To Homeschool or Not…That is the Question!

By Sabrina Schlesinger

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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


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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!


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Sabrina Schlesinger

I am officially middle-aged! I have gone up the hill and am now SLOWLY going down the other side.

I am married to my best friend! No really! Our first 10 months of dating were spent entirely in group settings, either working along side each other in ministry or at our families homes. We never had alone time. We never held hands. We never kissed. So we had a great amount of time to talk and really get to know each other. We read books, received counsel from our pastors, discussed our strengths and weaknesses in front of our parents, and built a foundation of friendship that I am forever grateful for. And let me tell you...when we did have our first kiss 10 months in....there were fireworks baby!!!! We are approaching our 17th anniversary and co-pastor Grace Church in Oceanside, CA. We are living out or dream and calling side by side.

I am a mom of 4. We have three girls and a boy.

When we gave birth to my first girl, Sophie (now 16), we thought we were amazing parents. She slept through the night, hardly every fussed, was beautiful and easy. First child syndrome...I know.

When I gave birth to Mattie (now 14) nearly two years later everything changed. She was colicky from the start, she had red raspberries on her face that turned BRIGHT RED when she screamed...so that was all the time, and as she grew, it didn't get any better. I seriously thought at one point she was demon possessed because her outrageous fits where over the top. I could often be found in a fetal position crying when Matthew, my husband came home. Little did I know then that Mattie and her over-the-top fits would be the catalyst for so many future ministry moments with other moms in desperate need of help and advice on raising toddlers...who too were crazy!

We thought we were done. After Mattie I was like, "No way, I can't risk having another kid like that! The only way I will get pregnant again is if God speaks to me directly, and I don't think He is planning that." Welp....I was wrong. I heard God speak to me one night as I was at a conference that we were to have a third child and He spoke some very special promises to me about this child. So out popped Lillian (aka Lily - now 11).

Lily wass one of those babies that everyone gravitated too. She had and still does have a spirit about her that is so welcoming, loving, and kind. People just love her and she loves people. I am so glad I obeyed the Lord on this one. After Lily we felt done. This time Matthew said, "If we are supposed to have any more children, God is going to have to speak to me directly." Fast forward 9 years!

In August of 2016 we were on a much needed family vacation, the five of us. It was at this time that God whispered in the ear of my husband that we were to adopt a child from our county. Matthew told me what God said and of course, I said, "Let's do it!" I will write another post about our adoption story later, but November 1st, 2017, at age 4 1/2, Shawn (now 6) came into our home and became our son.

I am a freelance graphic designer by trade and a pastor by calling, but I felt like there was something more I should be doing. Recently I asked myself a question..."What brings me life?" It was easy for me to answer. I LOVE helping young moms navigate through motherhood. I love giving advice to help moms get through tough and trying seasons of life. There is a generation of moms out there who have broken relationships with their own mothers and feel like they have no one to turn to. That breaks my heart. No mom should have to go through life alone with nobody to lean on. And this is where Mom Mentor was birthed.

So that is me in a nutshell. I am pretty simple, not high maintenance, a lover of mac-and-cheese and chai lattes, and slightly obsessed with all things dystopian. I am glad to have met you and I look forward to our journey together!

Love & Blessings,

Sabrina