[M.M.14] professional fence sitter.

Welcome back to Monday Mamalogues!
'Linking up to share the beauty and breakdowns of motherhood'.
 Today I'm just going to 'put it out there'...as I've been hesitant to write on this topic for about, oh, two years now.
Because it's a daunting topic to me.
Because there's pros/cons to both sides of it's debate.. and passionate contenders on each end.
Because I'm still stuck right in the middle... the fence sitter expert now.
To homeschool, or not to homeschool.
That is the question.

See?  The very issue already has those familiar buzz words likely coming to mind?
'socialization vs. isolation, education vs. indoctrination...'

Let me first say that I don't think there is only one right answer here.
Each family makes their decisions based on their convictions, I respect that.
I'm just trying to lay out our concerns/goals/hopes about this issue.

I've avoided it.
Stalling the need to address it.
 Trying to hold back the clock.

But, our little girl is getting bigger... and we can't hide from the decision much longer.

I keep trying to weigh out the issues.
Filter them according to 'right' and 'wrong' motives.
Trying to live out 'grace-based' parenting instead of fear-full reactionary approaches.
But, there's still a lot of fear mixed in there... muddying up my clarity to decide.
(Though, when I read articles like this I start to wonder...)

 Ben is always more pro-active and wise in his approach, I'm a bit more emotional... and debate it out with him every so often:
"What if we send her to school and she gets her poor widdle feelings hurt??!!"
"What if we keep her home and I can't teach past 2 + 2 ?!!"
Highly logical thought processes happening here, as you can see.
At a deeper level though - we really want to be intentional about being present with the community God's placed us in (i.e. schools/neighbours) and not 'cloister' ourselves away.
Although I know that IF we did homeschool.. we'd be sure to do it in a co-op/group approach.
Back and forth my heart sways...
Anyway, all that to say, I don't know what to say!
We still feel lost in transition here too.. in that we may attempt moving in a couple(?) years and wonder if we should just *keep* her until we settle somewhere.  But that's not even sure yet either.

Ok, I've shared where I'm at... the debate still continues.
Now I'm curious, if you have kids - what motivated your decision to homeschool or not?
Even better, if you've blogged about it in the past.. feel free to link it up below today!

Thanks for hearing me ramble,
it still motivates me to address this decision afresh.

muddled mama,
mel ;o)


  1. I'm in 8th grade and have been homeschooled my entire life. It's not exactly "isolation" because where I live there is a huge homeschool community, and I go to a co-op which is kind of like a fun version of homeschool school, with classes like acting, Egyptian crafts, and stained-glass. There are also many classes for younger kids to do, and the parents hang out all day. I would suggest homeschooling to anyone!

  2. Claudia Guerreiro22 April 2013 at 09:49

    homeschooling these days is so much easier than it was before. with all the online curriculum you can find and what not. for me it's more a matter of do i have the discipline to do it full time? putting Lily in school twice a week was a big decision but one that i am glad we made. she loves going to school and has learned so much from the bigger kids. everyone is different so you gotta do what feels right for your family and for your child. we have signed Lily up for full time school in august. she will be going every day from 9-2. because every day when she wakes up, she asks what day it is and if she is going to school. so, she is ready. and luckily, her school is small, montessori/waldorf and we love it. it has all been working out. but if it didn't, you bet i would home school full time. it's what i do with her the days she is not in school anyway. you will figure it out. xo

  3. Well first of all, if you're thinking of moving, come out this way!! :D
    And I totally understand your worries. I think if I was the kind of person who could homeschool, I probably would. I can see lots of benefits where the kids actually learn more and have more experiences, on the other hand they don't have the same interaction and they maybe don't learn about listening to different authorities? I don't know. We know tons of families who homeschool, for different reasons, but we're putting our kids in school. Hopefully french immersion. We'll still educate them from our perspective, and pay close attention to what they're learning. And as much as I'd like to protect them from other people, sometimes it's good for them to have those experiences too...
    Whatever you decide, you can always change your mind!! We'll be praying for you- it's a tough choice. I'm sure you guys would do an excellent job homeschooling though. If I was working and Junior was home, we'd probably do it too. But it could NOT be me!!

  4. Heather Anderson22 April 2013 at 11:24

    Uh oh . . .as a homeschooling "convert" I could talk forever about the subject. I'll try to be brief by just addressing two things.

