Tuesday, May 28, 2013

find your path ...

It's really hard to be a parent.

Sometimes, I wonder if there are easier ways to go about it all, but I really don't think so. Sure, I could parent more. Or I could parent less. I could relinquish control. Or I could run a dictatorship. I could tackle everything myself. Or I could ask for help.

Ultimately, you end up parenting in a way that is absolutely perfect for you and for how you envision your family to be. No two people, not even spouses, parent in the same way. And even if you try to, you can't parent two different children in the same way either. Each parent-child relationship is unique, like fingerprints or snowflakes.

I like to think I have a firm grip on my children's lives. I give them freedoms and choices, but I guide their values and when it comes down to it, my word is the law. I establish rules and expect that they be followed. I create an environment where they are expected to contribute. I do my best to stress that there are no entitlements in our household and nor should they expect to receive any in the "real world". They know the value of a dollar and the reward of hard work.

Do they hate me at times? Yes.
Do they whine and beg like spoiled brats? Yes.
Do I let that affect how I parent them? No. Never. Not for a second.

I'm sure that some people don't parent this way. I know that my methods aren't perfect, but' I know, without a doubt, that they are perfect for us. I have complete faith that all of the decisions I make for, and with, my children are exactly what they need to be for us at any given time. J and I don't make decisions on a whim. We research (or I research and he gets a synopsis from me). We weigh the pros and cons. We make choices based on what will be best in the short term and the long run. And we realize that things in life are trial and error and that making mistakes is OK. Because sometimes, you may make a wrong turn, but if you follow your heart, you'll find the path you were meant to be on.

For us, that path is leading us to homeschool the girls next year. We do not feel like our children's needs are being met, they are not being challenged and we all need a change of pace. So, we (as a family) are committing to one year. After that, we'll see. Maybe it will be nightmare and we'll all want out. Or maybe it will be the most epic thing ever and we'll keep at it. But, regardless of what the future holds for us, I know that this is the parenting move we need to make.

Yes, it's hard to be a parent, but it's even harder to not follow your path.


Anonymous said...

Congrats! That is really exciting. We homeschooled 2 of our girls for one year. I loved it. I hated it. I worried. In the end, I wanted to keep going. Changes in my work schedule made that impossible. Still, even just one year was so good for us. I hope you enjoy it! and give yourself (and the girls) time to adjust. It can feel like a big change and it doesn't always "work" overnight. But it might be really great!

Kortni said...

My sister homeschools her girls and loves it. It gives them so much freedom. I swear they learn more than my kids do in 5 minutes of the day. She turned part of their playroom into a school room to help create the atmosphere of school. Good luck with the change. I am sure it will be great!

Mommy Cameron @ Raising the Cameron Clan said...

What an exciting journey for your family!
If you think that homeschooling your girls is best, then it is what is best for your family.

Our family has just finished our first official year of homeschooling and started our second year. (We made the decision to school all year round.)

I'm not going to lie and say it was all easy. There are days I want to send them back to school just so I can have a break. Or days where I worry that I am making the right decision. However, at the end of the day, neither the boys and I would change it.

We love the flexibility. I love being able to push and challenge my boys (or slow down when we need to.) They love having time to pursue their own interest, like training for their first triathlons!

Find a support group, give yourself and the girls time to adjust, accept that very few days go as planned and never doubt that you know what is best for your family.

Good Luck!
Mommy Cameron @ Raising the Cameron Clan

RunningFromCancer said...

Long time follower - non frequent comments!
I follow a blog on homeschooling and career advice by Penelope Trunk. Here is a link to her homeschooling blog. http://homeschooling.penelopetrunk.com/

This is NOT mainstream homeschooling -but she is an excellent writer and she gets me to question many of my traditional educational beliefs.

Check her out - warning - she is off the wall - Not just a little off the wall - TOTALLY off the "traditional" wall - BUT it really gets you thinking!

Good luck!

Unknown said...

Congratulations!! Welcome to the adventure we call homeschooling! We've homeschooled our children for the last 14 years - yes I can't even believe that's true. We have 4 who have graduated from hs and are in college. Every year I try to decide if I want to continue. I've never chosen to send the kids back to school. I have had one who wanted to try high school, so she went for one quarter. She felt like she wasted so much time during her day and decided to come back home. She just finished her freshman year at college. All 4 of my oldest have taken time off form college to do humanitarian missions. I'm just telling you all this so you know you won't ruin their chances of college by homeschooling them.

We are fortunate that we have a LOT of hs resources in our area. Hopefully you can find a hs group in your area.

The advantages aside from academic advantages is that my children are close. While they all have other friends, they love to be together. It's a huge party when the kids are home from college. They attend school 2000 miles away. I treasure my relationship with them. We have had the opportunity to really grow close because of the wonderful time we have had together.

You can do it!! Hope you have a good experience. Just remember some days are HARD but the end result is worth it.

dawn @ running the dawn said...

My hubby and I have already started to have the home school conversations, I'm so excited to follow your journey! I love the way you frame this decision and I have so much respect for you as a mom.