It’s Your Call

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Walking through “Las Piedrotas” in Tapalpa, Mexico. Can you see the little munchkins waiting on me up there? 

Sometimes answers are like walking out of a cave into the bright sunlight. An instant warmth and sense of deep awareness.

Other times it’s more like waking when it’s still pitch black outside, an then watching as the shadows slowly disappear, and the sun takes its’ rightful place in the sky. Blackness fading away to grey and finally a bright yellow of newness and understanding.

Yep, sometimes the answers come very clearly, very forcefully, there is no doubt. But many times, or should I say, most of the time, my answers come with a little insight here and a little more there. Like a sculptor that methodically chisels away at a block of marble to release the masterpiece waiting beneath its’ surface.

I’m dealing with one of those right now. The second method. The slow elimination and determined chipping away. You see, I know there is a God. I know He is there. I know he listens when I pray. I know He answers. But just as any loving parent, I believe He knows that we cannot just be given the answers to all of our questions and problems. Sometimes He answers immediately and clearly. Sometimes he leads us and guides us almost just as clearly. And sometimes I think he says, “It’s your call”.

I detest this answer. I don’t want to make the call. I don’t know that I’m ready to make the call. All by myself? All on my own? But am I really on my own? No, not really. He’s my Father. He’ll tell me what He thinks, but not directly, not obviously. I must search. I must listen. I must quiet my soul in order to hear.

That is what I’m in the midst of right now. It’s actually a question I ask myself every year. Am I still sure that we should be homeschooling our children?

For the first few years, I really felt a calling. I KNEW it was what we needed to do. As our journey embarked I soon discovered that our first child would have significant struggles in any other school setting, which added confirmation to our decision.

Then a few more moves, a few more children, a few changes of employment and a plethora of changes to our homeschooling….I felt I was starting to “get it”. I felt like we could make this work. I felt a culture forming that I craved. I smiled. We can do this.

But as I just told a dear friend who is struggling with the same decision, for different reasons…Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. And just because you shouldn’t now, doesn’t mean you can’t later. There is a plan and a time for everything.

A couple years ago my husband started making the steps and changes necessary to be completely self-employed. At the beginning of this year we made the final and complete leap into the world of self-employment. This means he is working from home whenever he is not attending meetings, giving trainings and/or travelling. It has mostly been a gradual change and we thought that we were figuring it out. I have always tried my best to help with my husband’s work when he was an employee and now even more as we have a family business. But I admit, I am both hesitant and ignorant. Sometimes I just don’t know what in the world I am doing! I really don’t want to mess something up that is that important. Other times I feel like if I put too much into it than I’m neglecting my responsibilities as a mother and teacher. It’s always been a difficult balance, for me.

Over the past few months I have been reflecting a lot on my priorities in order to create a good balance and decide where I need to make improvements. It was amongst this journey that my husband asked one day, “Are you sure we are supposed to be homeschooling?”

At first I was a bit flabbergasted. Though not involved with the process much, he has always been very supportive of my endeavors.

Unfortunately, I continued to react with my natural responses to his critiques….defensive mode on….How dare he… After all we’ve been through? Does he not see I’m trying my best? Doesn’t he see that the kids learn better this way?

Wait….wait for it…ok, now reflection hits….but this is my husband. My eternal companion. My best friend. What if he’s right? What if I’m doing something wrong? What if I need to have my focus elsewhere?…..

Well, very long story short, by the end of the day I was an emotional mess. I have since been spending the majority of my thinking time grappling with this subject. I’ve searched, pondered and prayed….even fasted. I feel my answer is….It’s your call….not really what I was looking for….definitely not the easy route. I have already been guided. For the moment I’ve decided to finish the school year and come to a final decision by our summer break.  I know the answer will come. Hopefully it’s before I become a habitual insomniac 😉

To all of you who’ve struggled with this, or a similar decision….what helped you?

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2 thoughts on “It’s Your Call

  1. Well . . . nothing’s helped yet. Haha Strangely, the schooling thing is one of the harder decisions I’ve encountered. Not sure why. I think you’ll absolutely do the right thing, however. You do an amazing job with your kids and I’m certain they’ll get whatever they need regardless of where they go to school next year.

    Here’s a question for you since you’re already a homeschooling mom that I trust. We have seriously only one genuine issue with homeschooling. There are other little issues, but nothing that can’t be figured out I don’t think. How do you ensure that your kids get the same community involvement that they’d get in a public school setting. I don’t believe that public schools actually “socialize” our children in any positive way. In fact, from what I’ve witnessed it’s the opposite. However, because they’re in school they get the opportunity to know most of the children and many adults in our community. And honestly, I know a lot more people because they go to school. I want them to have every opportunity to be brave . . . to share their strength with those around them. I want them to have ample chances to be forces for good and to have opportunities to choose well (even if they don’t). How do you accomplish that while homeschooling? I feel like there has to be a way, but I can’t figure it out. Maybe I’m just hoping there’s a way because my husband refuses to agree with homeschooling unless there is.:) Thoughts??

    1. Hey BriAnne! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I’ll give you my opinion but everybody’s homeschooling journey is so different, just keep in mind that I’m no expert. Anyway, I totally agree with you on the socialization thing. You learn at home, you practice elsewhere. As for community involvement, the great thing about homeschooling is SO versatile and flexible. You can be involved or uninvolved as you want to be. I haven’t home-schooled much in the states but I do know there are a million (ok, maybe a slight exaggeration) programs and such you can be involved in. Cub Scouts, 4H, animal shelters, homeless shelters, political clubs/electoral groups, etc…. come to mind. Everywhere we’ve been the private schools have allowed our kids to participate in whatever extracurricular programs we choose (for a very reasonable price). You might have already read/heard about the 1/3 homeschool approach too where you have your day divided into thirds with 1/3 study, 1/3 service, and 1/3 personal development (talents and/or employment/business creation). This also helps ward off the over-scheduling that plagues us today. I have a hard time with balance but we’ve worked with orphanages, we’re looking for a rest home to help out and plus we try to involve the whole family in our church service/callings, taking them with us whenever appropriate to activities, cleaning, visiting, home teaching, and we go with the missionaries to help them with their visits. We also go to functions for my husband’s work and try to have activities at parks and our home with other families as often as possible. Right now between extracurricular, church, work and our own activities we create, I feel we’re meeting new people and getting involved enough. I’ve been pondering on, when the kids get older, even starting our own community service program, but we shall see. I don’t know, I just don’t see limits at all with homeschooling, other than our particular circumstances of where we live we have to worry a bit more about safety, but we would have those regardless of schooling choice.
      I hope that helps and I didn’t ramble you into a coma;)
      I also completely understand the desire to create more opportunities for your kids to be brave, I personally have found those opportunities present themselves no matter what because Heavenly Father knows what they need to reach their potential. We live in an area now with a very close knit neighborhood, with tons of families with kids, and the houses are super close so I don’t feel like my kids miss out on anything but you know what, every family and every mom and every child has a specific mission here on the earth and the way they are educated TOTALLY shapes them for that mission….so, that might mean homeschooling and it might not.
      Thanks again for stopping by and thank you SO much for your fantastic posts!

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