As Beau and I were discussing the reactions we've gotten from people, I ended up finally being able to express something I had been feeling but couldn't quite put my finger on it. It was the response I had felt to those that responded with, "Why?" "Don't get extreme on us." "You're going to ruin your children for life." It was as if they felt like we had just suddenly in the spur of the moment, (while out of our right minds), ran down and withdrew our kids from school. That now we are going to blindly teach them at home, withdraw ourselves from the world, and end up creating socially misfit children who can't make it in the "REAL" world. When getting this reaction I want to reply with...
"You know... it's not like this was just a sudden decision, which we have given no thought to. On the contrary we have been looking into doing this with our children for the last 2 years. I have studied and tried to read everything I could on the topic. We have been weighing the pros and cons for those two years, and have had many major thoughtful discussions with my husband. We wanted to make sure we were both in agreement and on the same page. We have prayed about it over and over, trying to know what is right for our family. Last year we considered doing it, and didn't feel like it was right yet. We knew that we needed to leave the option open, learn all we could about what is available and ways to do it, so that if it ever came to a point that we decided to do it, we were educated in our decision. We have looked at the issue that everyone brings of "socialization." We even started doing a bit during the summer with the program we were wanting to use. We wanted to see how it went, how to fit it into our lives, and see what the kids thought. We've asked the kids what they would like to do as well. They voted to be home. It literally wasn't until about 2-3 weeks before school started up for the year that we knew it was time to just do it. We felt that confirmation that we need to do it. We have felt the peace of that decision ever since, and we are honestly excited about the possibilities, growth and experiences we'll get from it. We did not make this decision alone, the Lord was part of it. Did we just make this decision overnight. No it's been a process over the years. Do we feel good about it. We feel really good about it. Is homeschooling for everyone. No. It's not even an option for some. But for us it is the right thing to do in our life right now."
Here are a few of my personal reasons though why I've chosen to do this.
We sent our kids to school last year and Savannah was not happy. We saw lots of changes in her that were not the best, and she fought about going to school every day. By the end of the school year we were back to seriously contemplating it again and praying about it. I was physically sick about the thought of sending her back to school. I did not feel good about it. I wanted to teach her myself and bring her home. I wanted to give her time with me that she needed and was wanting.
The more I started studying the church's handbook for my calling, and general conference addresses, I started feeling more and more that it was my responsibility to teach my children. That as parents Beau and I will have the greatest influence on our children. We are the ones that know our children the best, and can help them become what they need to be. I started recognizing what little amount of time I had to teach them. Especially when they were gone all day to school. The things that I wanted to teach them the time to do it weren't matching up.
I also started to see that I was spending more time on things that didn't matter and that in reality my time should be spent in raising my children to the best of my ability. I started to realize that my kids were growing and time was flying by. Was I truly enjoying this time of life and moments with them? I started seeing that what my kids wanted most was me. Time with me and Beau. Time together as a family. When Savannah was asking for things, it wasn't time with her friends, it was one on one time with Beau or I. I started looking to see if I truly loved being with my kids all the time. Did I want to be with them? Did I want to spend time with them? Did I enjoy being a mom? Or was I seeing them as constantly distracting me from other things I wanted to do more. Did I find myself giving them other things to do to get out of my hair. I started recognizing that there were times I needed to change my attitude towards my greatest calling as a mother. It was going to be my eternal calling, and if I didn't enjoy it here. I would not want it there in the next life either. I started realizing I needed to change some attitudes in myself.
So we are embarking on a new journey in our family. In the two weeks since we've started it has been going better than I thought it would. There is much to learn, many ways to grow, and changes that need to happen. But it excites me and I know they will be good. I feel good about it in so many ways. The hardest part has been feeling that I'm paddling my boat in the opposite direction and against the current of our culture, especially the LDS culture, which I honestly don't understand. I feel ostracized in many aspects. That's what can happen when your take the road less traveled on. But it is helping me see things that I didn't see from the other side.
I want to record it. I want to do better at recording our families history, growth and life. I plan on posting a lot on here when time permits. I hope you'll join me here. For both the good and the bad that I know will come with it all.