There are handfuls of people who probably think I shouldn't be homeschooling. I don't know this for a fact as no one has said this directly to me. But I have heard some things. I also sense the ideas in questions I receive when I talk about Marie.
Those concerns, questions and opinions are battles for me.
Simply going to church is a battle. Everywhere my family goes there are concerns, questions and opinions. When these things are brought to my attention, my defenses shoot up high and fast. This makes me difficult to talk to. I have answers for most questions and concerns that come my way because it all gets repeated. New town, same story. And that's okay because God is alive in our home.
I don't think I have made it clear how much homeschooling has lessened stress for me at home.
When Marie was in public school, the bus picked her up and dropped her off. I woke up early to get her showered, dressed and fed. Mornings were the worst for us. I tried many ways to encourage her to pick up the pace and get things done so she would be on time. Lists, pictures, nagging, doing it all for her. S-T-R-E-S-S
But then I had the entire day to myself. Wooo!!!! Yet by the time 3:30 would roll around I could feel the stress of what was to come creep up on me. What was it going to be today? Did she eat her lunch on the bus? Did she sneak some nail polish on the bus and eat that instead? Did she pull her hair out of her nice up-do again? What about her "friends?" Did she kick anybody today? Was she disruptive in the classroom again? Are the buttons ripped off her new shirt? There was just about always something that would be wrong. Some of it was minor, as you can see. But other times it wasn't so small.
After she got home there was a rush of things for me to deal with. Her appearance (torn clothing ect.), the report of her day, finding things in her backpack that aren't supposed to be there, looking at the homework hoping she would understand it.
Between getting home from school and bedtime there was a very small window to deal with what happened in her day, to get her homework done and to eat dinner and go to bed on time. Forget playing.
Now we home school. It's not perfect. It's not stress free, by any means. But it's working for us.
We get up leisurely now. Our schooling doesn't have a definitive start and end point. For instance, this morning she is going to be starting an hour and a half late because I have had a rough morning. There are some days where we don't get to school at all. Don't worry, that doesn't happen often.
Homeschooling is helping to improve my relationship with Marie. That seems backwards, even to me. While we have our really bad days, we also have good days. This morning, with Denai sitting on my lap, I asked Marie to refill my coffee cup. That's progress. It's progress for her brain and it's progress in our relationship. When I ask her to do something that is for me, (it's almost a selfish thing) it's a small way that I show I'm willing to accept her and what she has to offer in my life.
While the stress from her public school days are gone, there is still stress being home all day together. She finds things to eat when she feels she won't be caught. (She will actually get up and look through stuff to find something.) If I leave the room, she likes to behave inappropriately - which is really irritating. She struggles with the most basic schooling concepts and I just want her to GET IT. She takes a really long time to learn.
Ultimately, that is why I home school. She takes a really long time to learn.
In math I have spent an entire math working with her on 1 + 0 = 1. I have learned that she learns well visually. So we use blocks on the carpet to visually see that a number plus nothing equals that same number in the number sentence. It's hard for her to understand which is frustrating to me because I don't see how it's a difficult concept. However, she's starting to get it. Slowly.
So, I home school. It's the right decision for us right now.