As I examine the homeschool questions ( why homeschool, how, what is my goal in homeschooling?) I am brought to conclusions that homeschooling fits us well. I may not have all the details figured out, I may feel like quitting many, many times but it is a good fit for our family.
There are times that having a flexible schedule is not just nice, it is imperative. There are days that a busy ministry schedule would cause zero family time aside from moments in the middle of the school day when we can pause our schooling.
There are conversations I have been privileged to experience with my son especially, that would not have occurred if we were not already together at home, during a school day. These conversations have revealed his heart, his concerns; they have kept communication lines open and have helped me understand myself and our family better than before
There are things I have to sacrifice in order to homeschool. How much I am willing to let those things go determines the level of peace I will experience in my daily life.
Something I have observed about us, individually and corporately, is that there are habits we have that are not good and good habits that we do not have that we need to get. This is not an easy undertaking, but it is worthwhile and it is even necessary for success.
I have been reading some of Charlotte Mason's work on the subject, courtesy of Ambleside Online, especially Formation of Character. I think this will be extremely helpful in the pursuit of good character forming habits. We have also been reading what the Word has to say about love, fruits of the Spirit and choosing between living by the Spirit, or by our sinful natures.
I am working on a new schedule that is more structured and includes set times that the kids take turns playing with baby while the other gets one-on-one school time with mom. I am tailoring the new schedule to the kids' personality and strength. That would never be an option with any other schooling choice.
This is not easy. This does not have quick results. But I have hope!
The thought that occurred to me today was that the future can be brighter if I lay the foundations of needed structure and character now. The baby will grow, the kids will learn to respect each other and work independently. I must expect great things of my children, but not be held to some outside idea of where they "should" be.
I may even feel at times like "I'm so over homeschooling." But I don't have to give up. There is no easy way to be a good parent. There is grace enough for even these difficult things.