I never thought I would be one to homeschool my child.
“I am not smart enough to do that,” I would think when I would hear of people homeschooling.
“More power to you,” I told my soul-sister Court when she told me she was homeschooling a few years ago. “You are a better woman than I am.”
So when I made an inquiry about homeschooling on Facebook, Court called me.
“I never thought I would see that kind of status update from you,” she said. “Are you really thinking about homeschooling?”
I told her I was.
Granted, the idea had been brought up for discussion fairly quickly, but it had been in the back of my mind for a while. I had always said if I had the opportunity to work from home, I would homeschool Cole.
The opportunity had presented itself and here I was, two weeks from the beginning of the school year – a month ago now – and I was thinking I would take full reins of my child’s education.
I’m not going to lie; it was a scary thing to consider. Would I give him what he needed? Would he learn? Would he progress? Was I smart enough to teach him? Did I have the patience?
All these fears, worries and questions raced through my head and out of my mouth as I asked Court all these and more.
“What made you think about doing this?” she asked when I finally took a breath.
It was nothing negative to do with the school. I know a lot of people automatically assume when one homeschools that it’s because of the school system. I have to say I think Cole had some of the most exceptional teachers who truly loved my child.
When I went to withdraw him and told the principal, there was a part of me that wanted to cry, because I thought of the memories he had made there, the friends and the teachers he enjoyed. So it had nothing to do with the system.
It had to do with, well, me and the world.
I worry about the things I hear on TV these days. I worry if my child is safe when he’s away from me, even for a second. Sure, I may need a serotonin uptake inhibitor to lessen this irrational fear, but the world is not the same as it was when I was growing up. Kids didn’t have to worry about their safety while learning; all they had to do was learn and eat square pizza with corn. There were days I would hear of something heartbreaking and rush to the school to get him. Or frantically call the school to make sure he was OK. Paranoia and fear, wrapped in a neurotic state of panic is not pretty.
My child, unfortunately also has terrible anxiety – maybe worse than mine – and if I could lessen that in some way, I would.
Aside from wanting to just put my only child in a bubble, I wanted to nurture the areas of his interest – art, science and much to my chagrin, history. The first two, I loved and was thoroughly excited about exploring with him. History -not so much. I am terrible at history and dates.
“If you don’t understand and learn from it, you’re bound to repeat it,” he has told me from his back seat point of view.
But I wanted him to have more focus on those areas. Especially if it meant we got paint all over the kitchen table and maybe set something on fire for experimental purposes.
I also selfishly wanted more time with him. When I looked back over the past nearly 10 years, I realized aside from the first 18 months of his life, he had been in some form of school – day care, pre-K, elementary school – he has spent probably 80 percent of his waking hours away from me.
One day, he will be grown and while now he says he will never leave me and that he and his family will live next door, I don’t know if that will be the case. Children grow up. They get their own lives and those moments we should have taken advantage of are never recaptured.
I told all of this to Court.
“Do you think I can do this?” I asked.
She told me she did. “If I can do it with three, you can do it with one.”
She had a point. But she is pretty much Super Mom.
“Do more research, ask some more friends and pray about it. See what your heart tells you to do.”
So I did. My dear friend Evie sent me tons of great information for me to consider. Her answers to my questions were almost identical to Court’s, her giving me assurance that I could do it. Still, I wondered.
But we took the plunge and started homeschooling this week.
My heart told me it would all be just fine. And maybe, just maybe, I will learn a little something myself.