Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Dealing with doubts

For me, the most difficult part of homeschooling has always been dealing with my own doubts. I can deal easily with the doubts of others, although those are rarer the longer we do this and the more outward success we have. Unfortunately--or perhaps, fortunately--my own doubts are not so easily silenced. So I start running through the questions that plague many of us:

Have we done enough? Have we done it the right way? Would (insert name here) have been better off in school? At least for high school? What are we doing????

Then I settle myself down and look at some facts. Fact one: All of my children can read complex material with good comprehension and they love to read. Fact two: All of my children know how to find information that they need. Fact three: All of my children are culturally literate. They understand and recognize allusions from history and literature of the past, but are also conversant with the present. Fact four: All of my children are learning the practical skills needed to live as adults. They can cook, sew on a button, balance a checkbook, check the oil and change a tire, grow food, unclog a toilet, do laundry, or paint the house.

Could we have followed a more structured path? Certainly. Could we have pushed more advanced academic subjects? Sure. Could I have instilled more of a desire for success in the eyes of the world? Without a doubt. But we haven't done those things. Do I wish we had? Sometimes, but not because I am unhappy with our results. Instead, it is because I sometimes get these worries about how things SHOULD be, generally because of something someone says.

I also know that even if I had done all of things, I would be having doubts. So we'll continue on, adjusting as we go, doing what seems to make sense for each of the kids. It won't be perfect. It might not even be the best. And I'll always second-guessing. But it's working for us.


Jen - Queen of Poo said...

I have the same doubts and worries. I'm sure I'd be doubting and worrying even if my kids had gone to school and experienced success there. I'm thinking no good mother gets by without them.

Bethany said...

Just to set the record straight, I can't check the oil or change a tire. You'll have to take that up with my father. ;o)

Meg_L said...

ditto on the doubts.

I try to tell myself that that is what makes this a self-correcting system.

Some days that works.

Dawn said...

I only have a first-grader at the moment, but feel I'm doing so terrible a job I just as well throw in the towel. This is mostly due to my aversion to All Things Math (she can count! Isn't that good enough?!?). :D

Jane said...

Bethany--I think that your father assumes that you will always call him for such services. :)

Gauntlets--It's probably not a sbad as it seems to you. Just wait 'til you have a nine year old who can't read. :) (I wrote about it back in May.)