Sunday, May 2, 2010

perspective... part1

i have been reading the comments on my blog with interest these last couple of days - & i would love to respond to some of the thoughts that they contain... Especially in light of Neil & i having made our decision regarding our little peanut.
Peyton will be schooling at Chrysalis Academy in the fall...
& for any of you who don't know - Chrysalis Academy is the name of our very own little homeschool.
It didn't take long for us to come to this conclusion, i know - but even though we made our decision quickly - there was sure a lot of thought that went into it.
First off - i want to share how i feel about homeschooling for *our* family. i want to have this written here - & pj can come read this someday & understand my feelings about this little scene that unwrapped itself this past week. Please don't think that this post is about anyone other than *my family* - i don't expect most people will make the same decisions that we have made & that's more than ok with me.
i have always said rather nonchalantly that if we ended up doing something different for one child, that would be ok with me. & i still feel that way to a certain extent - but less so than i did last week. The reason is this: homeschooling is something that unites us as a family. The 40+ hours/week that would be the required sacrifice for one of my children to go to public school is too great a cost. i'm not saying that it would never happen... but after carefully considering this option -and the changes that it would bring to our family unit via one missing person, i felt a certainty that this wouldn't work for us at this point in time.
Another thought that came up was my child's regret. That's a tough one to swallow eh? After carefully examining my heart, i came to the conclusion that *i'm already doing the thing that i believe to be the very best for this child* - if i choose to go another route - i will no longer be doing what i believe to be the best. It's an incredible sacrifice to decide to homeschool... & yeh, us homeschool mamas joke to each other that we're, "too lazy to send them to school" or that, "i'm too much of a control freak to send my little ones" - but in reality, i don't know a single homeschool mama who isn't giving their all to mothering their school aged children. We wouldn't be sacrificing all these hours & years if we didn't believe there were merits to homeschooling that are impossible to achieve any other way. i know for me, i'm constantly allowing, or disallowing things in my home based on what i believe to be the best... "no watching Pokemon during school hours", "No ice cream after 8pm", "Yes, you can try having a sleepover with your sister, but if you guys aren't settled in an hour, you're getting separated..."
It's our job as parents to carefully consider the requests brought to us - & gently make the decisions that we believe are best for our little ones. If my child has regrets about the way he or she was raised (as i'm sure they all will, on occasion) - i want to feel sure that i can say that i did what i truly believed was best. i don't feel confident that if honey girl regretted a year of public school that she asked for on a whim at age 9 - that i'd be able to say that.
Then there was the idea that quitting homeschooling (even just for 1 child) might make me feel like a failure.
Honestly, that's a thought that hadn't occurred to me. There is so much more at stake than my own pride :) Beginning homeschooling doesn't make you a success - just like quitting doesn't make you a failure. As mothers we all share the feeling of blindness at times. Feeling our way along without the benefit of hindsight. We all recognize that it's too soon for us to know what worked and what didn't. We have decades ahead of us to realize that even though we didn't make our parent's mistakes, we made our own. That's why we have to trust that these little ones are the handiwork of God - and that He will complete the work He began in them.
Homeschooling is an extension of how i have been called to mother in this season of my life.
& looking at it from every angle: our family, her siblings, my own beliefs... and most importantly my sweet honey girls' needs... i keep coming back to what we're already doing.
Education is a constant process of trying, failing, progressing, regressing, learning, growing...
& i feel such a peace - knowing that next year we'll still be doing that as a family -
at home.

8 comments:

Joy said...

A lovely post, well written! Just one point of confusion, doesn't M. attend Kindergarden elsewhere?

Prvbs31Mama said...

I loved this post Paige.

Joy, I believe Paige lets all her kids go to kindergarten and then it's homeschool from then on.

paige said...

Yeh, joy - Molls is at K this year - & even though it's something i don't feel as strongly about - our reasoning for allowing it pretty much comes down to math. There are less than half the hours in kindergarten. We have always sent them for K - i'm not sure we'll do the same with Gagey, but it's what we've done in the past.

Jen said...

P~ I agree with the other 2...awesome post.
I love how you based you decision on what YOU (& Neil) think is best for your family and how God is leading you - and not on other peoples opinions.
God gave you the amazing job of raising your children and no one can argure that you aren't doing a good job.
Beautiful *little* family you have :)

mamalena said...

Hurray!

Melissa said...

Well-written, Paige! I can't wait to see part two - and I only assume there IS a part two 'cuz this one is labelled "part one"! :)

Lesley said...

Well done you! Your children are so lucky to have you for a Mummy:-) I have also just made a huge decision about schooling and it took me AGES to come to it. I am, unfortunately, the kind of person who continues to second guess myself even after I have absolutely, positively, definitely made my mind up,-) Chrysalis Academy sounds like the perfect place. Any chance you'll be opening a branch in Switzerland? Hee hee.

Anonymous said...

aaaahhhh.....
my heart breathed a happy little sigh. i'm glad. no matter what it would have been fine but still...you know....i'm glad.

fawne

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