Guilt…and then…not so much

As this school year nears its end, the onslaught of school concerts and programs and other events occur. Just the past 2 weeks have included Li’s Pre-K play, Hayden’s outdoor class erupting-volcano project, volleyball games and tournaments, Jared’s guitar concert, and Michela’s choral concert. And there’s still a few more upcoming 8th grade events Michela has.

I love watching my kids interacting with their friends and just seeing them get excited about their performances.

And then I feel guilty.

I hate that my 3 kids that I will be homeschooling for 2014-2015 will no longer be involved with their friends in anymore of these school events. I feel guilty that Jared won’t get to experience all the fun 8th grade activities – trips and graduation – with those he’s known since Kindergarten. I feel guilty that Hayden won’t get to join the basketball team next year with his friends. I feel guilty that Li won’t get to grow up with those kids she met this year.

But then I look at the positive.

I love that I will no longer receive a note from a teacher about how my 4-year-old daughter “did not get a sticker this week” for not listening or for not sitting still in circle time. Did I mention she’s 4??

I love that I will no longer receive a note from a teacher about how my son could “not sit still” in class and so she had to move him away from the rest of the class.

I love that I will no longer receive a note from a teacher about how my child was not paying attention in church (because aren’t all adults 100% attentive at church?).

I love that I will no longer hear about my sons being bullied in school.

I love that I will no longer hear from my kids about how some teacher was “being mean” or has their favorites (admittedly, Michela is a favorite of one of her teachers) or how some teacher was being condescending or rude or only being nice when the parents were around (you know who they are!).

I love that I will no longer get a call from the Assistant Principal saying my son has detention for having his ipod (which the teacher assumed was a phone) at lunch, or for having his ipod in church (how many adults have been on their phone in church?), or for talking in class, or for interrupting the class, or for questioning a teacher about a subject (in which the teacher thought he was being rude), or for being out of uniform (ie not having a belt, not wearing the right shirt, not wearing the right shoes, having his hair too long). I understand I signed up for all those rules when enrolling them in a private school, but now that I can reflect on this, really, who writes up these rules? And does it really help the kids in the end?

I mean, I think back to all the times for which my kids have “gotten in trouble,” and really, none of them were “OMG! SHE/HE DID WHAT?! THAT’s JUST TERRIBLE!” Stop the presses. My child hugged another child, and they just can’t do that. Really?

It will be SUCH A RELIEF to not have to deal with such trivial things anymore!

And then I feel guilty that I actually punished my kids for not sitting still or for not listening in class or for whatever reason the teacher gave in her handwritten notes. I hate that those notes made me anxious, and yet, I had to act cordial in front of these teachers.

I don’t want this to sound like I hate their teachers because I can understand their situation. No way would I want to teach 20 kids at the same time in the same room for a whole day for a whole school year. NO WAY. So I can understand they may have their frustrations; although, I’m guessing you do know what you’re signing up for when you study to be a teacher. But, I mean, I get it. I do. I have friends and family who are teachers. I respect them. I think my kids’ teachers have done a great job teaching my kids the curriculum they intended to teach. I just don’t like some of the nit-picky things they have had to write home about. Just because I don’t agree with some of the things they’ve said or done, it does not mean I think they are horrible teachers. They’re not.

And, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think it’s OK for my child to bite someone. And I don’t think it’s great that both Li and Hayden were able to cut a hole in their shirts during class. But, there were times when I would see a teacher’s note, and think, “Yeah. So what?”

Now that I will be homeschooling, I love that Li and Hayden will be able to focus on expressing themselves and learning through their “projects” and that they won’t get in trouble for not putting their stuff away because “it’s not time for that.”

I love that Jared will get to learn some computer programming skills on his own, which the school doesn’t teach. He’s already teaching himself how to program now! I think he will be my IT Geek.

I love that I will get to be with them and see them have their lightbulb moments.

For now, Michela will be in a traditional Christian high school with all their policies and procedures, and she’s good with that. Some kids like that and learn well that way. I wonder, though, how different her life would be had she been homeschooled from the start.

2 thoughts on “Guilt…and then…not so much

  1. Don’t feel guilty! I was homeschooled all 12 grades and am now homeschooling my daughter and while they ‘miss out’ on a few things the positives are so big, so many, so wonderful those other things just fade away. Find some homeschool friends, I have 2 good friends with kids about the same age as mine and we get together every other week for a fun day and take turns teaching classes such as bird watching, card making or manners. Plus we are in 4-H and she has lots of friends there and in Sunday School. Being able to homeschool is a gift and I’m glad you are able to use it! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and advice! It’s definitely comforting to know you were homeschooled and are now continuing to do the same. Yes, I do have to look for other homeschoolers in my area. 🙂

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