Friday, January 16, 2009



As a parent it feels like every now and then we come to a crossroad. When children are little it can be as simple as the first sleepover. Are they too young to sleep at someone else's house or is it time to loosen the apron strings a little and let them experience something new? It seems after these small milestones are reached and passed something changes...just a little.
As they grow, heading off to school is a huge crossroad. I remember feeling a sense of vulnerability as I sent my first child off to school. I was handing over protection of her to someone else. Someone I didn't even know...the most precious thing in my life would be in someone else's hands. I wouldn't be there to protect, comfort and encourage. You could say the first few weeks of school were difficult for the both mother and child.
Now having packed my last child off to kindergarten you would think that I am a seasoned veteran who didn't even give it a thought. But the truth is, now more than ever I have doubts. Doubts whether the school system really is the best thing for my children. Doubts whether it is good for their little personalities to have to deal with bullying, social clicks and the endless peer pressure to grow up too fast. Doubts as to whether their academic strengths and weaknesses are really being properly addressed and managed. And doubts as to whether the school system really helps them learn to think outside the box and discover their passions. I know my husband and I both fell into careers that held no real joy for us. Our jobs paid the bills but gave us no real sense of fulfillment. So is this what is in store for my children if they travel the same educational highway as we did?
My friends will tell you that this is not a new concern for seems to simmer in the background and come to the surface every year or so. And so this the spirit of the New Year...I am determined to try and address these issues and get some resolution.
Here I am...... at the educational crossroads...time to put away the map and try to figure out the way by myself.


  1. I homeschool all 4 of my kids. When my oldest was 5 and packed him off to kindergarten and it did not work for him. I am thankful that he was the first to enter because it got me to thinking about it and researching like crazy. I pulled him out and never looked back. I LOVE having my kids home with me and I know it is best for all of us (not to say that homeschooling is best for every child or every parent).

    If you ever have any questions you can send me an email :) I love to talk about homeschooling!! (if that is what you are thinking, lol.

  2. didn't leave your email address...Can you send it to me. thanks...Donna

  3. oops sorry!

  4. Donna,

    First of all I have ALL those same thoughts.

    Second, could I enroll my kids in your homeschool?! ;)

    (((Hugs))) I will pray for you (and Matt) to be filled with wisdom!



  5. It is indeed hard to know what to do. I, myself, know I could never home school. My kids would not listen and would therefore learn nothing.

    I wish you the best of luck in your decision - whatever it may be!

    PS - love the heart photo!

  6. I've always known that the time will come when I will home-school Dakota (because he's on the autism spectrum - it'll probably be in a year and a half - middle school). It's almost happened already a couple times but I've stayed insanely involved in the schools he's attended and have headed off most problems early on. I may never need to home school Dylan. Every child needs different things and those things will probably change as he/she goes through school. I know firsthand that even the best teachers make compromises trying to meet the needs of every student in their class. It's an impossible job. The one piece of advice I always give other parents is to follow your instincts. NO ONE knows your child and what he/she needs better than you. You might want to check out the following site about the Washington State virtual school, if you haven't already. . I hope you come to a decision that gives you peace.

  7. Across the beautiful blues seas half a world away another mum is having the same thoughts. As our school holidays finish & our new school year is about to start....I'm only to happy to to listen when u find the answers :)

  8. Donna, I wish you wisdom to chose the right path for yourself and your children.

  9. You will find the answer. Whether they stay in school or you home school them. I know your faith will lead you in the direction.

    I sit here everyday and have those crossroads to bare. Especially, having a high schooler.

    Love you


  10. You are years ahead of me on this one, but I can only imagine. I think wherever they go to school, as long as they have that strong base of home it will all go well. Or is that naive of me?

    I have to admit I am not the biggest fan of homeschooling, but I'm sure it has many positives, but so does out of home schooling I think. Good luck!

  11. As a parent our first instinct is to protect our children, keep them from harms way, not let any of the negatives affect them - the bullies, the cliques, the peer pressure. But, those negatives that they are forced to learn how to deal with at an early age are the same negatives that they are going to have to deal with as a teenager and as an adult. If they are insulated as a child, how are they to develop those important social skills that they will need later in life?