    I'm still not exactly sure what the turning point for us was, but I went from "I don't want my kids with me all day and I want to be able to serve others during the day" to completely embracing the flexibility, creativity and family-centred approach of homeschooling. I think realizing that there was a resourceful support group in the city really helped. I suppose the final decision came when Todd surprisingly said "Yeah, let's do it." And I'm so glad we are. Something I never knew before I started was that homeschooling is really fun! So, I still can't pinpoint an exact "motivation" for us, but somewhere along the way I realized I didn't want to send my daughter away from me every weekday and that there was a better way for us. You don't need to follow the pattern of those around you, whether it be sending kids to public/private schools or the "way" they homeschool. I'm really liking how much choice we have with homeschooling.

    In terms of being intentional about being a part of the community: we don't know our neighbours who have school aged kids as well as we might know them if our kids went to their school. I think school may provide your children with an opportunity to get to know other kids their age in the neighbourhood and to introduce you to other people in the neighbourhood who are at the same stage in life as you are (Of course, whether you homeschool or not, intentionality is key and we have not been all that intentional in that regard). But not sending our kids to school have also given us opportunity to meet others in the neighbourhood in a different way. We visit with a couple older ladies on the street. We know the library staff really well! We spend time with families who have preschool aged children and Hannah gets to be the big helper and an example to them. I suppose it gives us more time as a family to spend time with people who are at different stages in life than we are. (Also, we do know lots of people at the same stage of life, from church or the homeschooling group, but they don't live as close so we have to drive to meet up with them).

    I think that whatever you guys decide will be good. Personally I think you'd make wonderful homeschoolers because you're both so creative and intentional about things. Don't worry that you'd be shutting yourselves away from the community if you homeschool - it just gives you a different perspective of community!

  5. Well, that wasn't very brief. I tried. If you want your eyes to go all buggy reading, feel free to email/message me with any questions about our experience so far! As you can see, I love talking/writing about it :)

  6. Nicola Rothmann22 April 2013 at 13:39

    I commented but I think I did not hit the button properly...silly me! But I think I am going to do a link up.

  7. Oh a hot topic how fun! lol. I think I have said it before so here goes again... trust your heart. I am a very black and white person... no grey, but I try to see grey areas and the longer I am a parent the better I get at this. It doesn't have to be all or nothing when it comes to your children's education. For example we decided to NOT do JK at all. OH MY GOODNESS... lol... just didn't feel right for us. Our fourth is finishing up his first year of school (SK) and thankfully we are still at a school where it is part time... if it was full time we wouldn't have participated full time (again because it just wouldn't have fit us). Remember that it is not the law (I believe) to have your child in school or home school until the grade 1 level. Soooooooo, if you feel the desire or need to homeschool then do that, or if you want to send to a government run school then do that. But when you are ready to start. And if your choice doesn't last forever well so be it. You can switch if you feel that is the best for the moment. See, easy... no pressure. Follow your heart.

  8. Oh yes, that sounds about right.. I do love the 'freedom' of being able to *try* one option and then switch if it needs to happen! I agree about that full time s/k craziness.. I don't think I could send her for that so young - but who knows.... she could love it! Thanks for sharing YOUR heart here too sweet mama. xx

  9. do itttt! ;o)

  10. Wowsers... yet another reason we need to have a real coffee date next time you're here - I'll still hold strawberry chunk of cuteness again too! ;o) Thanks for sharing all that.. you guys are definitely one of my 'inspiration' examples of how I'd like to see it done... IF we did.... xx

  11. hehe... thanks for the invite, if we move.. we may want a bit more LAND though ... green space, um, so start growing some woods over there! ;o) Anyway, I hear you on this, and it sounds a lot like my head space too... I think Ben is a much better *teacher* type too... I always get flustered trying to explain/teach things I think. We'll see what unfolds! xx

  12. Oh that sounds lovely for Lily - and I'm sure she'll thrive at it - she's already such an accomplished (cough *genius*) kid thanks to you it seems! Good point about that online curriculum, that is one of the things that overwhelms me at the thought of: filtering through the countless piles of resources/methods/approaches to teaching.. GAH! Thanks for the vote of confidence tho.. ;o) xx

