Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Having Doubts

It's really cold where I live.  Like below zero cold.

Yesterday we were supposed to go to homeschool swim, but I thought it may not be wise to swim and then dry off as best we can and then head out into below zero temps.

So, we stayed home.

I haven't heard about homeschool roller skating for tomorrow yet, but I emailed the woman in charge yesterday.

We REALLY need to get out and do something.

We are getting cabin fever.  Big TIME.

I had a hard time yesterday.  I started wondering if homeschooling was really the best choice.  I wrote a whole long post and published it and then took it down moments later.  I just want what is best for my girls.  I think it's natural to worry, to wonder if this is the best choice.  Am I hard enough on them?  Am I objective enough in my assessments?  Doesn't having crabby teachers and other kids tell you that you are not good enough prepare you for the hard knocks of life?  Am I being overprotective?  Am I just prolonging the inevitable?  Is it a disservice to my girls that they are not dealing with peer pressure?  Will they be able to handle it when they do have to face it?

These were the things I asked myself all day yesterday.  I made myself crazy and miserable.

A is still not sold on a math program.  I considered buying Math U See on ebay, but then decided that she has 4 programs (JUMP Math, Teaching Textbooks, Aleks and now Singapore) she needs to choose one.  Adding another option is just going to make it more difficult.  And if she doesn't stick with one soon, she will be doing fifth grade math through the summer.  I hate to threaten her with that...but maybe she needs to start understanding that.  Maybe I am being too easy.


It's so hard to know what is right.  And all we want is what is best for our kids.

I've prayed.

I have a wonderful book, Grace for the Moment, by Max Lucado.  I read it every night before bed.  One message throughout is that we don't need to worry, God will lead us where we need to go and we need to trust him.

We don't have a lot of kids in our neighborhood.  But my girls have always been inseperable, each other's BFF.  They adore each other.  Don't get me wrong, sometimes they fight, but they get along well.

I was crying to Jason the other night that we have met homeschool girls that are 8, 9, 10 that the girls connect with...but few that are 11 or older that A has connected with.  I feel that she is at an age where she really needs girl friends that are her age.  How will it effect her to not have contact with girls her own age at this stage of her life?

When lo and behold, one of her public school friends called to invite her over.  God works in awesome ways.

Choir didn't meet this month.  We took some time off coop.  It's been too cold to go out of our house much.  I think I have the winter blahs.

I ask my girls if they are happy, if they miss school all the time.  They always reply that they are happy and that they do not miss school.  P wants to homeschool through college.

We are definitely happier, more relaxed, less influenced by outside pressures.  The girls make decisions about what is best for them, which I hope will translate into being strong and confident enough to do that even when faced with peer pressure.  The girls have time to devote to their interests, making American Girl furniture and making youtube videos and making things with Fimo.  We are learning a lot.  We are not dealing with test anxiety.  I don't have to worry about my daughter screaming that she can't see.

Did I mention that I was flipping through Teach Your Own the other day and there was a whole thing in there about anxiety and how people under stress have reported blindness and that it was actually documented that the pupil can dilate under stress, causing decreased vision?  Last year, on the first day of state testing, A woke up screaming that she could not see.  At first I freaked, then I realized it was stress about the test.  It was one of the most horrible days of my entire life.  I never want to go through that again.  There is absolutely, positively NO REASON that a 10 year old needs to feel that kind of stress.

So, I have to work on being a little tougher.  They have to learn that sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do, but it doesn't need to cause stress.  I need to be more objective.  I need to make sure we get out more (hopefully homeschool roller skating, and/or ice skating this week!) and that the girls have friends over more.

 I have not been testing the girls, other than the tests in their math books, but I worked up a Science test and am working on a History test.  We'll review and they will have to study.  I don't like tests or think that they are a necessarily an indicator of knowledge, but I think the girls need to learn test prep and how to take a test.

So, what about you?  Do you have doubts?  How do you get through?  Do you have a book I should read to convince me that everything will be fine?