Homeschooling dilemmas

27 Apr

Decisions, priorities, discernment….lot of praying—Yep, that is where we are right now.

As our school year is winding down, making decisions about next year is at the hubs and my forefront. Curriculum, co-ops, commitments, responsibilities—what needs to go, what needs to stay. I have to admit, it has my pants up in a (big) little bunch.

As far as curriculum goes, I am set for the main subjects. There are a few things we will be adding in next year, but for the most part, I’m good there. But there is this plaguing decision of co-ops and extracurricular activities—which ones, when, and where? We are blessed to be among a few other homeschooling families at our parish and there are some great opportunities to swap teaching subjects. There are also larger co-ops with many families, some that focus on the PE and art activities, and others that are Protestant based and intensely focus on one or two subjects. They are all so good. But I don’t want to do them all.

I mean, we homeschool for a reason…to teach the bulk of our day in the home.

I am stuck…

Every last person has an opinion.  Don’t get wrong, *I* am the one asking for other’s input.  So, this is really my fault.  But I hear things like “Oh, you wouldn’t want to push your kids that much” or “What about socializing? How are you making sure that she is getting enough time with her peers?” or “She is a smart kid and you really want to be challenging that.” The comments go on and on (and on and on) and they are beginning to make my head spin. But, some of the comments have been rubbing me the wrong way because sometimes it feels like all of these other homsechooling moms think *they* know best.  And I bet they do…for *their* family, not mine.  I’ve decided I’m not asking anymore.  It’s too stressful!  

Anyway…back to the discerning part.

And, factored into these decisions is the reality that as the parents we have commitments outside of homeschooling—so we need to make sure that we are not overextending ourselves in any one area. That has been a huge problem for our (family) me, until recently.

After the first of the year, I took a much needed “leave of absence” from my responsibilities as a Creighton Practitioner. That was The. Best. Decision. we’ve made in long time. The hours that job was taking away from my family had become quite disordered and no matter how hard I tried to cut back on client follow ups, I couldn’t seem to acquire the hours back that I needed for my family. So, I had to take a break. I don’t imagine I will be going back to it. I love that ministry, but I love the family it has given me even more.

And, then there is the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program at our parish that I have helped to initiate. I have such a love-hate relationship with it. With every fiber in my being, I believe it is the best and most amazing way to pass on our faith to our children. It is remarkably beautiful and the growth I have seen in my children over the last year has truly taken my breath away. My husband and I sit in awe at the profound insights our kids share with us. Their love for Jesus, their Good Shepherd, is so beautifully nestled in their hearts.

So what’s my beef? It takes a ton of time and until this point, there have not been a lot of people who have stepped up to help. And, the workload is oh my lordy pete insane. As our parish works to get further levels open, I am very consciously pulling back the reigns and only offering the time and talent I have that does not take me away from my family too much. Like with everything else, it is a balancing act.

Despite my seeming togetherness to most people, I am actually terrible at making decisions, as is my husband. It takes us a needlessly long time to settle on a decision and until we do, we painstakingly analyze the scenario. It has been the cause of waaaaay too many late nights recently. And, for me, I find myself in the middle of the night, laying awake thinking some more about it (while my husband snores away…how does he sleep so well every single night?).

Really, I know that God will land us right where we need to be. I am trusting in that. And, my heart already knows where I need to be with a lot of these decisions. It’s just getting my head (and all the opinions of everyone else) out and trusting that God has entrusted these three lovely children to us. He’s not going to leave us hanging. I just need to let go and trust….like always (*sigh*).

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