Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sunrises and Summits

I was one of those Moms who said, " I will NEVER Homeschool my kids."  Some people are brave enough to jump off  of a cliff and dive head first into the ocean, I am one who must be pushed.

     At the beginning of my daughter Rachel's second grade year, I could feel the struggle coming on, even in those first few weeks.  There was just something different about the level of difficulty that she was having and I new I needed to be proactive.  As the first few low grades were trickling in, I was already looking for help.  I tried everything that I could think of.  I spoke to her pediatrician about the possibility of ADD, I had her eyesight tested, and I gave the school a green light to test her for dyslexia and other learning disabilities.  The results were always the same; normal, normal, and normal.  What is holding her back?  From an early age I knew that she was bright.  I could see it in her eyes, the connections that she could make effortlessly.  She was articulate, clever, and wise beyond her years.  Why then, could she not read and write and display her intelligence at a "normal" level.
      I could feel my options narrowing as the days and months marched on toward the year end.  Despite the best efforts of the school (and they were many) we could not seem to find the missing piece of her puzzle.  I knew that I couldn't send her on to third grade in good conscience, I had felt the rigor of the third grade just the year before with her sister.  She was sure to fail.  The thought of holding her back did not sit right with me.  She was so bright and she deserved to move forward in confidence with children her own age.  Hiring a tutor could be helpful but after the long hours she spent at the school I couldn't bear to make her come home and hit the books.  There was one option tucked away in the far corners of my mind, the dangerous part that I had shoved deep, deep into the shadows of my conscious.   "Homeschool her."  It was there, but I chose not to hear it for quite some time. 
     Inspiration has been described  as a light switch flicking on or as a sunrise, slowly casting its light on the horizon.  As I look back, the inspiration to Homeschool was definitely the latter.  My instant reaction was to be defiant.  I had so looked forward to having three of my four kids in school all day long.  Finally, I could be the kind of super mom that I had always dreamed I could be.  I'd have everything organized, all of the laundry done, delicious meals on the table, and time to exercise and lose that extra weight I had been holding on to.  I had it all planned out.  It was high time that I had some priorities of my own. 
     As Rachel was floundering in the second grade my fourth grader had found herself in the throws of pre-pubescent tweeny town.  The kinds of things that I had anticipated from her at the age of thirteen were suddenly right there, staring me in the face.  Boy was there DRAMA.  Social drama took the reigns and academics started sliding.  She became moody and depressed and anxious.  There were tears and most of all, the child I had known was nowhere to be found.  This alone would not have prompted me to Homeschool but layered with everything else, there it was again, "Homeschool her." 
     I couldn't believe what I was feeling. There is just NO WAY that I can actually teach my own children.  I don't want to be responsible for their education.  I am in no way qualified.  I don't have a teaching degree.  I don't know the first thing about teaching.  I can't even get them to do their homework without tears.  But there it was, "Homechool her." 
     I finally began talking about my thought with a few trusted friends and through multiple conversations I was able to consider this a viable option.  Slowly the sun rose on this path and lit my way.  The decision was made to Homeschool my two oldest girls and to enroll my son in kindergarten.  Every veteran Homeschool Mom said that the first year would be the hardest.  We are now nearing the end of our first year of Homeschooling.  I can hardly believe that we have made it to the summit.  What a surprise it has been.  I have had a complete paradigm shift.  My eyes have been opened to a whole new way of living.  I have grown.  My children have grown.  It has been an amazing adventure, one that I will share over the course of time.  One thing can be said for sure, I do not regret it.  As a Mother, I listened, and all were blessed. 

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"The Homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support this ultimate career."
C.S. Lewis

"The ultimate result of all ambition is to be happy at home." Samuel Johnson

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