April 5, 2011

Why, oh, why do I homeschool?

Is it just me, or do all homeschooling moms feel tempted to quit their jobs around March each year? I think I heard Susan Wise Bauer say that she feels like quitting every October and March -- and we all know she's the uber-homeschooler -- so I don't feel too alone.

Maybe it's due to spring coming on. It's harder for all of us to keep our focus on academics inside when it's so beautiful outside.

Maybe it's the time change. We all feel like we're a little more sluggish since we crept forward early Sunday morning (there was no springing forward at our house). {Note: don't even get me started on Daylight Savings Time. This Arizona girl is still in mutiny about this}

Maybe it's the fact that we can almost see the end of curriculum... but we're not there yet.

Maybe it's the weight of needing to begin planning for next year while still trying to finish up this year. In the Atlanta area, we have two major homeschool conventions -- the first in early May, which requires me to begin thinking about the future... right now.  The second is at the end of July. We typically start school in very early August, so that's a bit late for me.

On the bright side, I've come to realize that any discouragement is my cue to remind myself of the reasons we homeschool. In no particular order, these include:
  • We love being with our kids
  • I can customize my children's educational plans to meet their needs and our goals, and I'm the first to know if they are struggling with something
  • I wouldn't trade seeing the light bulbs going on above their heads for anything
  • I'm encouraged each time I see that my children are learning to think, to process the facts
  • We can spend as much time as we like praying, teaching them about God, discussing a biblical worldview
  • Family flexibility -- we can make up sick days on our schedule, take vacations when everyone else is in school, and enjoy custom field trips
  • We don't have to start the day at dark-thirty
  • No offense, but our food is infinitely better than what is served in any cafeteria
  • It's easier to teach my children life skills when we are spending more time living together
  • I learn new things every day
And I'm so thankful that those blessings make it easier to remind myself to be content in this season.