  13. Well hi there ~ lovely to hear from a happy homeschool'ey! Thanks for sharing your experience and insights here. Sounds like you have a great thing going there. ;o)

  14. Thanks 'tash - appreciate that vote of support! I may have to come *smack* you for saying you're not smart enough though.... hehe... although I would likely say the same if I had to teach the dreaded MATH... ugh. But I figure as long as we're ONE lesson ahead of the kid.. we're smarter for that moment! ;o) lol

  15. Hi Mel. I think that you should follow your heart. Know that with homeschooling you can organically and naturally continue the way your life is now. You don't need to be 'smart'. You can teach your kids to read and write (and that is fun) and then let them do the rest on their own organically. The miracle of 'natural learning' is that kids do it on their own! You just help to facilitate and navigate how they can better learn what they are obsessed with. Your kids will be more protected and insular in the loveliest of ways. They will be incredibly socialized, just in 'real life' and not with 25 kids their own age. It will be like having 2 little 'businesses' in the house and that can be exciting and fun to watch! HOWEVER, I was very lucky to have my hubbie with me at home FULL TIME and that made homeschooling wonderful. I'm not sure that I would have chosen it if I was the only one home. When I look back now I'm flooded with happy memories of delightful experiences. One thing for sure, you get to see more of your children if you homeschool them. That can work for you or against you! In a perfect world you could send them to Montessori or Waldorf, where they would have the best of both worlds, but alas those schools are expensive. One thing I've learned is that KIDS ARE RESILIENT and it will be ok no matter what you do. They all come out in the wash! Perhaps you should begin visiting schools and take notes. See how you respond. We didn't have a lot of choice when we began homeschooling and it was visiting the school that 'drove it home' for us. We just didn't like it. You have a few choices: french immersion, catholic, public... Check them out! Prince of Wales seems to have a funky arty style. Know that your choice will be the perfect one for now! You can always switch it up in a few years if need be. Good luck!

  16. Hi Mel. One more thing! We've found that with homeschooling our kids actually ended up not needing to go to college, because they were working 'in the field' of their interest at such an early age. Astrid is actually 'teaching' a workshop at Haliburton School of the Arts this summer! She has studied their every summer since she was a wee babe and will continue to do so. Alek jumped from computer sales to selling Jeeps to Audi's to Jaguars! Now he drives a Jaguar and he's only 21! University costs $80,000 right now for a four year degree and who knows how much it will cost in the future. Yikes! Of course, if they went to school, you would have the time to work and be able to save money for their future schooling. Just more food for thought... I sure hope you don't mind all these thoughts! Welcome to parenthood LOL.

  17. THANKS for all your thoughts Michele - you're the voice of experience for sure, and I appreciate the good points you make... and yes, I'm thankful for that resiliency factor too, knowing that I can't *mess* them up too bad as we try to 'learn as we go' parenting them! hehe. ;o) xx

  18. I too thought about homeschooling. I was really convinced that I would do it for a while. I joined a homeschooling group and read a ton of books and started considering curriculum. In the end, the 'right' decision for me was to send the kids to school. I'm not sure that I've got what it takes to be a homeschooling mom- when I'm working for myself I can be a bit disorganized and indecisive. I decided that I would be a better parent to my kiddies if they went to school. School is going so well for them. Both kids enjoy school very much. I enjoy the time I get alone and that I have some time to work towards some of my other goals in life. And they seem to enjoy their time away from me. When they are here, we spend all our time together and get to share our stories of what we did when we weren't together. I love it when the kids teach me what they learned at school :) And really, John and I still do homeschool, just not all day everyday. I think homeschooling is really cool and I admire and am very inspired by many people who do it. I'm so glad to have made a decision that was right for our family. I know it's a tough decision to make and one that I struggled with quite a bit. Things will be great no matter what decision you make! You're a great mom!

  19. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with that Andrea - very interesting how things changed for you guys, I hope to stay flexible that way too... you're sweet! xx

  20. I changed my mind about not knowing our neighbours as well as we would if our kids did go to school. The kids definitely know the other kids (mostly 9 year olds) who knock on the door every day now asking to play with H and C. Turns out I'm "neighbourhood" schooling now as all the kids on the street want to join us as we search for bugs for our bug unit and do experiments with them. Still don't know the parents as well as I'd like, but I guess a simple BBQ could change that!


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