Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why is this so difficult?

Why must deciding how my children should be educated be such a difficult task?

For several months, I was fairly certain that next year I'd be homeschooling the girls.  Then, doubt decided to pop in and say "Hello!"  The doubts were the usual ones I have when I start to fret about homeschooling.  Will I be screwing the girls up socially?  I don't think I will, but who knows.  Will they resent being homeschooled?  I won't know the answer to this unless I jump off the cliff and see where I land.  Can I actually do this AND keep my sanity in tact?  Honestly, I don't know the answers to any of these questions.

Last month about a week or two before Christmas I began to panic.  You see, I've been preparing the girls for the possibility of homeschooling after this year.  Madeline is on the fence.  She likes the idea, but she also likes being at school with her friends.  I can't fault her for that.  After spending six years in school (pre-K through 4th) she's used to leaving the house and being surrounded with kids her age.  One of my concerns for her is that I simply can't provide certain experiences to her in a homeschool environment that she can have at school, such as being in chorus.  I was involved in band and chorus when I was in school so I know the value of being a part of them.  I don't want to deprive my child of that.

Ellie is the one that concerns me the most.  She wants to go to school.  She doesn't want to be homeschooled.  She's even opinionated about which school she wants to attend.  Her preference is to go to the public school where Madeline currently attends.  She has friends there who she knows from the neighborhood and her current school (kids that went to preschool with her) and her past soccer teams.

I called our parish school and got on the list for a school tour last month.  We went on the tour about two weeks ago and I liked the school, but I don't know that it's what I want for the girls.  While I like that they'd be in an environment that will foster their faith, I don't like the fact that they'll be in larger classes than you'd find in our public schools.  I'm also not incredibly thrilled at the prospect of spending close to $7,000 a year on tuition.  Of course, there's a very good likelihood that the girls won't get into the school.  The current kindergarten has one more student that their max capacity, and the school won't accept one child if they don't have room for the sibling as well.  This baffles me.  Their reasoning is they assume that the parents don't want their children in different schools.  In our case that's not an issue.  If they aren't in a school for K-8 they won't be in the same school at all.  In our district, they'll never be in the same school.

In short, I simply don't know what the right decision is for our family.  I've been doing my best to discern it, but I feel like I keep going round and round on this issue.  I'm trying to put this in God's hands, but I know a decision will need to be made at some point.  I will try to register my girls at the parish school and see if they get accepted.  Once we have an answer in that area, maybe this decision will be easier.

To complicate matters, I ordered some homeschooling curricula from two companies I have been eyeing up for a while.  I'm loving the grammar books I ordered for Madeline, and I'm pleased with the reading program and math book I ordered for Ellie.


  1. This is my 3rd year of homeschooling. When we decided to give it a go, we said 2 years. We'll give it two years and make a decision after that year by year. Really sometimes you just have to give it a go and see what happens. We decided on 2 years because the first is generally just getting into the groove of things and the 2nd year you really know if this is right or not. Just know whatever you do, homeschool, public, catholic school you can always change your mind again. Different seasons have different choices.

  2. I understand how you feel, Karen! We were in the same position several years ago when our boys were in Catholic school, but we never regretted switching to homeschooling. After seven years, we've found many more blessings than we ever expected.

    If you're concerned about your daughters paticipating in school activities, first check with your school. Many now allow homeschoolers to participate in sports and music programs, even if they are held during the school day.(I loved chorus, too, when I was little.)

    About socialization...well, that's the high point of homeschooling. You might want to check out my post about just that.

    Most of all, keep praying. The Lord will take you in the right direction. Each year, you will learn more and more about your children and thus you will know what they need and when they need it. Your maternal instincts and prayer will be your very best guides. And Christ will be your advisor. It can't get much better! How many times have your said about school, "If only they would _______." Fill in the blank.

    Feel free to email at anytime if you have any questions I can help you with.

    God bless!

  3. Hey Girl,

    I've been so busy, and saw this on my reader and meant to come back that same day.

    You've read out agonizing struggles to try homeschooling. So far, we love it, and I love how we are not rushing around. I see the pros and cons...but the pros win out.

    But...I love traditional school too. I'll be praying for you as you ALL decide, and if you need anything, I'm here!!


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