Some Days I Feel Like a Lumberjack
You all are a quiet, introverted bunch in the comment section. Not so much in my inbox though. I get questions, and I try and answer promptly. I thought I'd post a few of the questions I've gotten in the form of real blog posts. A sort of PSA as I work through the outline of a more significant project.
The number one question is some variation of this:
Q: Should I pull my kids out of their school and homeschool them?
A: I don't know.
You'll know if you've read up on it, talked with your kid's other parent, and meditated while eating vast quantities of M&M's all the while dreading sending your kid back tomorrow, or after vacation, or after Summer. I can give you books and blogs to read. I can listen sympathetically to your story, but I can't tell you to take this on. No one can. No matter how many times I joke that homeschooling is more straightforward than getting my child onto the bus every morning- it's a big deal.
That said. It doesn't have to be a lifelong commitment. You can take each year one at a time and see if it is still working for your family. I've given it some thought over the years and here's the thing, it is like being a lumberjack.
Lumberjacks are workers in the logging industry who perform the initial harvesting and transport of trees for ultimate processing into forest products. The term usually refers to a bygone era (before 1945 in the United States) when hand tools were used in harvesting trees.
Think of yourself as a lumberjack. As a parent, you are performing the initial education of your children. You aren't going to homeschool medical school; you are going to give them the initial pegs of information that they can fall back on for the rest of their life. (well, that sounds epic- I'll have to remember that for my next dinner party)
You'll also transport them to other passionate experts. You do not have to be great at everything; you do have to find someone who is. Some homeschool families use tutors for everything- it's still homeschooling.
Teaching your kids at home is also from a bygone era. In these days of large class sizes and teaching firmly to the middle is not the individualized instruction that kids need. Where is your kid going to get more attention? Plus even in highly regulated states, you can use whatever teaching methods you deem worthy. That means if cursive writing and memorizing math facts are your goals for the year you can take all the time you need to achieve those benchmarks.
Who cares more about your kid's education than you? At least I hope it's you.
Back to that lumberjack analogy. There are some days where I feel more like the tree being chopped down than the one doing the cutting. Everyone has bad days at work, and that doesn't mean that homeschooling isn't working or that you aren't "good" at it. Give yourself some grace, take twenty minutes to regroup and start again.