We've decided to let one of our daughters attend the local public school and I'm finding that I am having a very hard time with this. Frankly, I down right hate it. I hate it, because it disrupts my hopes and dreams. It rocks the boat. It takes away from family time with her. It limits us in the things we can do. I could go on. Worst of all, it makes me feel like a failure. It makes me question if I was right when I chose to homeschool them in the first place or if I was just selfish.
I didn't choose homeschooling because they weren't doing well, academically, in public school. In fact they were doing really well. I have no doubt they will/would do very well in public school now. For me the choice was more about what worked for our family and our "un-traditional" life schedule. Of course there are plenty of other reasons, but this was truly one of the biggest.
Homeschooling has given my children more time with their dad as well as with me and with each other. It has given us opportunities for adventures we might not have had otherwise. It has given them more freedom to pursue their interest than they'd had while in public school.
However, it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, more often than not it has been ugly. Certainly not much how I hope and dream and imagine it should, or could, be. The house is a mess, the kids are fighting, and it seems as though no one is listening to me or getting anything done. At the end of the day, I often wonder if they learned anything at all. I constantly feel like we are behind. Behind in my plans for the year. Behind what their public school peers are doing. Behind the expectations others have. Then the outsiders add their two cents to the pot, leaving me feeling even less like I'm doing good for my family and more and more like I'm failing them.
I've imagined, on my worst days, what it would be like if I sent them all to school, like "everybody else". I'd have a clean house, meals ready, more time alone with my husband, as well as more time to be alone, time to focus on my writing and crafting, and I'd be able to still see my kids, when they weren't busy with sports and other activities or nose deep in their homework. I might actually be able to really relax and think and breathe. It would be so easy. I could even get a part time job, if I felt like it. On my worst days, letting someone else take the load becomes very tempting. I'd rather them go and actually get an education than stay and not grow.
And that is why she is going. One of my daughters does show a willingness to let me work with her to help her grow. The other, is like a brick wall. Though she claims she doesn't want to go to public school, she also has made it clear she won't let me work with her towards growth. This would be fine if she pursued it on her own more actively, but she doesn't. And this crushes me. The fear that I have in some way crushed her desire to pursue life instead of watching it idly pass her by. I just want what is best for my kids, just like anybody else does.