Monday was our first day of Classical Conversations (CC) co-op. It was such a wonderful morning: I was reminded why we chose to participate again this year. Judah is in the first grade class and Amie in the 4K/Kindergarten class and both love their teachers (who are called tutors).
In fact, they loved school so much that on Tuesday and Wednesday they asked, “Why can’t we do CC every day instead of home school?”
It’s a question I myself wrestled with all week as the three of us struggled to find our rhythm at home. It’s been way too long since we’ve had a regular routine and we all chafed against it. It felt like pulling teeth (even for myself) to sit down and get anything much done — even with new school books we’re excited about.
I feel completely out of my element now trying to home school two children instead of just Judah. How do I give them both one-on-one attention without one getting bored? Is it okay to let one of them run off and play? If so, how do I reign them back in? How do I review our CC material without Amie feeling dumb and bursting into tears because she doesn’t know the answers Judah does?
Why don’t they go to school? Is the question that dogged me all week. This is hard and what if it’s not the best for my kids?
I’m sharing this with you to let you know what it’s like for a homeschooling mom. We aren’t super mom. We don’t have it all together. We don’t always love homeschooling. We get lonely when we drive by the school drop-off line and know other moms have the freedom to run grab a cup of coffee and a few minutes of alone time or have adult conversation where they work. We worry we’re doing our kids a disservice by keeping them home. We worry that people are judging us.
Friends say they’re intimidated by homeschooling moms, and I’m here begging you not to be.
We are so ordinary. We know homeschooling is not for everyone, and we don’t expect you to want to do it. We just want you to follow your heart — which is the same thing we’re trying to do. You alone know what’s best for your kids and your family, and so we want you to be free to pursue that and understand that there is no perfect mom out there.
I say we all just agree to halt the conversation about which school choice is best and instead start being a safe place for one another. I want to be a listener not a defender. Life is hard enough as it is without the comparison game. Besides, wouldn’t life be terribly boring if we were all clones? Ugh.
Anyway. I digress.
So I wrestled and I realized anew that there are wonderful benefits of the schools available to us, and there are also challenges. Because, like homeschooling, no education option is perfect. None of them guarantees that our children will turn out happy and strong and pain-free and wise.
Deep down, I know we are supposed to home school Judah and Amie this year. I can’t explain it, I just know. It’s what’s best for them. It’s what’s best for our family. It’s not always easy, but there is peace and joy there. Even this week there were moments of joy as Judah said, “Mom! I figured out I want to be a scientist!”, as we read books about muscle tissues in the human body and Columbus’ voyages, as we started Judah’s year-long astronomy study, and as I listened to Amie sound out letters.
The kids are learning and being stretched and we have a terrific community of friends (several of whom I emailed in desperation this week and who all empathized). Next year, we’ll reevaluate our decision to home school. For now, I will accept that I’m not perfect and it’s not perfect. I will choose gratitude for the gift of my kids and for the moments we spend together. I will let go and trust God. I will choose joy.