Thursday, May 24, 2007

Homeschool Blahs

I have the Homeschool Blahs. I’ve had them before on many an occasion but never so severely and never for such a prolonged period of time. I’ve spent many moments over the last couple of weeks daydreaming about backpacks, school lunches, PTA meetings, and homework. Then the other night Alex, after having spent some time with the neighbor kid, asks me, “Does school end for us on Friday like it does in REAL school?” Without addressing the inaccurate assumption she has that she’s somehow receiving a fake education, I explain to her that since we’ve had extended vacations, countless Free Fridays, and many other days off in between, we will be well into June before we finish. Doesn’t she complain of being bored on days we don’t have school anyway?

I hear so many homeschoolers say they felt “called” to Homeschool. I’ve never felt called to Homeschool; however, I’ve never felt called to send the kids to public school either. Maybe I have too much wax in my ear, and I’m just not hearing the calling. God knows about my wax build-up…I’m thinking He needs to send me a burning bush. Yes, I’m the kind of person who needs strong kicks in the pants like that. Then I would know for sure I had been “called” one way or the other.

The cause of my Homeschool Blahs is easy to diagnose: selfishness. Some days I would like nothing more than to be a princess and just send the kids to school and sit at home all day BY MYSELF in SILENCE if I so choose. I guess I’m just feeling I need a break. The cause does go a little deeper, however, than my shallow selfishness: I want the kids to experience “school.” It was a great experience for me, and I wouldn’t want them to miss out: seeing friends daily, learning responsibility in completing work, school spirit, wondering if that boy you have a crush on will look at you during lunch…

On the other hand, I know all of these experiences can be negative as well. And if they were away at school, I would miss hearing the sweet princess voice calling “Mama?” from her crib as she wakes up at her leisure; I would miss being able to spend quality time one-on-one with each child daily; I would miss being a part of the learning process for each one of my children in each subject; I would miss having the freedom to head off to the zoo because we’re studying animals, or to Washington D.C. because we’re studying government; I would miss being a part of something so important as helping my children learn what they need to know in order to grow spiritually, physically, academically, and personally…and letting them learn at a pace that is comfortable and suitable for them.

So what is the cure for the HB? Well, besides prayer, I have to consider the question that non-homeschoolers are so obsessed with: How long are you going to Homeschool? I always tell them we’ll Homeschool until it doesn’t work anymore and that we take it a day at a time. Taking it a day at a time is the best remedy, I think. And so I plod on…today. And speaking of today, today we have Phonics, Reading, Math, and Science to get to…

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