All the reasons I should NOT be homeschooling

It's January again.  I say it like that because last January was kind of revolutionary for me.  It began with a simple statement from Sam.  "I think you should consider homeschooling."  I chortled.  Scoffed, even.  "Never."  And, yet, here I am - five months in and asking myself, "Why didn't I start this sooner?"

It's actually really easy to answer that question.  There are a lot of good answers.  All of them are still true. 

Why didn't I start this sooner?  What was stopping me from homeschooling long ago?   What are the reasons that I should not be homeschooling?  I'm so glad you asked!

I have the patience of a three year old...at 10pm...who didn't nap that day...every day of my life.
If you don't know how impatient one of these is, you can borrow mine.  Or...you can borrow me, apparently.  Patience is not a prerequisite to homeschooling.  If I were a betting woman, I'd say this is one of the number one fears of pre-homeschooling parents.  You don't have to be patient to start out, but, by golly, God will teach you patience.  Homeschooling is not easy, but it's worth it.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4
I'm a people pleaser.  That means, I care wayyyyyy too much what other people think.  Namely, I don't want to homeschool because people will think I'm weird.
People do think I'm weird.  Maybe I am.  Only now, I don't care so much.  It's very freeing to finally let that go.

We moved here for the schools...which are top-notch. 
This is the hardest one to explain - why we pulled our kids out of perfectly desirable schools where we really hadn't experienced any major problems.  The truth is, I felt a conviction that I tried with every fiber of my being to deny and in the end, the conviction won out.  I felt an undeniable call from God to bring my kids home.  And for once in my life, I tried out that whole obedience thing.

I'm wasting my college education.
At least, that's what I hear.  Yes, I have a "fancy" engineering degree worth four year's tuition at a  private university.  Yes, I have a professional license which says I'm now legally allowed to design and approve projects of my own volition.  Those four years in college taught me how to learn independently (a whole lot more than the 12 years in school prior).  Studying for that licensing exam taught me that hard work pays off.  These are life skills that I pray I can impart to my children, and that I might not have otherwise, were it not for my unique experiences.  The neat thing is that I feel qualified in areas that other parents might not.  I'm not concerned about teaching my kids high school math and science.  This is probably a not-so-humble brag, but of all the things working against me, at least I have that

I'm kind of anti-social.  
Not in the scary, agoraphobic kind of way, but at least in the introverted kind of way.  This weighed heavily on my heart as I pondered the pros and cons of homeschooling.  I feared that if it's up to me to provide that buzzword "socialization," my kids are totally up the creek.  Thank God for a cul de sac full of playmates and a church family full of kids.  Turns out, my kids don't need 8-hours a day sitting next to people of their same age group to feel like they have friends.  Who knew?  Not me.

I've never had a "knack" for teaching.  I know one way to explain things...the way I understand it.  That's all she wrote.
Here's a little homeschooling secret - A LOT of curriculum is scripted.  And, lucky for me, the scripts present things in a way that I wouldn't have.  So, my "way" of explaining is there for a backup.  I do not think this is coincidental, but an answer to earnest prayers. 

I get lawyered by my nine year old on a daily basis.
This is just something I'm going to have to live with.  The kid is smart.  End of story.

I have never been much of a domestician. 
That is, my house is always a mess.  And we eat Totino's - America's favorite frozen pizza - way more often than I dare to admit.  It's okay.  We live in this house, so this house looks lived in.  We've incorporated  chores as part of the daily school day.  My kids are earning their keep by pitching in on things I've had to learn to delegate - like folding towels and unloading the dishwasher.  I knew that things would go [even more] downhill once homeschooling started, what with the mountains of books and schoolwork and limited time once that's through to dedicate to cleaning.  That may or may not be true, but we're working on it.  Some day before I die, I'll have a tidy house that operates like a well-oiled machine.  (Or maybe not.  Some things in life just really aren't that important.)

I'm a procrastinator.
I've always been one, and it's always had a way of working out.  The trick is to stay one day ahead of the kids.  That's it.  One lesson ahead, really, and you can peruse an elementary subject lesson before breakfast if need be.  (And believe me, sometimes, it need be.)

So - to reiterate - Why didn't I start this sooner?  What was stopping me from homeschooling long ago?   What are the reasons that I should not be homeschooling?

Turns out - A bunch of phooey.  Not one of those has even surfaced as an issue.  Funny how they seemed like such good reasons just one year ago.

One more thing - that expensive diploma - it's totally not a waste.  It's been making sure our umbrellas don't touch the garage floor directly since I moved out of my office two years ago.  Funny, too, how things that once seemed so important seem less so as our priorities change.


Sharon said...

Oh Jennie - a funny, and yet truthful look at the wonders (and challenges) of home-schooling. Though I never home-schooled, I do remember having some of your same feelings as a stay-at-home mom. Mostly, about how I was wasting my college degree (English Literature).

However, as you so wisely pointed out, those *life lessons* we learned in college do get passed down to our kids in many ways. You're not afraid of teaching math and science? Might I just say that both my sons can write like crazy!! :)

Keep up the good (and obedient) work. I just know that you'll never regret this time.


Shelly Whitaker said...

I have said it before and I will say it again, you need to write a book!!!!!! You are so awesome

Anonymous said...

Ha! I also lack patience, am completely introverted and am told I am wasting my degree--but we are three years into homeschooling and we LOVE it! One of the best things we have ever done!

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