About Rest for the Weary
I hope you will find this little spot a place of rest and refreshment for your soul. My intention is to build up women in the trenches of homeschooling. This includes veterans who are burned out and former homeschooling moms who have decided for one reason or another to put some or all of their children in school. Thanks for stopping by. Take a deep breath of refreshment for your weary soul.
Friday, November 19, 2010
My homeschooling journey
I wanted to share with everyone how I came to the choice of homeschooling and how I feel about it now. Twenty-two years ago in college, I researched homeschooling for my final paper in my major. (which is education related) I read John Holt and the Colfaxs and knew this was what I wanted for my children when I had them. My decision was purely based on how ineffective public schools were; how they didn't work with a students strengths, interests, and at their pace. I also wanted to protect them from feeling dumb (which I came across a lot in public school) and from being bullied. At the time, I was a new convert and religion was not a priority for that type of choice. Once married, the children came right away. My husband was on board with homeschooling so that was to my advantage. Once the children were of school age, I began using a relaxed approach based on interests. (some would call this Christian Unschooling) About that time, I became involved with a Catholic homeschooling support group. I found out many things I didn't know. Someone recommended me using the Baltimore Catechism for religion. We picked one up, and as I read through it, I was amazed at how much I didn't know as a Catholic. Slowly, we became more conservative in our religious convictions. I researched so much because the internet was just becoming popular. By this time, I was on my fourth child, and I was tired. I decided to ask a question on a Traditional Catholics mothers' board about wanting to be done having children. I got a huge lecture on how NFP is sinful. Of course I shot back, "but the church allows it." This led to a whole conversation about how the church after Vatican II was wrong on many things. Someone mentioned the Traditional Latin Mass was still available so I inquired about one in our area since we had recently been disturbed with some of the things going on in our parish. This led me to research everything from dressing to homeschooling methods. I found that many traditionalist believe that you should only use Catholic curriculum and avoid things like unschooling, Charlotte Mason, and Montessori because they were heretical. About this time, I developed severe anxiety and depression (although at the time I didn't know) Upon reading this information, I panicked and changed my methods of homeschooling which led to a lot of tears on everyones part. I didn't listen to my inner voice telling me that this wasn't for my family. I truly believed that in order to be a good Catholic, I had to homeschool the "right way." Sending the children to school was not even an option because like I said before, traditionalists including myself thought schools were evil. I flipped flopped back and forth between methods for several years before I discovered my anxiety and left the movement. Now I realize that any method a parent feels is best for their family is fine. Not my place to judge. I also believe that both Catholic school and public schools are suitable options. Each family must decide. At this point, we have decided to enroll our now 8th grader into a new Catholic high school next fall that is wonderful. God willing, he will be accepted and the financial scholarships will come through. We are also not closing the door on school for our other children. We will be evaluating this through prayer and discussion throughout the spring to see if we feel any of our other children need to attend school. I know a few who probably need to be at home at this point. But now I can see that this can be a child by child decision and a year by year assessment. Nothing is set in stone.