I have this daydream often that we live on a farm with chickens and goats and horses and I homeschool and the kids and I laugh all day and everything we do is filled with learning and wonder and excitement.  I know it’s a fantasy.  It’s not reality, or mine at least.  This is the highlight reel plastered on blogs and Instagram accounts.  
But what keeps resonating with me is this pull to homeschool them.  I really felt the urge beginning last fall, when Porter was in 2nd grade.  His class was disorganized and chaotic.  Luckily he’s a good student and learns quickly, but every time I volunteered I couldn’t help but think…. We could do this writing in half the time and I know porter can do a better job than he’s doing!  And the friends…. He’s a good kid but he is constantly drawn toward the naughty kids of the class.  He thrives on their exciting, rebellious behavior and constantly befriends them.  He knows their behavior is wrong.  He doesn’t cross the line at school but he does come home with some behaviors and knowledge about things that we don’t discuss or allow at home. We live in a bit of a transient community, but there are some great families and great boys in his grade that he could be friends with.  However, there is never more than 1 or 2 of these good kids in his class.

Last year I had the boys stop riding the school bus because of some of the things they told me were being said/talked about on the bus by 6th graders.  This year I was just appalled at some of the language and things spoken about by one of the boys in his class.  
And the more I really analyze schools-from teaching to volunteering positions- I realize how much time is “wasted” and not actually educational.  They’re there for 7 hours a day.  So much of that time is spent transitioning 25+ kids from one lesson to the next, or getting everyone to follow directions or quiet down.   My kids are spending 7 hours a day with kids that I can’t control what they learn from home or say at school and I’m not there to mediate.  They could be learning the same amount in less than half the time at home.  
I keep feeling like I’m being pulled to homeschool but the thing is…. I feel like the worst mother ever as it is.  My patience is shot by the evening.  I feel like my plate is so full as it is.  Truth be told, most days I look forward to dropping the boys off at school and having the day free from chaos and fighting.  I know that if I tried homeschooling it would be a bust.  I would suck not only as their teacher but as their mother as well.  Not to mention working from home on top of that.  I don’t know how I could possibly balance it all. 
It kills me that I don’t have the attitude of loving to be around my kids all the time.  It kills me that, I’ll be honest, Porter’s challenging personality exhausts me on a daily basis and that some days it is all I can do to even like him.  
I headed to bed with worries heavy on my shoulders.  I’m not sure what the right choice is for us.  Do I attempt to homeschool and really get my life in gear and organized to the minute and planned and productive?  Do I switch schools?  Do I look into private schools?  Do I hire someone to homeschool for me?  
I passed porters room on the way to bed and paused to watch him sleep.  I used to do this every night when he was little.  I love him with all my heart.  There are many days I don’t like him (and many days I don’t even like myself because of my lack of ability to deal with his personality) but I always love him.  I want to shelter him from the bad things in this world.  I worry about his choices.  I worry about the path he will take in life.  I just want the best for him. For all our kids.  Right now I just don’t know what exactly IS the best.  

  1. I can't make a decision for you, but what I can do is relate what happened with me. Middle of 1st grade we had hit so many snags and problems in public school, I work from home part time, and hated the chaos that surrounded our lives. I finally felt I had little choice but to homeschool, though it was never my first choice. My homeschool curriculum,, calls people like me “accidental homeschoolers”. Anyway, eight years later we are still homeschooling, my daughter started homeschool high school this year. Homeschooling was the best choice I ever made. I got to know my daughter, not just in the chaotic time as she got ready for school in the morning, or the stressed, chaotic time between school and bedtime, but all the time. I see her grow and learn everyday. I feel honored to have guided her education so far in our homeschool, and am grateful that I know the lovely young lady she is turning into. She is not bullied, she is curious and hungry for knowledge, and she is not ruled by peer pressure. The biggest piece of advice I could give you on the decisions that you face is that you don't have to make a lifetime commitment to homeschool. Try it for a year, or even for the semester. If it works for your family then continue, if it doesn't then try sometime else or go back to the way it was before. Just remember that you always have choices! I wish you luck in whatever you do and encourage you to perhaps take the path less travelled.

  2. Thank you SO much for your input Linda! I truly appreciate it! I love that perspective… it doesn't have to be forever. I can try it and see how it works out. If it doesn't, then we can go back to public schools or try private schools. YES!

  3. I'm overjoyed that this made you happy! Keep us updated as to how things go! And remember that if you do choose to homeschool, change the things that are not working now, don't just try to do “school at home”. Tailor-make the experience and watch the learning happen. Good luck!

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