I tried homeschooling my son… but I hated it.
Yep, you heard me. I had every intention of being one of “those moms” who homeschooled their children and was good at homeschooling their children. I knew what to expect. My parents had homeschooled my sister and I until I went to college. Curriculum and record keeping was the easier part of the whole experience.
I don’t know what exactly my intention was. Partially, I was raging against the machine of common core. I was also trying to be a better mom. I was partially trying to juggle all the balls without any help. But seriously, those moms who were into homeschooling, eat strictly paleo AND organic and never have a dirty house… I’m pretty sure they never sleep. Oh mama, I would love to be you, but I enjoy sleep and Netflix way too much for that.
Our public school system here does full day kindergarten. That did not sit well with me. The teacher would have my son more waking hours out of the day then I had him. That just didn’t seem right. Why have kids if the teachers (aka the government) sees them more than I would? That just seems like surrogacy program to me.
We applied, and got accepted to a charter school. But with being federally funded they still had the PARCC test and can only deviate from the federal curriculum by something like 15-20%. It was also 20-minute drive one way…so we’re talking 80-90 minutes of drive time 5 days a week. I didn’t like that option either. We attended many meetings at this charter school that told us how awesome their extracurricular studies were and how awesome their teachers were and how they “weren’t like common core. We use something called core studies and it’s just unfortunate that it’s called almost the same thing as the common core.” I just have to tilt my head and go “mmmm righttttt….”.
So I jumped on the homeschooling bandwagon. Now before you think I’m knocking homeschooling, I’m not. It’s a fantastic method of educating your own children and safeguarding their little eyes and ears. It’s a way to give our children the best foundation we possibly can. I get it. The process and the pros and cons are not lost on me.
Well, I started homeschooling our then 5-year old for kindergarten. I hated every minute of it. Wearing the mom hat AND the teacher hat was something I started to despise. It seemed like most days we would both end up in tears. I am impatient, I am not a teacher, and I don’t like kids! Yep, I said another taboo. My boys are my whole world, and I love them dearly. But I don’t like hanging around a ton of kids. That’s not where my passion in life is. They know am not good with them. I am not patient with them and I swear they can smell fear.
I went through 6 months of homeschooling before I finally threw in the towel. That was such a freeing feeling. I just wasn’t cut out for this. Then, it took me 4 of those 6 months to be able to admit that I hated it and to admit that neither of us was enjoying this experience. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that I stunk at it. Also, it took me even longer to come to terms with the fact that I now needed to find another form of education for my child.
That education came in the form of a private Christian school. His kindergarten class has 5 kids total in it. It’s a wonderful school with a beautifully classical curriculum and they even teach the Bible and Biblical principles. I love that they reinforce the concepts and principles that he’s taught at home. He’s almost done with his first full semester and let me tell you, it’s been a godsend. He’s only gone for 4 hours, but in this one semester, he’s learned how to read! I’ve learned that he’s fabulous at math and loves learning about how the body works. I have high hopes that he’ll be a doctor and support his parents in our old age. Just kidding… but seriously, help your mama out!
I’ve also found out that I love being his mom and JUST his mom. And that’s ok! I can be JUST his mom and still be a great mom; even if he eats a happy meal occasionally. I’m not any less of his mom by not wanting to be his teacher. I’ll leave that to the professionals…literally the people that have the degree and love working with kids. Not all moms are cut out to be homeschool moms. Not all moms are meant to be public school mamas or private school mamas or co-op mamas etc. We’re all cut out to be our children’s mamas and to fit into the mold that Christ made for us. That’s all we can do; just be the best mamas we can, regardless of what that looks like or what any other mamas think of you. What’s best for your family (and sanity) is what’s best for your family.