I have this daydream often that we live on a farm with chickens and goats and horses and I homeschool and the kids and I laugh all day and everything we do is filled with learning and wonder and excitement. I know it's a fantasy. It's not reality, or mine at least. This is the highlight reel plastered on blogs and Instagram accounts.
But what keeps resonating with me is this pull to homeschool them. I really felt the urge beginning last fall, when Porter was in 2nd grade. His class was disorganized and chaotic. Luckily he's a good student and learns quickly, but every time I volunteered I couldn't help but think.... We could do this writing in half the time and I know porter can do a better job than he's doing! And the friends.... He's a good kid but he is constantly drawn toward the naughty kids of the class. He thrives on their exciting, rebellious behavior and constantly befriends them. He knows their behavior is wrong. He doesn't cross the line at school but he does come home with some behaviors and knowledge about things that we don't discuss or allow at home. We live in a bit of a transient community, but there are some great families and great boys in his grade that he could be friends with. However, there is never more than 1 or 2 of these good kids in his class.
Last year I had the boys stop riding the school bus because of some of the things they told me were being said/talked about on the bus by 6th graders. This year I was just appalled at some of the language and things spoken about by one of the boys in his class.
And the more I really analyze schools-from teaching to volunteering positions- I realize how much time is "wasted" and not actually educational. They're there for 7 hours a day. So much of that time is spent transitioning 25+ kids from one lesson to the next, or getting everyone to follow directions or quiet down. My kids are spending 7 hours a day with kids that I can't control what they learn from home or say at school and I'm not there to mediate. They could be learning the same amount in less than half the time at home.
I keep feeling like I'm being pulled to homeschool but the thing is.... I feel like the worst mother ever as it is. My patience is shot by the evening. I feel like my plate is so full as it is. Truth be told, most days I look forward to dropping the boys off at school and having the day free from chaos and fighting. I know that if I tried homeschooling it would be a bust. I would suck not only as their teacher but as their mother as well. Not to mention working from home on top of that. I don't know how I could possibly balance it all.
It kills me that I don't have the attitude of loving to be around my kids all the time. It kills me that, I'll be honest, Porter's challenging personality exhausts me on a daily basis and that some days it is all I can do to even like him.
I headed to bed with worries heavy on my shoulders. I'm not sure what the right choice is for us. Do I attempt to homeschool and really get my life in gear and organized to the minute and planned and productive? Do I switch schools? Do I look into private schools? Do I hire someone to homeschool for me?
I passed porters room on the way to bed and paused to watch him sleep. I used to do this every night when he was little. I love him with all my heart. There are many days I don't like him (and many days I don't even like myself because of my lack of ability to deal with his personality) but I always love him. I want to shelter him from the bad things in this world. I worry about his choices. I worry about the path he will take in life. I just want the best for him. For all our kids. Right now I just don't know what exactly IS the best.