Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Ups and The Downs of this Home Schooling Thing

From Drop Box
School at McDonalds while Derek was across the street at meeting. 

I don't ever EVER forget that doing this whole home education thing is a choice. A choice that while 100%  right for our family right now (if... when that changes? Who knows?!) has it's drawbacks mixed in among the incredible benefits. 

I love the flexibility, the ease with which the boys go from one activity to another throughout the course of the day unhindered (mostly) by schedule. Of course there are things we must do each day, and we do them, but the how and when is very fluid. I love it.

 I love watching them learn. And I love that their natural curiosity is so easily satisfied because if they want to learn about fireflies, well, between the internet and our weekly library trips "F is for fireflies" is extremely easy to accomplish. 

But, oh, do not ever think that it is ALL sunshine and roses. 

There are moments when I think, "The school is just 100 yards away...  I could just open the door and kick him right out!" when Henry is being particularly obstinate. 

Or when I think, "I am failing them all!"

Or the strong desire I have to take a nap 90% of the time.

Or the dishes that never end, the laundry taller than I, and the THREE SQUARE MEALS A DAY PLUS SNACKS these boys demand.

Errands, bills to pay, business to run, children to chase, babies to change, toddlers demanding to not be ignored, piano practice to oversee, friends to visit, church callings to fulfill....

I know it's right. I know it. But goodness, some moments are harder to endure than others. 

Today's challenge?

The constant, (and by constant, I do mean CONSTANT) talking and questioning from two (sometimes three!) boys is a bit much some days. "We are just so curious!" they quip if Derek or I dare complain.

Tonight whilst they were dressing for bed, Henry was starting up some new line of questioning, something about grandparents, if I remember correctly,  and I had to stop him. After 12+ hours I had to stop him. No more. No more questions tonight. Tomorrow. 

He obliged. 

Then I felt terribly guilty for squashing his natural curiosity. 

Bad mom! 

So it's not all sunshine and roses, no. Sometimes it's thorns and bracken and dirt. 

I scrubbed a lot of dirt today. 

But I am clinging quite desperately, in the thorny moments, to the truth that this is right. It's one of those life-defining choices that we've made. And it's right for us, for now. Not right for you maybe, or your neighbor, or goodness, my neighbor, but right for us. 

And "right" almost never means easy. 

"Mom, so if we wanted to go visit our grandparents do you think they'd come get us?"
"Mom, why do wasps have venom?"
"Mom, if dinosaurs had had fur do you think the asteroid would have killed them?"
"Mom, if a baby animal has no fur, it's ugly to you?"
"Mom, how do we raise fun? You said 'fun-raiser' when you were talking to Daddy and I'm curious."
"Mom if we plant a plum seed will a tree grow in our yard?"


martine said...

U amaze me! Homeschooling! Wow..that is dedication! Ezra started his first day of school today n I almost cried from sheer joy...for him and me! I love that u choose to hs even tho it is the harder choice...but u believe it is rt...rock on mamma!

amy (mamascout) said...

ok - i just popped over after your comment, and have to say - i get you! we homeschool and love it, but i was nodding my head in recognition. people used to ask me, "what curriculum do you use" and i would say, "th one where we talk ALL day. you hardly need anything else.

i look forward to following your blog. i need as many homeschooling connections as i can get :)

oh, and i have an oliver too!

Erin said...

1. Your boys crack me up. I can just hear Henry and Spencer asking you all those questions. Probably repeatedly. :-)
2. We will see you next week! Levi eats everything! Hide all paper products! (Seriously. He's discovered that paper tears easily and is fun to chew. I fear for your boys school papers.)

Ellen said...

I had to laugh - must keep humor in it all. I have one who asks a LOT of questions too and loves to talk.

house full of jays said...

How true! So very precious and so very hair-pulling crazy. Somewhere it strikes a balance, right?

Swanski said...

They look like they are having fun :)

MJ said...

Oh I had to smile at this so much. We homeschooling mamas need to stick together as we can relate so much to each other! I tell myself to remember the long term always. And in the short term I try to spend a lot of moments just listening to their laughter and their joy.
Great post!!!!

SchneiderPeeps said...

I love the post! My boys are so big now and although they still talk to me, it's not like it used to be. I used to tell a couple of my sons. "Honey, Mommy's ears are very tired and they need to rest. So if you still need to talk, that's okay but my ears need to not listen for a while." And you know what, they would just keep on talking. Not to me, just talking because that is what those two boys did. (I didn't say this all the time, just in the car.)

Sniega said...

Thank you for sharing this (and for posting on my blog, which was the way I found yours). Somehow lately I prefer posts about the imperfections of peoples's everyday, as they look more real to me.
And... well, I can't help saying: four boys... awww... :))

ptmom said...

My kids are much older than yours now. I homeschooled them all until late middle school and now am just homeschooling my youngest. It does get easier. I think it is hardest when the olders are little and there is baby involvement. It is well worth it, though. I would do it all again given the choice. Best of luck.

Stefan, Sarah and Lukka said...

now if that isn't the truth! I hear ya. We are on our second year and haven't even "started" yet (though does it ever really end?).
Thanks for visiting, stop back anytime!

Sarah M


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