Monday, August 8, 2011

Can You Have it All? Is it All it Seems?

I know I'm burned out from a busy/fun summer and homeschooling 6 weeks through already, but I find a tinge of jealousy creeping in as I see friends sending kids off to school for a "break at last." Iy, why do I compare. I often wonder if I could have my big happy family and get a break, but I try to remind myself why I do it and then I have a day where they are all complaining(at least once a week) about our schooling and throwing fits and not wanting to do the work. Today I have a lazy child who is JUST now finishing school up at 4:45 pm. That wears me out. I wont lie. My mom asks me regularly, "Why not do those fun Five in a Row" books in season like you do, but read them after school letting each child take a turn everyday for their homework reading time and then just do the fun activities like making pies or a chinese meal or going apple picking for the weekends or days off. Is she right? Could I have the best of both worlds? I dunno, but I often wonder. I am struggling to teach Tanner to read. He isn't catching as quickly as siblings have. 6.5 years old  and literally can maybe recognize sounds for 10 letters despite 4 complete phonics programs. Maybe someone else could teach him? I always question myself at years begining and around mid year when we are suuuuper burned out. I guess I start out each year knowing I want stabiliy first and foremost so it feels like a huge decision as to whether or not to put them in because I want the first decision of the year to last all year. I don't wanna switch halfway through the year...too flakey. I don't know its a tough call and I am really toying with school......just unsure. Praying about it. Needing direction. It doesn't help that my kids have told me daily for years now that they want to be in school. Maybe I am denying them? Maybe they will grow up to regret me for not listening to their wishes to be in school despite my attempts to tell them its not all it seems. Maybe they want candy everyday too though and as the mom I know that isn't best? Nate's wonky schedules don't help make the decision any easier. His shifts change as fast as I can get a routine down. Arggg decisions decisions. Input would be great. I would love to hear from homeschoolers, unschoolers, public or private schoolers and everything in between if you have any thoughts on this. Can I have my cake and eat it too? Get a break and still have a big happy family? Children who still love the Lord? Sanity? Time for the 3 littles who seem extra needy this year? hmmmm thinking........

19 comments:

sfriend6405 said...

I think what you do is amazing..but if you find yourself wondering, why not try it out for a year? Nothing permanent just a little change to see what fits your beautiful family best. Im sure whatever decision you come to it will be the right one for you and the bambinos.

Joanna said...

If I remember correctly you have tried public school in the past and have found it didn't work out for your family. I think it is natural to question what we are doing as parents especially when we are having bad days. I have plenty and they do make me question. That really doesn't mean that we should throw in the towel and change everything though. Something usually reminds me why I have chosen to homeschool. I think your "wonky" changing schedule really cries out for homeschooling even though it is hard for routine. Your kids would have so little time with your husband if he has to work weekends or nights. Maybe try packing less into your school day. Take a breather. You started your school year so early. Many people don't start until after labor day. Take some vacation time to refresh. In regards to the child with the reading difficulty maybe he has other strengths and will pick up reading later. My 8 year old just started picking it up this past year. I was beside myself but he is finally ready for it. Maybe you could have him tested for a learning disability if you are very concerned. Will be praying for you.

lilpeasinmypodfromgod said...

TY Sara
Joanna, I know the schedules are the #1 reason I homeschool, #2 is Wyatt and his learning issues. That makes me feel better that your son took a little longer to get the reading down. My longest was 6yo so 6.5 is feeling reallllly old lol

PapillionMom said...

Another large family mom might be able to offer you perspective as well. Why not email Kim (mamahen) and speak to her personally..she has faith and a big happy public school family. If you don't have a link to her blog, let me know and I'll send it on.

Cindy said...

I think if your kids are begging you to go to school that you should let them try.

My kids are in public school, and we spend evenings and weekends as a family. Even my two year old goes to "school" two days a week so that I myself can get my school work done. There is NOTHING wrong with sending your kids to school, and there is nothing that says that you have to send them all to school either. If you think Wyatt would do better at home, keep him at home.

True Femininity said...

I used to tell my mom that I wanted to be in school all the time. My parents left the decision up to me and in seventh grade I went to a private school. Not surprisingly that only lasted 2 days...

I didn't realize what a difference it would be to be in the school system and perhaps your children don't either, though it would be hard to say unless you tried it.

