Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Homeschool Trepidation

I have been reading every book on home schooling that I can manage to get my hands on, and by now, I am realizing that all of them pretty much say the same things.  You can homeschool, there are many reasons as to why people homeschool, different states have different laws...all that kind of stuff.

Now, then, while all that is great to know, what I am coming up against is curriculum.  There seems to be so many out there to choose from!  I am not so worried about Jo, since she is just starting kindergarten, but what about Elizabeth? 

What happens if we try it with her and it doesn't work out and we want/need to put her back into school?  How will we be sure that she will have taken the right classes to be on level with her peers?  I am not so much worried that she will not learn as much as that if she doesn't take the classes in the right order, if she does end up going back to public school, she may need a class that most of the other kids have already taken in previous years, meaning that she would be in a class of students much younger than she would be.

I guess all I really need to do is to find out what the curriculum is of the public school and pretty much follow that path of learning, but even then, there seems to be so many choices of what books to use and what methods to use.  I am feeling a little overwhelmed, and I have barely even scratched the surface!

But in all reality, that is not really my main issue.

You see, next week is Thanksgiving.

What THAT means is that our family will get together with my family.  Meaning that Jimmy and I will load the can up with all the kids and take them to my parents' house where my sister and her husband and my brother and his girlfriend will be and then we are all supposed to sit down and eat a happy meal together without whining or crying that we don't like the food and without flicking sweet potatoes in our grandfather's hair (or lack thereof).  You see, I am the only one in the family who has kids, so of course that means that everyone ELSE in the family knows much better ways to raise and train children that Jimmy and I do, because of course if THEY had kids, THEIR kids would NEVER be allowed to                   (fill in the blank as you see fit). 

But even THAT is not the main problem that I am facing here, and the main fear that I have is telling my family that our family has decided to homeschool both Jo and Elizabeth. 

You see, that will not go over well. 

I do not really think that anyone will really care about Jo, because, like I said, she is 'only' going into kindergarten.  But Elizabeth is a different story. 

Looking at it from a purely academic viewpoint, there is really absolutely no reason for her not to continue in the public school system.  She is in very advanced classes and she gets straight A's.  All the time.  Every time.  And so, even though there are holes in her education, the public school does not see them, and since they teach to the test, even to the SAT's and ACT's, I am sure that Elizabeth will ace all the tests with flying colors and go on to graduate very high in her class.

But for Jimmy and me, that is not the only side that we are looking at.  We also feel the pull to keep her closer to home for other reasons, such as, as I have mentioned before, to patch up the holes in her education, to help her develop a better relationship with her siblings, to offer her opportunities that go along with her long term goals that are not available in the public schools, and to be able to take these last four years with her to continue to train her up and give her a firm foundation in God's Word and His desires for her life.

But the thing is, no matter how you slice it, they are still my parents, and I still respect and listen to them, and they still have the power to make me feel like I am doing it all wrong and that everything that I am doing is purely for my own selfish reasons.  So, even thought it is not necessary for us to tell them now, over Thanksgiving dinner, I really don't talk to them any other time, so it's kind of now or over the Christmas roast beast, so I'm kinda thinking along the lines of 'now'.

Elizabeth is not really helping too much, either.  She vacillates between wanting to stay home and wanting to go to school, with a leaning right now of continuing school, just not where she is.  She wants to go to ANOTHER school.  Which she would be, anyway, but in reality, it is really just a lot of the same.

Like today with the whole lunch table issue and who sits where and who is offended and who got dumped by their boyfriend and why and who is going to steal whose seat tomorrow at the lunch table so who's going to go off and sit alone...

REALLY?!?!?!  And they are supposed to be able to concentrate on learning with all this drama going on?  Now Elizabeth is stressed by this whole issue, and yet she still has to concentrate on her studies and her tests. 

When I think of those things, I feel firm and secure in our decision, but while looking at my dad across the turkey plate, I'm not so sure I am going to be able to hold with my resolve.  Especially when they ask Elizabeth what she wants and she will say that she wants to go to a different public school...or she will say, in a canned sort of way...I know that this decision is the best for me and my family.  I want to do what is best.  Ummmm....right.  Grandma wasn't born yesterday, and she was the principal of a middle school for years, and Aunt Cassie AND her husband both teach middle schoolers. 

So, yeah, not looking forward to it.

BUT...on a lighter note...

We in our family are always on the lookout for a good way to save some money.  Since the colder weather is coming on quickly, some people would begin to think of pulling out the old wipes warmer for their little babies' tushies...

not us!  No siree!

We have something much better and totally FREE!
Our own personal DIAPER WARMER!

Yes, folks, that's right.  He really DOES serve a purpose...after all those years of kitty kibbles, we have found a good use for Little Boy.  Warm those diapers, buddy!  You gotta earn your keep around here!

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