Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of opportunities for my kids to be apart of. I have shared with a couple of friends my feelings and wanted to write it out to see if I could pinpoint why and where these feelings are originating from.
If you home school you know that your child does not lack for any social interaction, instead there is a surplus and you have to use prayer and discretion to see which activities should be done and which ones shouldn't be done. For the most part, they are all good. Yet, good doesn't mean "should do" .
I am apart of a few groups and they all have great trips, classes, get togethers, etc. Yet, I struggle with the complexity that I want my kids to have friends and a lot of friend time yet, how beneficial is too much time and where should the line be drawn so that I am still able to accomplish ( to the degree that I desire) the educating part at home. I educate at home because I know that only I can give my children what they need. Yet, there is a huge pressure to outsource, co op, etc so many classes, opportunities to other homeschooling parents in the name of " educational opportunities" etc.
Please do not get me wrong. If you have your child in every other activity under the sun, awesome. Again, its your child and honestly it has no impact on me. I am articulating the dichotomy which I am feeling and interestingly enough, I feel more at peace the more " no" answers I give than the "yes".
I do not even have enough time in my day to constantly put the kids in the car for this activity and that, above and beyond what they are already in ( which is a lot, by choice). I guess my ramblings is to try and figure out why I'm feeling like this, this year. Do others actually pray about what to sign their child up before everyone jumps on the " yes" bandwagon? Is it really something they want their child in, or if we were to be honest, does it have to to do with insecurities felt deep inside the parent that their child may be left out of a certain activity thus being alienated or excluded from the group.
Honestly, my children do a lot of the activities and they , also, have been excluded from " the group" . My children have forged great friendships, apart from the group and with eachother as well. I love the beauty of co oping....I think that there is so much good that can come out of it. However, if you are cooping every subject and that lends to 3-4 days week that you are out of the house. For me, this is not healthy and not at all the vision of how I want to educate my children.
My idea is to be cuddled on the couch, snuggling in with our arms around eachother, reading our literature, praying together, sitting on the couch during a difficult math lesson and drawing on the white board with multi colored markers and then erasing it when that manner of presenting the lesson does not make sense, trying again until I see that "click".
I do not want to be rushing around anymore than I already am, yet I want my children to have friends over. Where is the balance? Co ops are great, they see all their friends in one big bang - yet, it is here where the most exclusion can take place too. I am not trying to recreate the public school system in my home. On the contrary, I am trying to bring in as many new and innovative ideas as possible to challenge and grow my children.
My vision is to use prayer and discretion as the doorkeeper to insecurity, over involvement, and stress. If you are reading this blog and feel offended, then don't. This is not directed at anyone or with anyone in mind. This is simply my feelings, muddled words on a blog. All I want is for my children to have an enriching, home educating experience where we have the right amount of yes and the right amount of no. Be released, it is not the amount of activities and co ops you do that will make their experience enriching, it is the heart to heart connections that you forge, deep in the muddy trenches of this journey. Thank you God for giving me clarity today.