Saturday, March 23, 2013

Making the Choice While I Still Can

I chose homeschooling because there is so much I want to do with my children, and I didn't want my time limited by someone else's schedule. I wanted to be able to let them see museums and the zoo when they weren't crowded. I wanted them to stay up late for a meteor shower or read one more chapter without worrying about getting up early the next day. I also wanted them to eat when their bodies were hungry and go to the bathroom when they needed it, without worrying about asking permission.

I chose homeschooling because I see each of my children as individuals and I want their education to reflect that. They each learn in their own way in their own time, which is not unique. I remember my own days in public school. I learned that way too. If you think about it, most of us learn this way. We all have our motivations for learning. It could be anything. The desire to please someone, a high grade, the need to figure out a puzzle. Without these personal reasons, we do not learn.

I chose homeschooling because my children are pretty cool. They have interesting conversations at the foot of my bed when I'm trying to sleep. They make me laugh. They create things. They treat each other as friends. 

My decision was not an easy one. We live an area with good schools. Everyone has their children on track for college. It's expensive here. Living on one paycheck means we don't have money for things that others might think important. My kids know my shopping mantra: "Wait until it goes on sale." Most things go on sale or end up at yard sales. If something doesn't, finding ways to earn and save money for it becomes a valuable lesson.

Not every day is a fun adventure. Some days are hard. Sometimes we need time away from each other. Some days I've fretted over required testing and paperwork, especially now that we are unschoolers. Worse are the days I have felt like I was a faceless, nameless mom without a penny to my name and too tired to try to lose that extra weight I put on.

And then I choose homeschooling again. I love that I am able to do it. I'm allowed to have bad days even if I love what I do. If I never struggled, how would I know how much I care about it?

I reach a milestone. We took Marina on a road trip to look at a college that accepted her as a transfer. A college that is too far away to drive to each day. We are learning about scholarships and financial aid and dorm living and I am dizzy from the years of struggles and triumphs that seemed to pass in a moment and landed us at this crossroad. Suddenly my time is limited by my daughter's choice. And I am glad I chose homeschooling.


Paula Vince said...

Well said! You speak for many of us here, all over the world.

Inner Elder said...

A beautiful summary of your choice. Would that we all were that in touch with our choices. Love, Mom

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