Have you ever tried to force something? Because you thought it was the right or best way? Even though the circumstances were telling you different? Even though everything pointed in the opposite direction? Even when it was hard? Did you give up? Give in? Surrender? Change your mind? Compromise? Or did you hold fast, rigid and determined to stay course? Your way or the highway? Is your way the ‘highest’ way?
What is your motive? How do you make your decisions? What about when there is no clear right or wrong?
Here is my dilemma. We have chose to homeschool our thirteen year old. Very specifically, at his tearful request to do so. Now six weeks later we are at his tearful request to NOT do so. What should we do?
It would be so easy for me to admit defeat and send him back to public school. You see, I have not ever felt called to home school.
I have felt homeschooling a better option for our son, Max, than public school (when HE was the driving force behind the the decision).
Why? Because he can’t sit still! He was labeled a ‘problem’ by many teachers. He has ADHD (although maybe it’s just ADH – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity and the other D – Disorder is wrong, maybe it’s not a disorder at all, just how he rolls). When Max begged to homeschool, I thought maybe we stood a chance. Now when he is begging not to, our chances for success seem dwindling.
It would also be an easy decision to force homeschool, persevere and see what happens. The decision would be easy, but the day to day reality would be a completely different story. Arguments, head butting, not at all what I signed up for! I just don’t know if I have the fortitude for the trial. Not that we didn’t have arguments and head butting with public school – we simply had some other parties involved in the skirmish!
I am also not sure this is really all about homeschool. I think homeschool might be the surface topic, but what is underneath may be more important. So what is underneath? Because I really don’t want this to be about me. Yet I am half the equation in the homeschool dilemma.
And there lies the first ‘what lies beneath’: I believe my husband Jeff, Max’s father, should play a more active role if we are to homeschool.
Here are the other ‘underneaths’
- I love learning and school. Max doesn’t.
- Max is becoming resentful toward me.
- Max is more like Jeff than myself in personality, learning style, communication and love language.
- Jeff quit school in the ninth grade (Yes you may read between the lines concerning Jeff’s view toward school…).
- I have perfectionist tendencies – not a good teacher quality!
- I love teaching and training – willing and eager students…
- Jeff and I both have Attention Deficit traits ourselves (we are not the best ‘set and stick to a schedule’ people).
- Structure is a great concept. We lack a team effort to maintain a daily structure.
- I am losing all confidence in my ability to lovingly mother Max.
- I am becoming resentful of my husband’s lack of interest in and support of: homeschooling, parenting and solution based action. I don’t want all these decisions to be mine alone!
- Jeff feels attacked when I try to discuss my feelings on this situation with him.
- Homeschooling was not on my radar, but I was willing to take it on if (and only if) Max was the driving force for his own success in the endeavor. And this has changed…
My other considerations:
- Max has a tendency to relentlessly pursue something until he attains it. Then he quickly loses interest.
- I am not a quitter.
- I don’t want to raise a quitter.
- I honor my commitments.
- I want our child to honor his commitments.
- I want what is best for Max!
- I don’t want Max to see himself as a problem at home, at homeschool, at other school or anywhere else!
Okay, and very honestly, Underneath EVERYthing:
- This situation has exposed some personal dissatisfactions with my own life.
- Jeff and I have some conflict resolution work to do.
- Our marriage needs some strengthening in the communication skills department.
- Our parenting skills need brushing up and tweaking to adapt to parenting Max.
Where is God in all this?
What does He say?
He says it’s all about love. Seeking Him first.
For me this means each nanosecond requires a Jesus connection.
Next, it’s all about loving each other (aren’t Jeff and Max my neighbors?) as our selves. Making sure there are healthy ways I am loving myself, so that Jesus’ love flows out from me to my family (and others).
Matthew 22: 36-40
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I am prayerfully seeking the answer to homeschool or not. (To be continued…)