Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Emotional Roller Coaster.

(photo courtesy WikiCommons)

Ever wonder what it feels like to make the decision to not register you children for the upcoming school year? It feels a lot like you're on a roller coaster traveling warp speed with broken controls. Thrilling, exciting, exhilarating, amazing, sickening, confusing, and scary as hell. One thought about what lies ahead for us and I run the gamut on emotions in a matter of minutes.

I suspect (ok, I KNOW) that the cause of many of these emotions is the unknown. Putting my children in school I knew exactly what to expect, I had after all done it myself for 12 years, and I know countless people that have traveled that route before me. Taking my children out of school, I know nothing about. It's scary. It's like leaping off the edge of the Grand Canyon and free-falling to the bottom. There are days when this free fall has me certain that the ending will be a disaster. On other days I'm quite certain that I'll grow wings and the trip to the bottom will be beautiful and graceful. But the thing is, I just don't know. But then again, do we ever really know anything with certainty? I'm fortunate enough to know others that have blazed the home school trail and are at the ready with comforting and encouraging words. And, although I know that everything is going to be just fine, I'm scared. Sometimes I'm just scared that the police are going to show up at my door and haul me off to jail for messing up my kids lives.

I feel thrilled and excited to take charge of my children's education, and I'm amazed at the overwhelming love and support that have come from some of the least expected places. I am so excited about all of the things I can share with my children, not only lessons, but most importantly, time. The amount of quality time that families spend together decreases year by year and it feels good to be getting that back.

Then there's confusion. I'm confused about how exactly I should go about educating my children. Should I use traditional school at home methods? Should I unschool? Should I use the classical education method? Should I use the Charlotte Mason Method? Should I buy full curriculum packages? Should I use internet courses? The list goes on and on, and as the list of "should I's" continues to grow it's no mystery as to why I feel so confused.

This week I finally made the decision to "go public" with our choice to home school. That brought up it's own set of emotions. Excitement at finally making it "official". Nervousness about what some of my closest friends and relatives would say and think. Fear of the "I told you so" if for some reason it doesn't work out. But the overwhelming emotional flavor of finally saying it out loud, if you will, was contentment. I felt content that I had made a difficult decision. I felt content that I had committed to that decision.

Just as in life, the emotional roller coaster of homeschooling probably never ends. There are ups and downs, twists and turns, and sometimes loop the loops. Having emotions is just part of the human experience. What I am sure of is this......I'm going to fasten my safety belt, hang on tight, and enjoy the ride of my life.

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