adventure so you can keep an eye on me. You know, look over my shoulder. Gaze into my eyes from time to time and make sure they’re not glazing over.
See, along this journey of self-discovery, I’m going to try real hard not to turn into my nightmare vision of a homeschool mom—smiling excessively, gushing about the 30 ways to re-use a naked toilet paper roll, and in general sounding a lot like Carol Brady.
So I implore you, if you’re up to the task to keep an eye on me, if I start looking like I’m enjoying myself too much, start baking cookies galore, or—heaven forbid—start scrapbooking, slap me and call a de-programmer. I’ve always believed that enjoying home schooling is a sure sign of cultic brain-washing and I’d appreciate my friends showing tough love and returning me to my original state of stressed-out paranoia.
Or at least reminding me that there are things more important than field trips and chocholate chip cookies.
Disclaimer: If you are a homeschooling mom, please don’t take offense at my ramblings. This is just my warped and bigoted view of a culture I’m clueless about. I’m sure, if you hang on long enough, you will have the supreme satisfaction of watching me eat my words. Again.
I ate my own words on the subject a year ago. It has turned into the adventure of a lifetime for both of us.I have learned so much about my son, his learning style and what makes him thrive (hands on visual learning) and what bores him to tears (worksheets with chicks and bunnies). He loves to write standing up and wiggling his bottom back and forth while humming a little tune. He is slower in the reading and writing arena but slays his math like a champion. I never knew any of this before. We are on our second year and love making our own schedule, picking our own stories to read and zero homework.
I better go, we have to put muscles on Mr. Body, finish a book report, review the times tables we just tackled while at Disney for a week and cuddle up together and read. Not too bad for a Monday morning 😉
Thanks for sharing your life. I will pray for you and that God will give you wisdom and insight on this new endeavor.
OH Kim Oh Kim
If you only knew what the past 8 mo has put me thru. I do you enjoy reading your blogs but this one sure put me to a halt. I too started homeschooling as of Aug this yr. You have NO IDEA how close we are to thinking re the HMschool way. So I do look forward to following you and hopefully laugh thru it all so far no laughs other than I went on a two week vacation too b/c of the stress this has brought on. We start school again 2mrw. I will pray for your heart too, I like what u wrote, I AM convinced God’s doing something w/me and my heart. Since I tried putting the brakes on this subject but God had other plans for me. So here we go. Hugs