Monday, August 25, 2014

Not So Back To School

So I guess its time we made it official: this year we are homeschooling. I know that there are so many opinions out there about schooling: how, where, and why you should do it. Believe me, I'm pretty sure I've heard it all from "your kids will be socially awkward if you homeschool" (ahem, there are socially awkward kids in public school but you don't usually blame it on the school, right?) to "I couldn't possibly do that! I need a break from my kids!" (I get it, as moms we all need breaks. Personally, my mommy heart always broke a little sending my kids off so someone else could enjoy them during the best hours of the day). In the end I think education is such an individualized thing and there is no "right" way to do it.  You have to do what is best for your family and your circumstances.

As someone who has a degree in education I totally understand the importance of public schools, they are absolutely essential.  My boys have gone to public school and loved it. Since my oldest started school a few years ago there has been something in the back of my mind telling me that there might be a different way for my kids to get their education.  I've looked into doctoral dissertations, blogs, and books on it...and yet each year I've still chosen to send my kids to school. This year that something in the back of my mind wouldn't go away and I knew that we needed to homeschool. Its been exciting, stressful, and overwhelming to say the least.  Picking out curriculum, turning a room in our house into a school room, and printing, printing, printing out packets. I'm tired, yet thrilled.

A "before" shot of our future school room.

Next week we will officially start school.  I've been scouring online for some sort of school theme for us this year.  I've read quotes from religious leaders, famous scholars, and world leaders. Nothing has stuck out to me... until I was listening to the radio with my boys the other day.  A song came on from one of our favorite bands.  It was a song my boys love.  As they sang along to the words, it just felt right. It also felt nerdy and uneducated to pick a homeschool theme from a rock song, but in the end it described exactly what this first year of homeschool is for us.

We are walking away from the world this year.  We are leaving the culture of school behind.  It's been hard, and I mean really hard.  Last week all of our neighbor kids went back to school and a part of me ached that my kids were missing out on all the "Back to School" fun...and a part of me really wanted to run over to the school and re-enroll them.  I had to pull myself together and remind myself of why I was doing this: to be a better kind.  Sometimes in life its hard to step away from the norm.  Its hard to break from culture.  The road less travelled by is definitely harder, but I'm hoping it will be worth it in the end.