All I know now is, looking back I couldn't see what my parents were saving me from having to go through. At that young age I just wanted to be like everyone else, but now looking back I'm so glad I didn't. Not just because I feel that I got a far superior education (and not because my mom was supermom but just because learning life skills and being able to focus on what I was interested in did far more for me), but also because I feel like it made me a much more independent and confident person, rather than one who blindly follows the herd. As a young child I couldn't see down the road how thankful I would be that my mother kept homeschooling me even when I complained, asked to go to public school, cried, and hid to avoid lessons. Homeschooling is hard, but it can be so worth it in the end!

Sankat said...

I'm not sure if you remember, but I homeschooled for 3 years. I struggled with it a lot. As much as I wanted to keep trying, I bit the bullet and sent them to public school because I knew that I wasn't able to give them what they needed. Last school year was our first year in public school. I won't lie. It was HARD. I had to fight the school over a few things. However I was determined to do what was best for my kids and not let the teachers/staff/admin. push us around. I am hoping this school year will be better. My kids are making up in the areas that I wasn't doing well in and hopefully this year my oldest two will do much better.

Personally, I would just encourage you to think/pray about what is honestly best for your children. Just because you decide to send them to public school for a year or two, doesn't mean you can't homeschool in the future. In fact, I plan on homeschooling in the future if the kids aren't improving. Good luck on your decision. It isn't an easy one.

Chrissy said...

Hi!

I'm a first time commenter. I have a son who was a late reader and the following post so encouraged me:

http://pleasantviewschoolhouse.blogspot.com/2011/02/waiting-on-your-late-bloomer.html

This child she talks about is now a national merit scholar and was just accepted to college on a full scholarship.

Hang in there mom!

best,

Chrissy

Amanda C. said...

I think school is something you should seriously consider. What benefits would there be to you AND the kids? Would they benefit from spending less time together and making friends? It might cut down on their fighting. Would it give you less stress and more patience or do you think you would stress more sending them to school?

Personally, I think it's awesome that you homeschool. I am not sure I could do it! After having a house full of 6 kids this summer (babysitting my nieces and nephew), I am starting to look forward to my little break when school starts...for me as well as them.

Jennifer said...

I think if your kids are asking to go to school then maybe let them try but keep Wyatt at home. I think it's very possible to happily public school. Good luck with whatever you decide. :)

My Life With Boys said...

I homeschooled and have decided this year to send them to public school. I really struggled last year with this decision and consistently prayed for months about it. I feel this is the best decision for 'our' family this year. What was the hardest for me was the lack of support from my family (mom, sisters, brother, in-laws, ect.). I felt I was homeschooling due to pressure and it really wasn't what I wanted to do. I have received a lot of flack over this from our families but ultimately I needed to make the best decision for our family and I stopped caring what people thought or said. God has spoken to us and us alone about what is best for our children...He has not spoken to anyone else about his will for our lives. ;) I am very excited for my children as we embark on this new journey. With my husband being gone 5-6 days a week (truck driving), me being newly pregnant and just having moved 700 miles south this was the best decision for this school year. I have learned to take it year by year. You could always put them in school for a year and homeschool again next year or vice versa. Just do a lot of praying and do what you feel at peace with. You will know...us women have incredible intuitions. =)I'll be thinking and praying for you!

Tufford Family said...

Janis
you have dealt with these thoughts in the past...I would encourage you to keep Homeschooling and just take a break and regroup...Homeschooling is not something you trying it is a conviction,( well at least for my husband and me)...I have my hard days but it's so worth it in the end...I would never send my children to a ungodly institution...I know a documentary is coming out called 'indoctrination', I would encourage you to google it and watch it..
Blessings,Heidi

lilpeasinmypodfromgod said...

Nate and I thought hard, talked alot and like each and every year we want to make a decision that will last the whole year through that is "best" for our family. After talking to the kids also who now claim they DONT wanna go to school and they just say that when they dont feel like doing lessons, we have decided to go ahead to keep on our homeschooling journey! We have told the kids though to be careful what they say as it does affect what we think about some issues. :0) I do love homeschooling and I know 9 x outta 10, my kids do too. It offers us so much freedom to explore non school parts of life and the schooling itself has created some of our fondest memories together! Thank you for all your input

Vicki said...

