Homeschooling is not a requirement for people. Not even for orthodox Catholics. It is, above all, a vocation. And, being a vocation, it is not for everyone. And even homeschoolers sometimes feel overwhelmed and even, at times, doubtful.
Danielle Bean has an article up called “I Love Homeschooling. I Hate Homeschooling” that really hits the nail on the head. While I love to homeschool, and I really do feel called to it, there are times when I think how much easier it would be to just send the kids to the school a couple blocks away from our home. But then I remember how much I really do love to be with them, to see that light come on when they grasp a concept (my favorite part of when I was teaching in public schools). I love that I know what they are learning, and what they are not learning (both extremely important to Soccer Dad and me). I love that I can share our faith with them, which would be so much more difficult if they went to public school. And I love knowing that by teaching them at home, I am fulfilling a calling. I really do believe that this life I have is a calling – a vocation – hence the name of this blog.
But, just as Danielle points out in her article, I cannot sugar coat things and make it sound like it’s a breeze all the time. It’s hard for me when Big Girl just isn’t grasping something, and I am unsure of how else to approach it. Our learning styles are different, and so I am having to really stretch and learn how to present materials to her in a way that helps her learn it best. It’s hard for me to feel motivated all the time. Honestly, I’d like to just spend our days reading and playing in the park or the pool. But, alas! Education is a very important part of life! And while the literature-based theme system I am trying to work out will make school more palatable for all, it still requires a lot of planning and work. And, let’s face it, people: I’m kind of lazy. It’s also tough when I look at what I’m doing with the girls and I wonder if it’s really enough. Will I be up to the task? Are they really learning much of anything? Am I emphasizing the wrong subjects? Is it wrong (or just weird) that my six year old doesn’t know many fairy tales? (I smell a unit topic there.) Am I pushing them too hard to learn Latin at such an early age, or will this only benefit them in the future? Am I doing enough “crafty” things? How do I work in more music? How do I help them to develop the natural talents that God has given them?
In the end, I know that I must trust God and then do my best. Pray a lot. Work hard. Pray some more. And enjoy the time with my children.