We are ending our homeschool adventure…with the Rooster at least. The hubs and I have been praying for a month now about our Rooster and schooling. We’ve visited the local school (which, have I mentioned is top-rated and is within walking distance to our house?) and are heading back again in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, we both really feel strongly this is the direction the Lord is taking this little man.
In pondering the end of this season of schooling my son, here are the things I have learned/observed:
1) Making a schooling choice is a lot like choosing to breastfeed.
Too many opinions ( ___ is the ONLY way to feed/educate your child),
too many choices, (can’t even begin to list them all)
too many unknowns (what if you can’t?)
2) Homeschoolers are not necessarily well-behaved, responsible children.
I think I had this crazy misconception that if you schooled your children then they would magically just become these well-behaved, responsible children. Ha! If you could spend a couple of days with me at some of these local classes that we attend, you would be very surprised. Today I watched the teacher get kicked, a disrespectful student refusing to stop and a mom standing there and watching the whole thing yet doing nothing.
3) It takes more than one.
A lot of our struggle is that the Rooster is alone. Yes, he has his sister but she is 3 and not necessarily the motivation he needs to get his work done. I am convinced the reason why most homeschooling families have 19 children is because it makes it easier. It’s more like a classroom, where there is peer tutoring, motivation to get done and motivation to behave. There is only so much motivation a 35 year old mom and a 3 year old sister can provide.
4) Peer pressure isn’t such a bad thing.
We didn’t choose to homeschool this year because of peer pressure, but it was a side point. There were behaviors that our guy was picking up on and the ability to “choose” his friends was comforting. But, as we have watched him this Fall, we have realized that he needs peer pressure. He needs to know what he is doing is what he is supposed to be doing (or what he isn’t supposed to be doing) and he learns that best from watching others. He is an observer…always has been. It’s taken this Fall for us to really realize that when his kindergarten teacher told us, “he needs his friends” it wasn’t because he needs his friends, but because she saw what we now see.
5) It brings you closer together.
This is a hard one. In some ways, this schooling experience has brought us closer. I feel much better apt to create some very special experiences on school breaks etc and I didn’t do that before. It has brought brother and sister together in many ways, but in other ways it has driven us all apart. I do feel strongly that this 1-on-1 experience for the Rooster has been good, but has also made him very self-centered. His world in so many ways has shrunk and no amount of field trips for a few hours here and there is going to make a difference with him. It’s also been hard for he and I. We are two peas in a pod and while I have learned so much about him and how he ticks this Fall, I’m ready to just be mom again and not teacher-mom.
6) Telling others you are quitting homeschooling is MUCH harder than telling them you are.
I was paranoid about sharing with others that we were homeschooling. But once you even set your foot into this community, it’s so hard to move out. There is SO much guilt. This goes back to my first point. I think I’ve been learning that it doesn’t have to be a one size fits all philosophy for schooling. If you have one in public school, one in private and one at home…that is ok. It’s the idea of praying for that specific child and doing what’s best for that child…not necessarily the whole. And it could easily be that it does fit the whole. In our case, it doesn’t.
There you have it. My top lessons I’ve learned. Would I homeschool again? Sure. I am beyond grateful for this season and what we’ve all learned. The chick and I may keep on going with our school for a long while (she and I are NOT two peas on a pod…more like a pea and a carrot). I’ve learned so much about my children and I’m still processing through all the things the Lord has revealed with me.