Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Giving Up to Get Much More

Why do we think we can have it all?  That must be the biggest lie that has been sold to us.  I realized this when I was trying to balance motherhood with a full time job while supporting my husband and his full time job that included a 4 hour commute and travel.  I could do this.  I just could not do it all well.  I could not give the best part of myself to other people’s children 8 hours a day and have the same level of engagement with my own children.  I could not enjoy family time on weekends when I had a pile of papers to correct and tests to grade.  Something had to give.  I gave up my full time teaching position in favor of spending my days with my child.  I have never regretted this decision.

Homeschooling websites and how to books often espouse the same idea that we can have it all.  Can we really have it all?  Of course not. We can’t have the security of an A+ on a report card or a diploma.  We don’t have the external feedback from a teacher conference and we don’t have honor roll.  We give up the opportunity to play team sports (at least in CT), the opportunity to participate in Student Council, play in the orchestra and eat lunch with friends every day. There are many things we don’t have, or can’t have.  

However, there are many things that we can have.  We can be apart from the system of public instruction, away from the indoctrination, away from mandates and schedules. We are not subjected to standardized testing and common core.  We gain freedom to travel, to wake up at 9am and go for a walk on the beach, to do school in our pajamas and take as many field trips as we want.  We can spend hours on one subject and skip over others that we already know.  The world is our classroom.  

When I see videos like this, I take great satisfaction in knowing that for all the things we homeschooling families give up when we choose to educate outside the system, we get so much more: to exercise our freedoms as families, as parents and as our child’s primary educators.  Even on our hardest days, I take comfort in knowing that they are not part of the collective.  They are my children.  They will always be my children. So while I may not have it all, I know that I have all that matters.


Mary Prather said...

You know how I feel..... great post, Jess.

kim said...

Just wanted to clarify about homeschoolers and team sports in Ct. In our area, all team sports up through middle school are not part of the school. The limitations on homeschoolers being able to participate only apply to the high school level, when team sports become part of the public school athletic department. My boys have participated in team sports for several years now.

Love your blog!

Jessica said...

Kim, Yes that is correct. Although I did not clarify it, I meant HS sports. My girls currently play basketball through our town's rec department. These teams are only offered through 8th grade. There are also a few homeschool teams that I see on our yahoo group but unfortunately, none (that I know of) in our area!

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