Monday, January 04, 2010

Am I doing enough?

Am I doing enough? I am I teaching my children all that they need? Am I missing something? I think this is the mantra of many homeschooling moms. I know these are questions that I continually wrestle with. These are things that I struggle with often - things that drive me to my knees in prayer. Lately, my knees are feeling battered and bruised again as I grapple with these thoughts. After 11 years of homeschooling, you would think that I have this all figured out. At least *I* thought I would by now. But circumstances change, the kids change and mature, and what works for one does NOT necessarily work for the others. So, I am constantly reevaluating what we are doing; keeping what works, and trying something new for what doesn't.

Last night I was woken by an icky dream and was unable to get back to sleep. As I lay awake, my mind went to the recent news story about two local homeschooling moms who were charged with educational neglect and could even face jail time because the authorities said they didn't adequately teach their children or keep proper records. Shivers go down my spine when I hear this and once again, those questions haunt me. Am I doing enough? Am I teaching the right things? Are my children lacking something?

So, I sit here and question what we are doing and our approach to education. I am not a big fan of boxed curriculum. I went to public school and spent plenty of years in textbooks and felt that my education was lacking. Most of what I studied did not stick with me. Because of this attitude, we are rather eclectic with what we do, using real life and real books. I try to spark interest in a subject instead of merely cramming it down my children's throats. When someone has a desire to learn something or a need to know it, they will learn it quickly and well. My ultimate goal is to give my children strong foundations for learning. I want them to learn HOW to learn independently. They should not need someone to spoon feed them information. They need to know how to research it, and learn out of there own motivation and will.

With all that being said, I feel that there still may be weak areas in my children's education. Sometimes I think it may be easier to just buy a boxed curriculum and merely make sure they do it. At least by the world's standards, they would have a complete, well-rounded education. It certainly would make my record keeping easier, especially as the number of students I am teaching increases. However, there is something deep down nagging inside of me that says that there would be SO MUCH more that would be missing out while their heads were buried in boring textbooks. I fear that their love and desire for learning would be squelched.

So I wrestle...
I fall to my knees in prayer...
I ask the All-Knowing One for Wisdom...
I know I will not find the answers or my questions within myself or in this world. So in the quiet, I seek Him, and I listen for answers, for I know that eventually they will come.

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