Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mommy Guilt

I like homeschooling because it is adaptable. There is nothing better than being curled up with Ady on the couch reading books or doing math. I like it because Ady gets to see how proud I am of her. She gets to see how hard work and a diligent attitude pays off. I like that homeschooling lets me target Ady's instruction just for her. She is more than keeping up or completing work to get it done, she is excelling. I like that academics are a part of our life. We are a team that works together to learn and do new things. I have to admit I like that there are no staff meetings or IEP meetings. There is nothing that gets in the way of Ady's learning.

We all want what is best for our children. For homeschool parents expectations can run high. There are feelings of guilt. When Ady was in school I felt guilt that she was at school all day, bored, and not being challenged. Now I feel guilty that she is not at school. Is she missing out on some important life experience because she is at home? Deep down I know that I am doing what is best for Ady. No choice is perfect, but I know I will always regret sending her to school and I will never regret her missing out on school. What is she missing? Parties? We can have those with our homeschool group. Field trips? We do those all the time. Friends? She has plenty of friends. And not all social skills learned at school are positive. She does lots of activities where she is interacting with other kids. Special classes? She plays sports, takes piano lessons, we go to library story time, use the computer in instruction, and she takes are classes.

With the first day of school approaching (I know many of you already started!) all of the "back to school" hype makes me a little sad. I miss being in the classroom as a teacher. Ady doesn't have any reason to shop for a new backpack. But, really, she is getting so much more than she could ever get in the classroom. She is missing out on school but she is getting so much more. She is learning to work independently and how to challenge herself. She is learning that devoting herself to learning will pay off in the end. She is learning that she loves subjects and topics she never knew she could love.

While I am feeling guilty that she misses out on school I am happy Ady is loving learning. I will always do what I think is best for her, no matter how hard that decision is. Mommy guilt will be part of my life no matter what. I am constantly wondering if I am making the right choices for her. This school year the district we are in has decided that homeschool students can no longer participate in classroom activities at the elementary level. So much for a progressive, open school environment for Ady. I wish she could have some classroom experiences, but as she put it, "It doesn't really matter, mom." She will grow to be an intelligent and kind person, classroom experiences or not.

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