I never gave homeschooling a thought before, like ever. I used to work at a restaurant in downtown Winston Salem and we would be one of the many restaurants and businesses frequented by the homeschool convention once a year. It was terrible. I remember getting so frustrated with these customers because it was like they had never been out in public before. They complicated something that was so very simple. And the kids. The poor kids. It was like their parents still dressed them, but had been shopping at thrift stores in the wrong department for years. (I know I shouldn’t put any emphasis on clothes, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with looking nice and being frugal.) I dreaded this weekend every year. It was just too much for me to handle. And I even remember talking to my friends saying things like “I will never homeschool Jaxsyn!” “I’m sorry, but those kids are just too weird. I mean, why would their parents do that to them?” “They are so awkward.”
Well, look at me now. I’m kind of in love with homeschooling. I love not having to wake Jaxsyn up to get ready to rush out the door. I love being on our time. I love being able to go places instead of learning in the same spot. Once a month we will go to the zoo. Sometimes we like to go to the beach or take little day trips to learn about this new city and state we call home. I love knowing that Jaxsyn has one on one help. I don’t take away anything from teachers because I went to public school and my teachers were amazing people who worked very hard for me to get where I am today, but often times if students don’t want to learn they will simply fall through the cracks and that is something that I won’t let happen with Jaxsyn or Adelaide. I’m not homeschooling so I can create a prodigy. I want Jaxsyn (and eventually Adelaide) to be Jaxsyn. It isn’t about making them “better” than public school kids, it’s just me making sure that I do what I think is best for them.
But then almost immediately after I had shared my choice to homeschool (and mind you, originally it was only because Jaxsyn missed the deadline down here in Texas by less than 2 weeks.) I was ridiculed, attacked. “Oh gah, you’re going to make him that kid.” And trust me, I had thought about that. And as a mother I don’t want to make my kid into anything that is going to seperate him from everyone else. I don’t want him to get made fun of. I don’t want him to feel excluded. But also, as his mother, I want what’s best for him. I want him to succeed. And I know that it doesn’t really matter what you do as parents, kids are mean, well actually, everyone can be mean, so no matter what I do, chances are someone, somewhere will make fun of him. I just hope that I can teach him how awesome he is. I want to teach him confidence as well as his normal curriculum. Do I think this can be taught in public schools? Sure. Like I said, I went to public school and I’m fine. I don’t hate my parents for sending me to school and I don’t want my kids to hate me for not sending them to school, but this is what I believe to be best for us. Will my kids turn out to be those kids? I’m not sure. I just hope they turn out to be smart, educated, well-informed, kids who can be kids for as long as they can, who understand feelings and who also learn how to be productive, kind, loving, examples of how people can be. So if that’s what that kid is, then yes, let them be.
I stick by my choice and so far I have no regrets. I am proud when my son can tell anyone who listens what faith is. Or patience. Or obedience. And this week we learned about peace. I love that he can talk about the Bible. I love that he looks forward to doing his “work”. It isn’t a chore to him. It isn’t forced. And clearly he’s learning. If he becomes that kid then oh well. He will always be perfect to me.