Monday, August 25, 2014

I send my kids to public school, and that's okay

Now that we're in the throws of back-to-school craziness, I have so many people asking me what my plans are for the kiddos.  Lots - I mean LOTS - of my friends homeschool their kiddos.  Y'all, this is an awesome thing if you can do it.  I also have LOTS of friends that send their kids to private school.  This is also an awesome thing if you can do it.

I can't do either of those things.  For starters, private school is WAY outside our budget.  So what about homeschooling, you ask?

Ummm, no thanks.

I mean, it's a great calling and an amazing thing if you can do it.  But I taught for a year at a private school and I learned something very, VERY important about myself:

Teaching is NOT one of my gifts.  I seriously do not have the patience to do it.  I get very frustrated when people don't understand what I'm trying to teach them and I don't want to do that to my kids.  Beyond that, I was never trained to be a teacher.  I got my job because my degree was in the 2 subjects I taught, but I had no idea how to actually TEACH.  I got a textbook and a "good luck."  I mean, I figured it out and think I did an okay job, but I never did a second year to work out the kinks.

I worked 12 hour days to come up with 2 preps.  TWO.  And it took me that long.  I thought about homeschooling and I started to cry a little bit.  How many subjects do kids learn in school?  At a bare minimum (younger grades), I was thinking about 3/grade - math, science, english/ELA.  That doesn't count any sort of extracurriculars, like music or foreign languages.  Okay, that there is 3 bare minimum preps/grade.

I have 4 kids, y'all.  Once they're all in school, that's a bare minimum of 12 preps each year.

I know, I know.  There are some AMAZING curriculums out there, so you just have to facilitate, answer questions, etc.  But the idea of being totally untrained in most of these subjects in addition to my total lack of patience just makes me feel completely inadequate for the task of homeschooling.

Plus, we live in a great school district with an AMAZING elementary school, where the principal is a believer.  We purposely picked our house because of that school.  So, there's not a whole lot of motivation for me to homeschool.  I have fantastic teachers who are trained, patient, loving, and kind who WANT to do it.  I'm totally willing to let them.

I recognize that not everyone lives in a good school district.  Some of them are downright terrible and overcrowded.  If this was our family, then I would consider homeschooling or finding a private school. But that's not where we're at now.

Part of me feels really guilty that I don't want to homeschool and spend all day long with my kids the entire year.  But I'm tired.  TIRED.  I don't think it makes me a bad mother to NOT want to homeschool.  I'm recognizing my weaknesses and strengths and doing what I think is best for my children.  I think every mother should do this.  If your weaknesses and strengths point toward homeschooling, then you should absolutely do that.  If they don't, then you should really reevaluate your motivation for doing so.  Same goes for public school and private school.  Only you know yourself and your family, and only you can make the right decisions for them, regardless of what other people think.

Pray about your situation, look at your options, and make an educated decision.  That really is the best thing we can all do for our kids.

Good luck as you begin the school year, wherever you may be :D


  1. This post was so interesting to me bc I'm on the flip side. I'm doing home school preschool for Eva right now and I always feel like I have to defend myself to people, like to assure them that I have a degree and that my child is actually learning and smart. No one has ever said anything rude, but I do get lots of "So when would you actually put her in school?" questions. I worry about people thinking I'm depriving her of some awesome preschool experience bc she is at home with me every day. I plan for her to probably go to public school for kindergarten but who knows....I figure as long as your kid is loved and learning, that's what matters most!

    1. Girl, people are ALWAYS going to give their opinion on what you do - I think the best thing mothers can invest in is a set of earplugs ;P You know your child, and you know yourself, and you can tell what the Lord is calling you to do. Follow Him and you can't go wrong ;)


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