How absurd I thought that question was. "Of coarse not." I blurted out. I prided myself in always saying that each decision to homeschool/raise children is unique and altered based on their own families and relationships with the Lord. I sounded good! I had the answers and I was convincing.
As days go by (and months in this particular case) and I reflect on how our lives have changed since that decision over 2 years ago, I have noticed a big change in thinking. I often putter around my kitchen and see how the relationship has changed between my Emma and I. During her 5th grade school year I saw the gap grow between us. I tried so hard to stop it but I couldn't. All the stereotypical tween tendencies were showing. Our family was divided more than I wanted to. The babies had their favorites and the older girls had their "chosen one." Breakfast conversations were replaced by yells to get out of bed, throw all belongings in the car and drop them off for someone else to tend to. By the time I had them home again, dinner was bubbling over on the stove and I was tired!! Homework, hubby time, chores and more homework took the place of casual kitchen chatter.
I could not find the time for my own precious children. How could I train them up in the ways of the Lord when I couldn't even find the time to help her with her strange homework assignments?
As we are entering in our 1.5 years of homeschooling in my little red house, I can no longer identify that horrible home environment I once had. Our family is whole. We laugh at the events of the day over dinner instead of playing catch up. I no longer feel like an outsider as my kids retell the life they live without me all day.
Our home has no favorites now. We are united. The younger kids look up to the older kids and the older kids have more patience with them. Life living among the littles is normal.
My Molly read her first word yesterday and its because I taught her. She writes her name because I taught her. When she has questions about life, she comes to me and I answer.
The south is under a cold spell with possible snow tomorrow night. We have been in hibernation for days. Quick runs to the mailbox are braved by one of us. Today my 12.5 year old told me that she loves being "trapped" in the house. That warmed my heart. Most kids her age would just die if they spent all week in the same house as their family. Not my kids. Thats normal, thats welcomed and even asked for.
I can't imagine our life any other way. I can't imagine not having them around me. Of coarse, if you happen to peek in my windows, you might catch me (gulp) yelling, losing my patience, and surrounded by a quite messy home . Under no circumstances do we spend days holding hands and singing kombaya. We are real. Down to the core! We have our good days, bad days and days in between. But never a moment of regret.
I don't know what I would do without them scurrying around, having 3 projects going on at once. I know that day will come one day... sooner than I hope for. But when that day does come, I will know in my heart I have loved them and trained them and spent as much time as possible with them. I will have no regrets ( ok maybe a few less days frazzled...)
Perhaps my answer to my friend was a PC answer? Perhaps thats not how I really think? I don't understand any other way. For me, it just doesn't make sense BUT to homeschool. I want all families to be like ours. I think the world would be a better place. Most problems in the world can be solved by just fixing the family.
Im sure many people disagree. And thats fine I guess... But for me and my precious ones that live in MY little Red House... I think Homeschooling is the only way!