Letter To A Mom With Homeschool Doubts

Recently a mom who is joining my local homeschool group and pulling her kids out of "school" wrote about her second-guessing her decision, because of feelings of doubt .

This is a letter to her. (Edited a bit)

She wrote back that it helped, so I hope it might help others.

Dear Friend,

These feelings of remorse are feelings I am sure all homeschoolers have had at one point or another. Doubt is a demon of homeschooling, a true sign of it's goodness are the attacks against it. Often when we embark on a new journey, that we feel led to by God, we notice sudden obstacles popping up to deter our commitment.

I remember a day like yours. It too was at our final commencement ceremonies at our local Catholic school. As I was videoing the sweet singing voices, I was remorseful, nostalgic and had trepidations about my decision. There was good in that environment...we just wanted better.

You know what you're letting go of, friend....you just don't know yet what you're about to meet.
And it will be better. Homeschooling is the best, you eliminate so much pollution. And you can add so much more of your Catholic faith into your day. I don't know if I heard/read it from Father Hardon or Father Corapi or when Dr. Mary Kay Clark of Seton went to the Vatican  but there is this quote that came out that Catholic Homeschooling is seen as the work of the Holy Spirit to renew the faith!!
Today was just one of those days to illustrate some of homeschoolings sweetness to me. Running errands with my oldest son, him talking to me in the car and us laughing like pals, he reminded me that most other teens don't even talk to their parents...they have their ears plugged with an Ipod and glazed over eyes. Later we all had dinner on the deck, celebrated our school year, went around the table talking about it, each student and their accomplishments... it fills my husband and I with such confirmation, moments like these. There have been many others. Our kids like being together ...with us...as a family. No one is looking to duck out and be elsewhere. There is a palpable feeling of connectedness and shared family identity. Have you read Hold On To Your Kids:Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers?

Parents need to sometimes make hard decisions that our kids won't always like or appreciate...at first. My oldest didn't know when he left 5th grade that he wouldn't be going back. It would have upset him, that's natural and it's natural for your daughter to be sad at this transition. She will adjust and, like my children, get involved with new friends in our homeschool group. Read a Haystack Full Of Needles.

Consider too the often devalued relationship of siblings. Sibling relationships are important to work on, I think they get neglected or brushed off as unimportant and yet they are the ones God chose you to be with from cradle to grave. I read recently about a woman who said she wanted homeschooling for her daughters for that very reason...because she remembers the way "school" taught her older sister to ignore her (the younger sister) and how they were never friends again. To add to the sibling dynamic we also found that homeschooling relieved the dynamic of many school-related stresses. Our family rush became more peaceful and our planning more flexible.
Yet, it isn't always going to be rosy and wonderful in homeschooling. You'll have to deal with issues face on that you could have otherwise handed over to some acquaintance/teacher... but who is ever going to love your children like you do?! Who always has their best interests at heart? That's your right and privilege and perhaps God's way to sanctify you. Hard things are often the MOST WORTHWHILE!

No one else is going to have the vested interest and the *accountability* to educate your kids for heaven, their ultimate goal....for heaven, not Harvard, as the saying goes.

A friend of mine who has been homeschooling longer than I told me about an encounter she had with Laura Berquist of MODG recently. Laura's words brought tears to my friend and to me, in her retelling. This friend (who doesn't even use MODG for her son) told Mrs. Berquist she wasn't sure she was giving her son enough and was considering putting her "good" and "sweet" boy back into the school system. Laura (with no business interest in this boy) spoke from her heart and squeezed her hand and said, "Don't! You tell me now that he is sweet and good and after a year in school you won't be able to say that anymore...in the same way."

The sacrifice to homeschool will be rewarded...we just live in a society that will spread doubt on self-sacrifice and the concept of losing ME time.

Did Jesus have ME time?

Wasn't He the Way, the Truth and the Life and didn't He say He came to serve, not be served.

Offer yourself in His name and He will not be outdone in generosity. Offer yourself like Mary and Joseph did to their child, Jesus. The Holy family is our model for family life. Ask for their intercession. I'll be praying along with you.

Be not afraid, friend!


Anonymous said...

What a BEAUTIFUL letter!!! If it's ok with you I'd like to save it somewhere on my computer in case I'm having a bad day and need a boost or if I meet someone who does.

May God continue to bless you with wisdom,


scmom (Barbara) said...

