Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Homeschool schizophrenia

(i wrote this letter to an internet group of homeschoolers and decided to post this here as well....)

I have self diagnosed myself with homeschool schizophrenia.

Seriously.

I read the homeschoolers blog; the one where the child who was unschooled went to ninth grade.
I find myself thinking;
I AM DEFINITLY GOING TO UNSCHOOL.

then I look around my house, I see laundry not done, clutter accumulating, hear a baby screaming to be nursed ON DEMAND, and watch two older children fighting over a toy, am behind on getting ready for work in two hours, and I think to myself:
I AM DEFINITLY NOT GOING TO HOMESCHOOL.

See, my daughter is supposed to enter kindergarten this year.

I have 2 weeks to figure out if she is getting up early in the morning to climb the stairs of the big yellow bus.

two weeks.

I should have figured this out by now.

But I am homeschool schizophrenic. ...you know me, the mother who thinks homeschooling is so wonderful and I want the best for my children....but can't seem to get anywhere on time let alone with matching socks on each child.

I am seriously terrified that I will be neglecting my children by homeschooling because, afterall, that dumbed down public school still at least has something better to offer than me.

I hear so many parents say that they know how to reach their children the best, they know how to teach their children. Mostly, I feel this way too...until the chaos of life builds up, the chores add up, the demands get overwhelming. ....and my children are plugged into the computer or tv so that I can simply take a shower or wash a few dishes...

HOMESHOOLED SCHIZOPHRENIC,

yup that's me.

I hear voices telling me...."don't put them to school this fall, they will loose their love for learning"

and feel paranoid tremers of fear...."don' t homeschool them, they need structure, organization...and the one with special needs has to have a reason to get up and out every day."

I run to vision therapy appointments, occupational therapy, speech...and lift my shirt in public places to nurse an almost one year old. Yup, I have lost all sense of modesty too.

I spent my summer at the beach, letting my children gather shells, sun, and memories....and now labor day is here.

I don't want my daughter to get on that bus but that evil voice tells me that I can't do this, I will ruin her life.

Is there a lithium for this problem????

Is there a way I can KNOW THAT I KNOW FOR SURE which path is the right path to take.

I mean this decision can mean the difference in my children's entire future.
I know things are fluid- I can enter them in and take them out....but I'd like to find peace one way or another; and stay there.

Does anyone else feel this way??

3 comments:

tysdaddy said...

Do your local schools suck? If not, and you're not sure about homeschooling, then don't do it . . . right now anyway.

We homeschooled our firstborn through the second grade because I refused to send him to the local school. Their test scores are routinely in the toilet and the atmosphere is less than stellar. When we built our home in a better school district, we sent him to the elementary and he thrived.

It's a tough call. There are an abundance of resources for homeschooling parents. Do you have the support you'll need to make it work?

Many things to consider . . .

Jayne said...

If I knew that I was not up to the constant challenge, I'd opt for the yellow bus, truly. Maybe there is just too much going on right now. Doesn't mean next year might not be completely different, but for now, listen to your gut.

Cindy said...

which ever way you choose, you won't ruin your daughter's life with the decision you make for this year! kids are amazing.

when we did kindergarten it took about 1 1/2 hours a day- everything included. really. i'd be surprised if it weren't manageable for you, even though you clearly have a lot on your plate. while I agree with the others that if you aren't sure, you want to be careful about forcing it, I'd feel remiss if i didn't say that, for me, by beginning with kindergarten the progression into the subsequent grades has been fairly natural and less stressful than if i had tried to jump in at a higher level.

If you think you really may want to homeschool at some point, starting with kindergarten would be the easiest way school-wise. maybe it would be helpful to look up your state's standards (called scope and sequence) for kindergarten. you might just find that your daughter could almost pass all the requirements already. that would take some pressure off wouldn't it? the hours per day aren't what matter. it's whether she has gained the skills for her grade level. remember that half a (classroom) school teacher's time is spent moving children, disciplining them, cleaning up after them, and directing them. Even more for kindergarten.

No matter what you decide, no guilt! parenting is hard and there is seldom one right answer. only your family can judge what works best for you. and mom has to be happy and content with the decision!

and by the way- I'm overwhelmed at the beginning of every school year. it's sort of like being in line for a roller coaster- there are always butterflies, but the more you do it, the more accustomed you get to the butterflies :-)