I have had many conversations with moms that go like this…
Them: I don’t know how you do it. I could never homeschool my kid.
Me: I don’t know how I’m going to do it either. But I don’t really feel like I have a choice. So I’ll just have to figure it out.
I felt for many years that I could never ever homeschool my son. He is active, curious, stubborn, mostly interested in things I don’t care about or things that scare the crap out of me. I’m not a boy and I never was, so I can’t relate to him on so many levels. He doesn’t like books or learning (unless it’s a wilderness survival skill). He likes inserting himself into every argument, disagreement and discussion that has nothing to do with him. He’s frustrating, demanding, and exhausting.
These personality traits led to multiple suspensions. But over 2.5 years, they became more frequent and more questionable. There was even a note sent home informing us he had been “benched” during lunch recess because he wouldn’t stop digging holes in the dirt, filling them with water and “making a mess”. He was trying to plant acorns after being taught about the plant life cycle in class.
It got to a point where we felt that we were doing damage by sending him to school. I thought about MegaMind and how he was actually a good kid. But after repeatedly being treated like a bad kid, he believed it himself. And that is what I thought would happen to my son. Because he had started to say things like “I know I’m a bad boy.”
But I know that he isn’t. I know that he is capable of greatness. The reason why I don’t feel like I have a choice to send him back to public school is because I believe that my husband and I are his best chance at learning to believe that he is good, smart, and capable.
I struggle almost everyday to teach him. To come up with yet another way to get him to do his work. I have to be flexible yet firm, creative yet regimented, and kind yet authoritative. Sometimes I feel like my brain will explode.
But then, I try some new method or we get to move on to some new topic and I see the excitement in him. And he thanks me for teaching him. Or I skip a few lessons for the day because he’s having so much fun building a Lego creation or a squirrel trap. And I realize that he can do what interests him, including “making a mess” with dirt, and not get reprimanded for it because it doesn’t fit some narrow view of what is acceptable behavior.
And then I realize that it is worth it. My kid is worth it. Worth the time, tears and grey hairs.
So don’t think you could never ever do it, because if you ever did feel like your child’s innocence was threatened, you could and you would.