I appreciate some of this; good rule of thumb used: if you're going to criticize someone, manage to use a "praise sandwich." Good work. ;) I do appreciate many things you said.
Wendy, you really lay your feelings out big time, something that I could
I never realized that I was a PEEP, but if the shoe fits, so be it.
I urge you to read your second paragraph over and concentrate on what it means in
reference to the remainder of your written thoughts and wishes. Sometimes
quality over quantity is the better.
You have children that you put a lot of love and effort into for their future. I have been amazed that you home-school all, and I wonder how long you can carry this out, especially with the age differences. There is a lot ahead for you to think about.
You yourself are very multi talented and have the appearance of being very good at each (something others would love to have).
Again don’t overload as this can have a telling affect. I probably said more than I should, but I wish you the best.
When I read this, I immediately took out the second paragraph of my last blog post, that he's referring to:
As I was saying, Lately I've been putting so much effort into house, school,
crafts, behavior, that I'm finding myself drained when evening rolls around.
It seems that all of my updates are roughly 400 words; I can only think in
facebook posts now? Sad, yes.
After all, am I really being that "telling"? Am I coming across just stressed out, worn out, and possibly incompetent (my questions, not putting words into his mouth)?
And then I put it back in. After all, that IS how I was feeling. And, frankly, I'm not sure how that emphasized quantity over quality? My first ministry is to my family, and I try to emphasize that.
As a wife and mother, there are certain things that must be done every day. I have to feed the kids (cook, dishes, other clean-up) and do laundry, floors, bathrooms, plus other basics that MUST be done, and can't all be completed on weekends. The house stuff has to be scheduled in. The kids do a lot of this, and I consider it part of their education. Who wants to marry a slob? How many people end up with organizational flaws that hinder their adult lives? (*raises hand* I learned some things the hard way.)
Crafts also go into homeschool. And it's part of the quality, as far as I'm concerned. I firmly believe in hands-on do-to-learn education. We make. We create. We do art. And it's part of their quality education. It's also a part of who we ARE. Even outside of "homeschool," we do art as a way of life. Teachers and students are all entitled to a life outside of "school."
Behavior-- possibly the most important aspect of education, as this reflects the condition of their hearts and minds. I'm not trying to spread myself too thin; I'm trying to concentrate on each aspect of what I believe defines Quality Education. And, yes, it drains me. As I will assume every other mother and teacher feels at times. Some days I love it, some days I'm ready to quit, and sometimes I just plain don't want to think about so I go through the motions and cut out the extras. That's just the honest truth. But I wouldn't trade it in for anything.
I don’t need or want everyone to agree with me. This is not a Stepford-esque blog, and I am not a cultural robot. You can approach me. You can ask questions about homeschooling, how it works, why I believe what I believe, and you can tell me what YOU believe.
I both welcome and encourage readers across political, cultural, educational, geographical, religious divides to read and embrace what I have to say, or throw it to the curb. I acknowledge that I sometimes fly by the seat of my pants, can spit fire when provoked, and protect my home more fiercely than a lioness. But that doesn’t mean that I cannot listen objectively.
I homeschool; I listen objectively to all sorts of nonsense from well-meaners. I’m well-practiced right now!
Okay, it's a legitimate question: "I wonder how long you can carry this out, especially with the age differences. There is a lot ahead for you to think about." But knowing the intention of the person who asks the question is just as important as the question itself.
For the record, I plan to "carry this out" until completion. Straight through high school. And beyond, if my children end up taking some college courses while they're still in high school, like I did.
In case it's not as well-known as I thought, I was also homeschooled through high school. I loved it, and believe I turned out well-rounded, "socialized" (in a good sense of the word!) educated, and pretty likable... Right?
My parents homeschooled the three of us, all different grades and abilities, and we all look back with fond memories. It can be done. I also know people who have homeschooled from Day 1 and graduated their kids, quite successfully. Not only is it possible, it's pretty standard as far as homeschoolers go. Take a look at the data (not super-current, but the trend has continued.) Regardless of parents' education level, minorities, number of children, homeschoolers outscore. I won't go so far as to defend my position by using my daughter's own scores, but let's just say that she's doing mighty well and I'm a proud mama and teacher. *Ü*
As a friend once said, "Homeschooling is like Cinderella’s slipper. It ain’t gonna fit everyone." Great quote.
It doesn’t take a college education, special training or a degree in special education to give a child the best start. It does take real and genuine dedication to research, read and review, cover a broad range of topics, and the self-discipline to assemble it all. It also takes a stable home with a clear set of expectations and the self-discipline to make sure the environment of learning is created. This is why I'm home a lot. This is why I say "no" to way more outside activities than I would otherwise....a hard lesson learned, for me. This is why I wait to blog until school is done for the day, and why my art waits until evening. I have a lot of work to do, a lot of fun to be had, field trips to plan and papers to grade.
Not to say that homeschool moms don’t waver, second guess themselves or fail. I've never claimed to have it all together. I do claim to love my kids more fully and intensely than anyone. I do claim that my dedication to their educational success is greater than any specially-trained teacher could possess.
I acknowledge that I do not have all the answers, and will never offer my children the “perfect education.” I acknowledge that there will be gaps, as there will be with any educational choice, whether public, private, or home. I hope, beyond my imperfections, that my children develop a lifelong love of learning.
I am confident that they are thriving here at home. I am confident that right now, I am able to provide the tools, security, comfort, drive, discipline, love, motivation, encouragement, educational resources and time that they need. I may be spread thin, but what mother or teacher isn't?
I believe public school teachers have a much harder job, teaching 20+ students, from all different backgrounds and capabilities. They're required to teach all these little people at the same level, and make sure each child successfully masters each skill...especially hard when you don't have the means to "dig a little deeper" if there are family problems, etc. I admire the drive and dedication that so many teachers have.
Believe me, I can handle my four.
I hope that satisfies your concerns. I put all this out there so that other moms can find camaraderie in this journey.
If a family believes that homeschool is the right path for them, I hope they find a support group and companionship in the blogosphere for the journey. And if public school is where your children are meant to be, then embrace that choice and all the benefits that lie within that choice.
I could "play it safe" again and stick to crafts, decor, learning activities (which I still plan to include,) and skip all of my opinions and thoughts...but I'm tired of that. How does the saying go?-- If you hit the target every time, then you're standing too close. I need to stretch out a little. If I'm not challenging myself, then how can I possibly challenge anyone else?