taking a turn

as promised, a little more insight into my decision making process for sending the girls back to public school.

as a little background, deb and i dealt with this decision very differently. after we first talked about it she was on google looking for article/advice to see if there’s ever been any other families that started homeschooling and then quit. she wanted reassurance that it was “ok” to even do that. she wanted to make sure that we were doing the right thing.

most of the articles/blog posts she found when searching for “quit homeschool” were from students that were being homeschooled that wanted to quit but their parents wouldn’t let them. she did find one article by a wife that was struggling to homeschool but her husband wouldn’t let her put their kids in public school. (i said they have a marriage problem, not a homeschooling problem) i did find an insightful article when i searched for “homeschool dropout”.

for me i didn’t really care if others had started and then quit homeschooling. i didn’t care if others thought it was ok to do that. (some of that may be my own personality that doesn’t really care what other people think regardless of the issue and, for good or bad, i don’t make it a habit to try to please people.)

and it’s in that last sentence that i have to look back at my own upbringing. because growing up i cared a lot about what other people thought AND i did go out of my way to change my plans in order to please other people. or there were times that i made decisions because i thought it was what i was “supposed” to do.

some examples:
i only joined one sport in jr. high/high school; cross country. i wasn’t very good at it (i remember coming in last for one race) but i didn’t continue to try out for sports because it was “expected” of me by my father to join him after school in tending to “the ranch”. (we had 10 acres where we raised cattle.)

i did go to an initial football practice where we had to run up lincoln grade before the season started. my dad was supportive of me joining football, because he played when he was younger. but my mom was really worried that i’d get hurt. it didn’t help that my dad told a story about a time he broke his collar bone while playing. i decided not to pursue it because i didn’t want to have my mom worry so much.

and finally, college. my decision to go to college the fall after high school was mostly based on the fact that i thought it was what i was “supposed” to do. upon nearing the end of my high school career i thought i had only 3 options after high school. 1) start a job working, 2) go into the military, 3) go to college. the first to options i thought (at the time) were only for people to dumb to get into college (later while in college i did seriously contemplate joining the marines; i even met with a recruiter). and since i graduated with a 3.7 or 3.8 gpa i figured i was “supposed” to go to college.

when deb and i got married we knew we wanted to have a big family. so we thought we should start having kids soon after marriage. we did decide to wait one year before getting pregnant. but if i had to do it all over again i wouldn’t see the problem in waiting 3-5 years to starting the “kids phase” of our lives. looking back i think i would have loved to have a few more years to just relish in the relationship between deb and i. (so mark and elia, unless you know for sure that you want to start having kids right away i would recommend you wait a few years. there’s no hurry)

and even while in college i chose the major i did because i thought it was what i was supposed to do. i knew i had a call on my life to ministry but i didn’t explore my options. in my narrow minded thinking i thought the only path to ministry was to be on staff at a church as a pastor of some sort.

i know now there are thousands of ways to be involved in ministry that have nothing to do with a traditional “pastoral” role. and frankly i think at that age i didn’t know all the options and interests that i had. there’s times even now that i wonder if i should take some college courses part time to get a degree in psychology, or journalism, or some formal education in graphic design or video production/editing. those are all interests that i have now that i didn’t necessarily have when i was coming out of high school.

so what’s my whole point? i want my kids (and deb and i) to feel that it’s OK to just try something. to explore various options and not just do or endure something because it’s expected by someone or they feel like they’re supposed to. of course there are times that you start something and you should finish it. i don’t want them to think they can just live their lives based on their feelings. but it’s okay to make a turn in direction every once in a while. to explore all the options and then make a more informed/educated decision.

so that’s how i feel about homeschooling. we felt that it was the right thing for our family. we tried some different methods: workbooks, self directed, online schooling, etc. but in the end (a year later) we now see that it my not have been the right thing for our family at this time. so we changed direction. even if that means going back to the path we first left. and who knows i probably will end up taking some classes of some sort or the other. (as soon as i can decided on what i want to do. and perhaps once we’re out of debt and i can pay for it in cash)

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// today i'm thankful for:
1. do overs
2. starting a new
3. warmer weather (for those not in our area we got freezing rain and then seven inches of snow dumped on us last saturday and even canceled church because of it. for those of you in MN; yes, i know that sounds laughable, but we’re not used to that much snow in one day)
4. julia’s funny quotes (yesterday when the older girls were at school she told deborah, “hey mom, you, me and rachel are like the Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything!” and then they started singing the song in a pirate voice.
5. payday today! :-)