It hurts. People I love and respect giving me that look of disappointment . . . the “What do you mean you’re taking a break from college to homeschool your kids” look.
I shouldnt care what others think. I could say that I don’t care, but I do. I do not weigh their opinions heavily – compared to the opinion of my Maker, for instance – but they can still make me sad. Just when I am confident that I am heading the right direction, all it takes is one conversation to make me doubt it all. I wish everyone understood, if only so they could share our joyful journey with us.
You don’t understand, and so you don’t approve. Your eyes give away more than they know about their opinion on our family’s choice. I understand that your intentions are good. I also understand that we all bring our own baggage into situations like these, and so you’ve brought yours.
I wish I could explain my months of research and findings. I wish I could have a minute of your time in which to fully explain my heart. But who can fully explain something as tender and intricate as the feelings a mother’s heart, and in a minute at that?
What are you worried about?
Worried my children won’t get a good education? May I point out that with a teacher to student ration of 1:2, they will be getting superior attention. They will not be able to slip under the radar and squeak by with barely passing grades. They will be allowed to follow their bliss and study whatever is captivating their hearts at the moment. They will learn to be lifelong learners instead of test-takers. They will learn to push through difficult assignments with the support of family. Also, the curriculum I’ve chosen is challenging, and probably even superior to that of the local public school. Now, their education is all on me, and I’ll be butterscotch if they are dunces on my watch. My goal, more than before, is to make our adventures ones that inspire imagination, creativity, questions and learning.
Worried that my family is missing out on the money a nursing degree would bring in for us? I have faith that God will provide all our needs, and we continually strive to not have so many wants.
Worried that I won’t ever get back to school? I still have plans to get back to nursing school, next fall or the year after, or maybe even the year after. I’ve kept my biology books so as to keep reviewing and not fall behind too much. But really, who is to say what tomorrow will bring? I can say I plan on going back to school, but we know what is said about the best laid plans of mice and men. I am not making promises, but I want you to know I have the desire and intention of finishing my degree. I can go back to school anytime, but Blake will only be a frustrated ten-year-old once. If I can catch him before he completely loathes school, if I can somehow make up for the past two years of his less-than-stellar education, I think it’s worth a try.
Worried that I”ll never make more of myself than a wife and mother? Only a wife a mother. As if there were any calling more important. Nothing could be more important to me than cherishing my time with my kids. Having a year or two to bond with them through homeschooling is more exciting to me than I can begin to explain. It’s definitely more exciting than if i had been jumping into nursing school this fall.
Worried that I’ll lose myself? On the contrary, I have to say, I am indeed finding myself. Finding within me more gifts and talents I didn’t know were there. Who knew I could be a teacher too? It’s a delightful challenge for my brain to consider scheduling, and grades, and curriculum, and activities.
Worried I wont be reaching my full potential or enriching my mind as much as I could if I were in school? As if sitting behind a desk, or clocking in at work were more fulfilling or challenging than being thrown into a new profession (teaching) almost overnight without a year of student-teaching. It is stretching me already and the year hasn’t even begun yet! I am growing, learning, and loving more deeply. I am not losing here.
I feel very qualified to teach my children. I know them better than any other teacher will. I have the benefit of homeschooling in a day and age where countless others have paved the way for me and made it easier through excellent curriculum, teacher guides, and internet forums. The resources and help available to me are seemingly endless and more than I could ever fully use.
Homeschooling is not a cage for me. It is not a cage for my kids. It is not a hinderance or a pit. No, it is an awesome adventure that I can hardly believe I am privileged to be taking. I feel like I am embarking on a trip I have waited for all my life. My backpack is packed, so to speak, and I am facing into the brilliant sun on a breezy warm day, about to take the first step into new territory. I feel like the world has never been more accessible. It is ours for the taking. I wish you could feel this thrill!
Also, I want you to know that I don’t think I have it all figured out. No, I am quite certain I have very little figured out. I am learning as I go, and trying to retain the flexibility of a rubber-band. All I know for certain is that my son was struggling, and he asked to be homeschooled, and as soon as I reigned-in my selfishness and stopped for a minute to consider it, I was okay with the idea. More than okay, I had total peace in my heart about it, and I still do.
But, you see . . . all of this is too much to say. It’s too long an answer for someone who may have simply raised an eyebrow or made some quick quip. Not that I owe an explanation to anyone . . .
I must remember that I cannot expect other people to feel the way I do, because they are not in my shoes.
I must remember that God is faithful,
and if he has nudged us toward homeschooling,
I am not worried about following His leading.