    To home school your children is a difficult decision and a difficult job. The children that I've seen that have been home school, even the teens, have been socially stunted. As you can see, I'm not an advocate, but you have to do what you deem right for your children. Good luck!

  12. My husband and I are set on unschooling our kid(s), and thus are currently on an amazing journey of DEschooling so that we will be prepared to let her live each day to its full potential. I can point you to as many sites as you can imagine for unschooling, each one more enlightening than the rest. Actually, my reader is full of them.

    I wish I had hands on experience to give you, but let me know if you want any of those links and feel free to use me as a sounding board. It's a life altering decision, but never set in stone. You can always re-enroll in school if the reality of homeschooling doesn't live up to your dreams. :O)

  13. You wouldn’t be a mum if you didn’t experiences these thoughts, but if it is eating at you then go forward and find a solution.
    I went though this last year with my daughter. I have already kept her back 1 year and she is still slipping through the cracks. She has Dyspraxia and an IQ of only 78 but she does not qualify for a teachers aid and she does not qualify for a special school either because she needed an IQ of below 72.
    In one way my son was lucky he has been diagnosed as intellectually disabled with an IQ of 65 so he gets to go to a special school with only 8 kids in a class with 2 teachers.

    Trust your gut feeling you may find where they are is best either way at least you know and will have piece of mind.

  14. Just wanted to pop in a say something. My kids are homeschooled and they have (unfortunately) experienced bullying just like kids who are in school. You see my kids play with all the schooled kids in the neighborhood when they get home from school every day. They are also involved in swimming lessons and karate lessons. So they play with schooled kids all the time. Being bullied and having to deal with peer pressure is part of growing up whether they attend school or not.

    I get a little frustrated when people say that they know homeschooled kids that are not doing well socially because of course that is true just as we all know kids that are schooled that have trouble socially. I spent 12 years in school (plus college) and I am extremely shy and a little socially stunted, lol.

  15. Oh Donna! This is such a difficult crossroads. I, too have seriously been considering homeschooling. I had planned on starting with my oldest, but she was such a social child, that instead, we enrolled her in pre-school. She loved it so much, we just went ahead and went with the school system. But now she's saying she wants to stay home with me . . . she's doing well in school, and she loves playing with the other kids, so I'm not sure what to do. It's SO hard, but something I'm also looking into for the coming year. I really do think that homeschooling would be the best option for my own kids, but what I'm really concerned with is my own capabilities in teaching them. Do I have the patience? The dedication? ACK!

    I'll be thinking about you and keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  16. donna first of all your header is stunning along with the photo of the heart...

    i wish for you wisdom (and peace) in your decision and we have all made educational choices as a parent...and are blessed to be able to choose what is right for our kids!

    As one of mine is a junior in college we at times still work with her thru major choices...

    I am a preschool music teacher and know that I touch those little lives each day with love and caring..
    blessings, ELK

  17. Please let us know how things go! We don't have kids yet, but I know we will struggle with this issue when the time comes.

  18. I just wanted to pass this link on to you: . . . she takes some wonderful photos and makes me feel completely inadequate (hee hee). THIS is how I would hope home schooling would go in my own household . . . I'm sure you've visited her site before, as she's a fellow shutter sister, but you may find her Homeschool 101 link helpful, if you haven't already checked it out.

  19. It is a difficult decision. My kids have never been to school (other than the play based pre-school which seems to be an extension of La Leche League and an intro to homeschooling for many when it's time for real school)
    We love to follow our own routines and interests. I can't really imagine life any other way. There are tons of resources out there-books, internet...and so many styles of homeschooling. Take it slowly. I think most veteran homeschoolers will tell you there styles change from year to year and some even season to season. Recreating school at home may work for some but for most it becomes boring and disappointing. Especially when kids are young and the basis of their life is play. That's where they learn the most-by moving around and experiencing life. Good luck.