I think this is the time of year when a homeschool mother’s thoughts turn to then end of the school year, or military boarding school, or a nice rest in a padded cell.
Maybe it’s just me.
This last week we received a beautiful color 5×7 post card in the mail announcing the opening of a new state of the art Charter School that is being built in our area, for K-8. I clutched it in my hands, pouring over all of the promises that were able to fit in the 5×7 space. I circled the date for the informational meeting on the card, and transferred the time to my dry erase calendar that resides on the front of the refrigerator. AND I WROTE IT IN PERMANENT MARKER.
And then I may have gone ahead and submitted an online registration form for all 3 of my children, knowing that there would be a lottery held, and what the heck…
I’ve often stated that I’m a reluctant homeschool mom, homeschooling for 8 long years. I quit every Friday, only to begin again on Monday.
I’m not here to debate the merits of homeschooling, for there are many. I’m also not here to debate the merits of the school system, for there are many. Homeschooling is a very personal choice that is dependent on the particular needs for each individual family. It’s also not for everyone.
Homeschooling has served our family well, but I have to come clean and tell you. I. Am. Tired. I am tired of juggling the homeschooling duties, cooking, grocery planning, shopping, all while playing banker and accountant for our 3 businesses. And I’m still battling Lyme Disease, which can leave me so fatigued. Mind you, I am a fully functioning Lyme patient, and I’ve MADE HUGE STRIDES, but there are still issues.
For the last week or so I’ve considered not homeschooling next year.
I attended our weekly homeschooling park day last Friday, and the post card about the charter school was the talk of the group. It seems I’m not the only homeschooling mother who feels she’s going down with her ship.
I’m learning all I can about this whole charter school business. It’s still a public school, but there are UNIFORMS, and heavy parent involvement. It’s hard to really discern the politics behind the whole thing, because while this beautiful school is being built, other schools in our area are closing down due to budget cuts.
But I saw it as a possible life raft, spotted just as I’m about to go under.
I’m not at all dramatic.
The informational meeting that I spoke of was scheduled for Wednesday night. Fiddledaddy gave me his blessing as I ran out the door. He knows this is something that I need to fully explore. I know that it’s his desire for our children to be homeschooled. I am so grateful that he’s not pressuring me, but allowing me to process all of my issues.
There’s a lot to process, BELIEVE YOU ME.
Anyhoo. I turned the corner to head to the local high school where the meeting was being held. The line to enter the high school parking lot was backed up a good 2 miles. I knew that making a left into the parking lot would take a sweet forever, so I high tailed it down to the light at the intersection passed the school, and made a LEGAL U-turn so that I could then make an easy right into the high school. I don’t consider that cheating at all, but rather being resourceful.
I was able to secure a parking space at the far end of the lot, and then set off on foot, burning a path in the asphalt with my high speed walking capabilities, which have recovered HUGELY since the onset of Lyme Disease, thank you very much.
Parents were making haste all over the lot in an effort to get into the line that had formed outside of the building. And then it happened.
I tripped over a speed bump.
A SPEED BUMP. Who does that? Later when recounting the incident, Fiddledaddy asked, “Did you go down?” I assured him that I did not, but I made a spectacular windmill demonstration as I attempted to stay vertical. And I didn’t even drop my iPad, which I brought along to take copious notes. Or play Scrabble should I lose interest in the meeting.
As I got up to the doors, a nice police officer was explaining to the powers that be that they were over capacity in the auditorium and no one else could enter. The adjoining cafeteria was then opened so the overflow could enter. The only problem with that is that you could hear NOTHING of the meeting.
Because I’m determined, wiry, and short, I was able to worm my way up to the opened double doors and edge my way just to the inside, so that I could hear what was going on. Indeed, the auditorium area was standing room only for a bunch of sardines jammed into all the corners and crevices. The really mischievous side of me so wanted to yell FIRE but I instinctively knew that I’d be trampled. And then arrested. And since I’m up 2 or 3 dress sizes, horizontal stripes would not suit me.
The program director was a wonderfully engaging speaker. He was the same director who wrote a beautiful letter on the charter school website mentioning GOD not once, but TWICE. About 15 minutes into the speech, just as all the smells of packing 400 people into a small space was wafting by, assaulting my heightened olfactory senses, the director mentioned that they had just made the difficult decision to only go up to the 7th grade for the first year of business.
BUT I HAVE AN UPCOMING 8TH GRADER!
My mind raced as I had to reconfigure having them at different schools. One of the major draws of this charter school was that I would have all 3 of them under one roof. For one blissful year.
It was then that I knew this door was closed to me. With peace in my heart, I turned and wormed my way back out through the throngs, back to my car, taking great care to step OVER the speed bump.
I’ve since really given a great deal of thought to what it would mean not to homeschool. Junior High (in our area) is out of the question for my Emme. And Classical Conversations has really been a good fit for her. And then I have to consider Jensen’s physical issues with this Atopic Dermatitis. I doubt very much he could cope in a setting like school, should he have an outbreak.
So for now I’m putting it all in perspective and clinging to my other dear homeschooling friends with whom I share the same struggles. One such dear friend is looking into contacting this new Charter School about putting together a proposal for a homeschool outreach program.
Besides, as my SIL reminded me, if we don’t homeschool, we have no excuse to attend the Homeschool Convention in May. Excellent point. And yes, I’ve made my reservation and may have begun packing.
Anyone else struggling at this point in the year?