Monday, March 25, 2013 still there?

(Note: I actually typed this up some time ago, but then never published it. I came across it tonight when my heart finally burst over not documenting my littlest's last two years.)

Just wondering if there might still be anyone out there in blogger-land who might every once in a long while pop in on me to see if there's any slight sign of life.  Yes???  Well, hi there, faithful reader.  I'm still here; so glad that you are, too.  Rather than get myself all worked up over the many, many beautiful / encouraging / scary / etc. moments that have gone unmentioned, all the hundreds of unshared photographs that capture my little ones in the glory of their littleness, before I work up a good, ugly cry over how short-sighted I have been, let's just move on.  Let's just pick up right here as if I haven't neglected this little blog of mine for...let's see...has it really been TWO YEARS?  My goodness. I'll do my best to make up for lost time. 

We'll start with the big details, and the first one is a doozie.

I'm homeschooling my kids.  Did you catch that?  I'M HOMESCHOOLING MY KIDS!  

I'm assuming that this will shock those of you who know me well because, well, it still shocks me.  Here I sit, about to wrap up our second year, and I can still hardly believe that we're actually doing this.  Never ever ever did I imagine that we would take this route.  And, to be honest, I still question it, a lot.  It has been, hands down, the hardest parenting decision we have made to date.  So, how did this former public school teacher arrive here?  Prayer.  Prayer and research and long talks with Stephen and then more prayer.  Oh yeah, and tears...there were lots of tears.  But as I struggled with what appeared to be three good options--the local public school, Stephen's private school, and homeschool--a couple of clear thoughts began to s-l-o-w-l-y emerge:

  • Nothing is permanent.  We can (and should) revisit the educational choices we make for our kids each year.  There is no shame in giving something a good, solid try.  If it doesn't work, we'll find what does. 
  • I feel more and more certain that there is a window of opportunity to plant seeds of influence in my kids' lives, and I've got this sneaky suspicion that that window will close much sooner than I'd like...much sooner than I'd expect.  I want to make the most of it.  
  • And lastly, it's doubtful that I will look back once my kids are grown and regret spending the extra time with them. I'm not one to gamble, but I like my odds on this one.
And, just for fun, why not include some of the ideas that did NOT influence our choice neither for nor against homeschooling:

  • "The public school system turns out a bunch of morally corrupt hoodlums."  We don't buy it. It seems to us that morally corrupt parents are more likely to blame for this one.  
  • "No one knows your child better than you, so you will be her best teacher."  To me, the logic on this one just doesn't hold up. I suppose I should  fill her cavities (yes, she's had a cavity...don't judge) and prescribe her medications, too. Here's how I see it: Teachers are well-educated and specifically trained professionals (I should know...I graduated with some of the absolute best).  To suggest that someone can do what they do as well as they do simply because he or she is a parent...nope. I just don't agree. 
  • "Homeschool kids are weird."  Yes, some absolutely are.  Some public school kids are weird, too.  And private school kids...definitely some weird ones there.  And what kind of weird are we talking?  Is my 7 year old weird because she doesn't know who Justin Beiber is?  Yes? Then, you're right, looks like we might be raising a weirdo. 
In the end, we made this decision because we believe it is the best choice for us for now. It may change.

Shew! So that's a start, right?  Much, much more catching up is in order, but here's to a solid start. Or re-start. Whichever.