I think for parents whose children have already been at school, the prospect of homeschooling has its own special doubts, as well as rewards. Like you, I went through those and it has been so very sweet. Thank you, Allison for your witness.

Jamie Jo said...

Very beautiful letter, one we all should read from time to time.

I loved the part about siblings, I believe it to be so true. How can we expect siblings who are apart all day to get along in the evenings? (not that my kiddos always get along, but they have many opportunities to work out those kinks, they have many many more times they DO get along)
-and time to play together.

I also liked the part about doing better. We obviously believe that we can do better than the Catholic schools around here. They may be good, but we can do better.

Great letter, I'll be thinking about it all day!!! And thanking God that we homeschool!

Becky said...

Beautiful letter. I just want to say to all who are considering homeschooling, but are fearful of making that step. I have just finished homeschooling our youngest son whom we pulled out of Catholic school in 2nd grade. He has just completed high school, and he is the most polite, sweet, determined young man. He converses well with people of all ages, has definite opinions on world issues, is confident and is seriously contemplating a call to the priesthood. Having seen how both public and Catholic schools destroyed the faith in my older sons, homeschooling was totally worth every minute. Could I have done better? Surely. Do I regret anything? Absolutely not! Homeschooling has been a blessing & I thank God everyday for having had the opportunity to train a soul for Him.

Sarah Oldham said...

Wow. Well done!
We've done both public and home school with our kids. The older ones are in high school and are good to go. The youngest, as you know, has asked to return home. He just wants to be able to learn w/out all the horrible stuff (teachers screaming, kids not listening, all the dumbing down and no longer challenging kids). Kudos to him for recognizing it. We are so happy to get him home again.
Your letter has reassured me 100 fold.

Kelly said...

Thank you for this. I needed the reminder. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm "anonymous" only because I can't figure out how not to be...Anyhow, thank you for posting this. I am 95% sure that we're pulling our kids out of Catholic school next school year and will homeschool...eecks...I said it out loud...
Such a timely letter for me. Thanks for sharing.

Christine said...

You all do such a great job at homeschooling. Best families in the world!!!

Great letter!

Kelly said...

Very well said! I needed this reminder of why we do this. If it's OK, I would like to post a ling to this on my blog as a reminder on "those days". Thanks for the insight.

My Chocolate Heart said...

Just what I needed to hear. We are only just beginning to embark on the homeschool journey this fall. I have moments when I wonder whether I can handle it, whether I'm smart enough to give my children what they really need, and whether they will be receptive to learning from me. I also wonder if they will miss the other kids and the play time. There is no homeschooling group here to join that I know of.
I know there will be adjustments and new challenges, but I feel I have chosen a good curriculum, and I am utterly depending on God to provide what I lack. I believe it's the right decision for my family, and we're jumping in!
Thanks for this letter. It is very encouraging.

Jennifer said...

Thankyou for this! We are a happy homeschooling family. The past week my children have been involved in a camp at their old Catholic school.. I find myself nostalgic. I know our current path is right for us but I needed and appreciate the reinforcement!

mamacowx6 said...

So very well said. Thank you. We have just finished our first year of homeschooling after pulling my 2nd and 3rd grader out of school, it was hard but I hope worth it. Thank you again for this wonderfully written reminder.

mamacowx6 said...

So very well said. Thank you. We have just finished our first year of homeschooling after pulling my 2nd and 3rd grader out of school, it was hard but I hope worth it. Thank you again for this wonderfully written reminder.

Kim C. said...

I have never read a blog that I thought was written just for me. I am trying to decide what to do with my kids 8, 6, 4 and 1 on the way. Your letter spoke to me. I have it bookmarked. Thanks so much!!!

Angie @ Many Little Blessings said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful reminder! It's always so easy to have doubts - thanks for making me look at it in a different way.

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much for this letter! I have been homeschooling for a few years and have been feeling discouraged...but your letter made me realize that the relationship we have with our kids, and that they have with each other, is a direct result of homeschooling. So again, I say thank you!

CharlotteM said...

Thank you for this post. It was Providence that led me to your blog, as I am having doubts about my decision to homeschool. It'll be a much needed reminder when I start questioning myself again! God Bless.

Elizabeth in Wisconsin said...

What a wonderful post. I am wondering if you would give me permission to print it on my humble blog, giving you credit and linking back to your original post.

Allison said...

Elizabeth! It's so good to hear from you! I would be so honored to be on your blog. Thank you and, of course!

God bless your summer, friend.

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