7 Quick Takes - Homeschool advice needed from you pros out there!
Linking up with the beautiful Jen. As always.
Did you ever think you had something all discerned and figured out, then you're faced with actually doing it...and all of a sudden your discernment takes a whole new level? That's us and homeschooling this week.
I just have to start off by saying that I've always loved working with little kids and especially teaching them. Even though my degree wasn't in education, I've still had plenty of opportunity to teach kids in a catechetical classroom setting. But by far, my favorite kid EVER to teach is my little Stinky. And she LOVES having me teach her. It is a mutually wonderful relationship for us. I'm living my dream of teaching and she's soaking it all up like a sponge and loving every minute of it!
But all that being said, we are at the very cusp of preschool homeschooling. And so the Abbot and I have been having some real discernment talks this week about homeschooling. And I feel like I've been actually taking it to prayer, in a way I haven't before. I think one thing that neither of us doubts is my ability to teach our daughters, and to teach them well. I think that both of us think that I am fully capable of giving our daughters a strong academic background. And I think that we are also now in a place where we both realize that this isn't something stressful for me, but something life-giving that I truly enjoy. I struggle so much with having a baby...but I am LOVING having a preschooler!
So, part of what our conversation is coming down to is the classic socialization question. (And here's where any of you homeschoolers participating in this link-up can definitely chip in and share your wisdom!!) Part of this is trusting in God for the long term (because we don't know where we'll live 3 years from now after the Abbot graduates, so we can't discern that far...this is more for the right now discernment but we're discerning with the long term in mind). The Abbot and I both want little Stinky to have the experience of having friendships and being part of a community. As far as the community goes, we all love our parish and I know she feels very much a part of it! And we're also discerning signing her up for a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium when she's old enough because I LOVE that curriculum so much, and we can afford to send her to one! And as far as friends go...she has way more friends (that she prays for by name each night and talks about and looks forward to seeing and playing with) than either of us did at 2.5. And, regardless of where we end up living we will definitely be active members of our parish community and I would definitely dig in and find a homeschooling co-op to belong to (and maybe an atrium for Stinky and Baby Sister to go to). Also, hopefully we'll form a community with other families at whatever university the Abbot lands at. Sooo...logically we shouldn't worry about this. But I'm sure every homeschooling family does at some point. Thoughts?
Ultimately what it comes down to we've realized is...is this where God is wanting us to be? We know that if we homeschool we will have some family and friends who will be extremely supportive and others who are concerned. It's not something either of us ever considered prior to parenthood. BUT it is something we will wholeheartedly undertake if it is what God wants for our family. So your prayers for our discernment are appreciated!
Right now, this experience reminds me of so many other big moments of discernment in my life (and in our life as a couple). Discerning what college to go to, and what to study. Discerning engagement. Discerning children. In each of these experiences, I know that once I feel at peace with knowing (as much as is possible in this lifetime) that I'm saying yes to what God is calling me to, than I can do it, no matter how hard it is. That's what the call to children has been like for us - despite my hyperemesis, we both feel such deep peace knowing we are called to have these little ones that we're able to keep going! I am hoping to come to that kind of peace with this discernment.
On a funny note...I kind of feel like I'm in college again, discerning my life's vocation. The Abbot and I both experienced a slight draw to the priesthood (him) and religious life (me). We both thought that these vocations were beautiful, lovely things...but deep down both were afraid that because we really wanted to be married and have a family that meant that we had to become a religious/priest...because surely your vocation can't possibly be the thing you WANT to do, right? I know better now, but I'm definitely having those same feelings right now. I feel so guilty because I want to homeschool Stinky (and the feeling seems to be mutual...she is always asking for "school time")...and part of me is assuming, "Okay, if I want it so much it much mean that God is calling us to send her to preschool, etc." I know that sounds silly...but such is the brain when it is lost in that crazy web of discernment!
Thanks for letting me share all that, friends ;-)