With Clara only a few months away from turning two, I think about her education often, and Luke's as well. Here's where we stand right now: I would love for her to attend a Catholic school, but we can't afford tuition (especially since we'll have two going back-to-back). I would like to homeschool, but don't think I'm cut out for it. And despite having attended public school from kindergarten through twelfth grade myself, a public education makes me nervous for a few reasons (some of which might not be rational, I will admit, but based on very personal experiences), not the least of which is the liberal agenda that I believe many public school educations include. That all being said, I have a number of thoughts swirling around in my head and I figured my blog was a great place to jot them down. I will, though, add that I am not debating different forms of education here. I'm just sorting through my thoughts as we make a very personal decision for our children.
I am in awe of homeschooling moms. It is so outside my skill set, that it's even hard for me to comprehend.
The problem with that is I wish with every fiber of my being that I could be one of them. And I've seriously contemplated trying - my tentative plan (based on nothing but my own hair-brained idea) is to homeschool Clara for preschool and then do a year of homeschool kindergarten the year before she would actually start kindergarten. She has a December birthday, so she'll start late anyways, so it would be a way to see if I could hack it.
But I'm starting to wonder if homeschooling is going to be possible.
First off, I hate reading. I know I'm in the minority and it's even taboo to admit that (I'm sure some of you will immediately think less of me!), but it's the truth. I can't concentrate enough to read and I don't feel like I retain anything. It causes me great stress, therefore I don't do it. Once a year (or, probably more accurately, once every other year) I'll read a book (fiction) and love it, but that's it.
So... not only does not being an avid reader make it difficult to prepare (I can't imagine reading books on how to homeschool), but how am I supposed to turn my kids on to reading? I shouldn't be the one teaching them about books. I don't want them to be like me. Life is easier for those who loves to read (or at least that's what I assume). And honestly, I don't know anything about literature, so there goes that.
Second, I am unmotivated, scatterbrained and continuously fatigued. I don't have any sort of routine and I tend to do things whenever I happen to remember to. I can't imagine making sure we get everything done we have to do, especially with (God willing) younger babies to tend to. I know so many others do it, but I don't think I can. I'm exhausted mothering two right now. I couldn't imagine these two, plus homeschooling an older sibling or two as well.
Third, I just don't think I'm smart enough. I used to be pretty smart when I was younger, but I swear I get less intelligent every year. I can't understand things like I used to. I listen to others talk and debate and I am just lost (or maybe it's that I'm disinterested?).
Fourth, I hated education. You know those people who get advanced degrees because they just love learning and hate the thought of leaving the academic world? Ya, that's not me. I always did great in school, always near the top, if not the top of my class, but I hated every minute of it (well, everything besides socialization). I just didn't like learning and couldn't wait to be finished with it. I would do homework at the absolute last minute and never study for tests. I can count on one hand the number of times I enjoyed learning (a couple semesters of high school math, come to mind). So with such a negative attitude about school, I just don't think I'm the best person to teach my children.
Fifth, even when I dream about homeschooling, I never see myself doing it for high school. Even on my good, confident days, it seems ridiculous to think I could teach them high school level classes. Yet, if you go by my reasons to not send them to public school (which I know I haven't really spelled out yet.. sorry!), then high school would be one of the most important times to homeschool. If I'm just going to have to send them to a public high school anyways (even if we could afford Catholic elementary school, there's no way we could afford high school), why am I bothering to homeschool at all?
So those are the reasons that come to mind tonight. Sometimes I think, "Okay, I can do this.. we'll just do our best version of it and it might not be perfect, but I'm sure I'm not the first person with my personality type to homeschool..." and then I read posts about homeschooling and realize I would be so out of my league. I don't understand the language. It makes my head spin. And shouldn't it get me excited?
You're probably reading this thinking, why is she even considering it then? Well, I want to homeschool. I want to be that person who can. I want my kids to be homeschooled. And until a couple days ago, I thought I could. I thought I could because I saw no other option. I was just going to do it.
But then I talked with my husband the other night, and he reminded me of his position on it - that he just doesn't want to put that on me. Well, that's nice of him but, again, I didn't see any other option.
Today, though, I thought about it more and more. Maybe I am trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. Maybe I'm not cut out for homeschooling. And maybe that's okay.
As soon as I let open that crack, the stress started to melt away. Maybe God has something different in mind for our family. Or maybe not. We'll just have to see where He leads us.
We have a lot of time to think about it. Maybe I'll eventually come to a place where I can homeschool. I don't know. But, in the meantime, I have a lot of time to pray we can somehow send them to Catholic school!