I’m really just so glad to be homeschooling!
In my “why” posts, you can see my incredibly valid reasons for knowing this is the right avenue for our family. But I have a loooooooooong list of other benefits to homeschooling, some compelling and some…not so much. But they all add up to making me feel oh so happy about our decision! I want to share one of those reasons with you today.
I sat in my car at 7:50 am one morning and shouted, “I love you!” to a six year old I had just been screaming at moments earlier. I watched Sunshine walk away from me across a courtyard and become sucked into a giant brick structure with heavy glass doors. I wouldn’t get to see her again for seven hours, while she remained within that orifice belonging to them, not me. She would be the person they wanted her to be, not the person she really was. She would become lost amongst the other 725 little children, no longer a precious child with individual needs, but one of many.
Yet I had found it necessary to spend the first hour of her day shouting at her about making her bed, getting her shoes for PE ready, finishing her breakfast, and not talking to her siblings or WE WERE GOING TO BE LATE!!!!!!! Not to mention the shouting at her siblings for getting in our way when I was doing Sunshine’s hair and fixing a cute Bento lunch, or making sure the green crepe paper I volunteered to send into school that day was actually in her backpack and not being strewn across the floor by one of them. The really sad part was that this is how three out of five days each week began. My heart broke for little Sunshine.
What was all that screaming for? What had I actually gained by it? But really, what had I lost because of it?
I took a long, hard look at the things that turn me into “Mean Mom,” as I like to call myself at times. Mean Mom likes to make appearances when I have lost my cool and gone over the edge. She doesn’t come because of one particular instance. She comes because I have had one too many things go wrong and can’t handle the next unfortunate event that happens. I’m really a very organized person and our mornings were pretty streamlined, but is there really enough time in the morning to get a group of little people presentable and ready for the day? I don’t think so. But I do add some elements that are unnecessary.
I needed to cut out volunteering to send in green crepe paper or whatever it was that day. It seemed like every day I was spending great amounts of time and money doing things for their schools, but not for them. I was organizing school fundraisers to benefit their classrooms, but my kids would have rather had Mean Mom take an extended leave of absense and just have me read them a book. They didn’t care as much about the new PE equipment my fundraising had made possible. If I died tomorrow, there would be a large group of people who could testify of the work I did for their children, their organization, their classroom, their event. But it would have been at the expense of Mean Mom parenting my children, instead of me.
My quandry was that I didn’t want to stop doing those things, because people at their schools were nicer to them because of all of the work I did. I felt like it was a lose-lose situation. But it really wasn’t. When I started to become impressed to homeschool, it dawned on me that if I was their teacher, I would be kissing up to me, not a stranger. If their classroom was in our home, I would be concerned that our home was a happy and safe place, not the big brick building down the road.
I know that homeschooling isn’t an option for everyone. I know that schools are wonderful places for many wonderful children. I know that I haven’t returned phone calls or emails, or posted much on my blogs much since June, and I feel bad about that. I know that I could go to counseling and better deal with kicking out Mean Mom. But homeschooling has worked miracles in our family this summer. I am again committed first and foremost to what happens within the walls of our home. My husband has noticed the difference and mentioned it, without being provoked. I have noticed the difference. I sure hope the Littles have.
And so, Sutton Academy goes forth. Pray for us to prosper.