My advice... do the 3 R's and some Bible and the rest is gravy! They will learn from life if you keep it interesting and offer lots of great boooks. I find that when I journal what we do each week I can see how much we really do!

SixSproutsForMe said...

Janis, the desicion is ultimately yours BUT out of my 7 6 are school age and they are in public school. Homeschooling is wonderful I am sure and maybe someday with my special needs boy I will have to go that route but honestly...school is good for kids in my oppinion. They NEED that time away from the parents..time to stretch thier wings on their own. Time to feel out the world that we live in. It will probably be scary at first and prob have an adjusment period so dont give up too soon but honestly we mommies need that time too. Think of the time you would have during the day to get your housework done and then in the evenings and weekends you would have that clean house you desire plus tons of quality time with your kids without having to worry about the cleaning and cooking and other stuff you didnt get done due to homeschooling. I honestly think that most kids benefit way more from learning in a public school too because they are not only learning to be independant, self reliant, and tons of other great things but it make the relationship you have with them healthy too because you dont get sick of each other(as my kids put it..lol) and so the time you do have together is more valuable. We cherish summer and love the time we have together BUT trust me they are ready for school when it comes around each year. They love the per interaction and all the fun things they get to do as a class without mom and dad hanging over them all the time. This is just my oppinion of course but for us the kids as well as mom and dad benefit tremendously from the time they are in public school. I would say try it for a year-but stick it out the year as it will take some time to adjust and get caught up to where the other kids are and such and see how it goes. You might be surpised how much they like it and how much you enjoy some down time and how much you can get done during the day making your time together more quality and gratifying. It could of course go the other way too where they decide after the year is up that they would prefer to be home but I honestly think if they stick it out and really give it a good shot(I dont think a few days or weeks qualifies as a honest trial period as it will take longer to get adjusted for some kids)they will end up liking it more then you think and so will you. The decision is of course yours in the end but I figured I would offer my person perspective on it. Good luck! I hope it works out the way you hope.

Melissa said...

My 3rd child has struggled to read. We found out recently that she has visual issues with tracking and eye teaming. Her vision is fine, but her eyes just aren't able to work together properly and it makes many things (reading especially) difficult for her. It might be something to look into for your little guy.

Melissa :)

lilpeasinmypodfromgod said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Janis, what made you decide to homeschool in the first place? That is a very tough decision and you have a big family. I can see where it would be very hard and you would not have any time to yourself. You know you can always do public school. Send the older kids to public school and home school the younger ones. You can also do it the other way around. You know your family the best and you know what works for you. My son attends a charter school and he goes Monday through Thursday. He loves it and I do get some time away. Is your hubby able to help you out so you get some time by yourself or does his work schedule conflict with that? What about some you and him time? Do you have anyone to watch the kids?

Bitterbugs said...

Janis,

I have only followed your blog briefly. I totally understand where you are coming from. I tried the church thing but it never felt right. I also homeschool. We are doing world history 1 this year. We just started learning about ancient Egypt. I found it very interesting that ancient myths are very similar to bible stories--except these myths were well before the birth of Christ. Take for example Osiris and Isis...look up the story and see that it is similar to Jesus coming back to life. My husband has a classics degree (for his Bachelors), and he informed me many of these myths have biblical parallels----except they were first. I am sure to run into more as we move along. There is just too much that makes we question the foundation of the bible. Books have been removed by different churches (predominately the Catholic church long ago). As for Mormonism, I was raised Mormon. I know in my heart and soul that this religion is totally unfounded. I can't remember the name of book, but it was very interesting regarding some truths behind Mormonism. It brought to life much of the "keep quiet" stuff regarding Mormonism. Have you heard of the Mountain Meadows Massacre? What about Joseph's special prophecy stones? So much more in this book. Things I was never told growing up in the church. It is a BIG brainwashing factory. I have not gone back since I was 18--some 20 odd years ago. Bottom line is--do what you feel in your heart rather than succumb to being a hypocrite. I think there may be a higher power, but I also believe man has created much of this religion and rules. You have bounced all over the place from being uber modest to just having enough in the span of a few months. Think about what you do believe and go with that. I believe in NO organized religion but rather a moral code of conduct for a civilized society--don't kill, steal, etc. I'm ok with it....I feel good about it!
Dee