By Sabrina Schlesinger
Homeschooling is not what it used to be when I was a kid. It was reserved for the few....and you could usually pick them out in a crowd.
Today the tide of homeschooling has changed dramatically. I don't claim to be anywhere near a homeschool expert, but I have a few thoughts you might find helpful when deciding if you should or shouldn't homeschool your children.
Let me preface by saying I am not pro or anti homeschooling. I don't think one form is better than the other and I don't think any mother should feel pressured to do what isn't right for them in regards to the education of their children, whatever that may be. But I was certainly one who never had a desire to homeschool my kids. I grew up in public school my entire life and had a great experience. I also think that our schools can be some of the greatest mission fields if our kids are bold and courageous to love others like Christ! So when my 6th grader approached me to homeschool her, I had to really think about whether I could do it or not.
We had just made two huge moves within the same year, leaving the people and place they had only called home. Add in the transition of being a Jr. High girl with a flurry of emotions raging through her that she don't know how to process and it is easy to see why this was a tough year for her. My daughter hated going to school, and every day when I would pick her up she was so sad. She was struggling relationally, often spending lunch eating by herself. And she struggled academically as her learning style was different than the average student.
So I said yes and we found a program that worked for us. Halfway through her 6th grade year we took the plunge and set up school at home.
I didn't pull her out of brick and mortar school out of fear. I never want fear to be my motivation and decision maker. I chose to bring her close to me because that is what SHE needed in that season. She needed one-on-one help, a safe place and some time to adjust.
The next school year rolled around and my other daughter requested to be homeschooled as well. I didn't have any great reason to keep her in a public school so I said she could!
It is our job as parents to discern what is best for our individual child, remembering each child may have different needs. I cannot compare one of my child's experiences to another because they are completely different! One child may need to be brought close and homeschooled while another may thrive in a public school setting. Our rule of thumb as I heard best stated by my friend, “Year to year, kid to kid.”
With two girls at home, it proved to be more than I could handle...and I'm not afraid to admit it. They were both desiring to be back around other kids and I was not enjoying it at all....in fact...I was miserable. After much prayer, I sat down and had a discussion with my husband. He encouraged me to make the decision that was best for me AND my girls. And so after one year, I placed them back into the public school system.
I knew I did the right thing, both when we began to homeschool and when we ended it.
This didn't mean I was a failure.
This didn't mean I failed my kids.
It simply meant my season was over and I had discovered my capacity and limits when it came to educating my children at home.
So moms....be free to make the choices you need to make for your kids! And know that you are free to change your mind too. Embrace the teacher in you if that is your passion. And if it isn't, there is nothing wrong with you, you are simply wired and gifted differently.
Let's choose to celebrate all of the different types of moms and champion one another in the way that God made us. SAHM, Homeschool Mom, Working Mom, Step Mom, Gym Mom, Social Mom, Vegan Mom, Wonderlust Mom...you are all just trying to do your best. I love you and am cheering you on today! Be who God made you to be!
Love + Blessings,
Sabrina is a mother to three biological girls and one adopted boy. She is also a pastor’s wife, freelance graphic designer, and mom coach! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables, and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!