But Mommy, I Want to go to Public School

As we enter our 12th year of homeschooling, I finally feel like I’m getting a handle on it all. That seems like such a long time, but most of that time, I’ve still felt like a newbie! The last couple of years, I’ve had many, many moms message me asking me for my “veteran advice”. It would make me chuckle a bit and may or may not have given me a little bit of a big head. I’ve had moms ask me what I would do in this very situation. What would I say? How would I advise other moms? How would I respond to my own kids?

 

I would say we are the parents, Moms! I respect my child’s wishes, but they don’t get to decide. My kids may love oatmeal, and they may despise vegetables and all other foods. Now, oatmeal isn’t so bad and can even have some good benefits. It may be just what they want for every meal. But, I’m the mom and will decide what is BEST for them even if it isn’t what they want. I would make the child eat veggies and a variety of foods and allow a compromise allowing her to perhaps have oatmeal every Wednesday for breakfast or perhaps even every morning! But as much as she is set on eating oatmeal for every meal, that’s not what is best for her whatsoever, no matter what the benefits of oatmeal are and no matter what she loves about it.

So if my kids wanted public school I would respect their wishes, tell them no, and compromise by allowing them to have plenty of social situations outside of home, some learning adventures outside of home, and perhaps a formal class at a local co-op or other one day academy sort of thing. But my children will never be catered to their whims and wants …that’s why I am the parent. I have to guide them and love them enough to go against what they want because what I have in store is better. It is not in my job description to give my child what they want or to place the burden of adult decisions on their child-sized shoulders.

For the record, my kids also would like to live in a tent on the beach or inside of Disney. They’d like to have a swimming pool, trampoline, swing set, and tree house in the backyard with every gaming system known to man inside and TVs in everhomeschool child wants to go to public schooly bedroom. Oh, and they’d like to not have to do a lick of “hard school” most days. Nothing is wrong with any one of those things either but I assure you giving into their whims, granting them their every want, is not in their best interest. What amazes me is the power this particular want about public school has over the homeschooling parent.

We don’t flinch when we tell our kids which church we are going to call our home, which town we are going to move to, what job dad’s going to take, what sort of car we’re going to buy, which color we’re painting the living room… We don’t spend countless hours saying, “I want to paint the living room burnt orange, but little johnny really wants red. What do I do?” We don’t reach out to other moms in tears, “Husband and I decided we were moving to Texas and he accepted a job at the VA. But now little johnny says he doesn’t want to live in Texas and he wants daddy to work at Disney World as Mickey Mouse. What do I do?!” But we give this request about home vs public school power because we have doubts in ourselves.

This just reminds me of the relationship we adults see with God and how He responds and “parents” us. We don’t always like His plan and often want what we want because it seems better. But He is our Father and will tell us no, and in time we will see His plan  is always better than our own. He has taken burdens much too large for us and put them on His own shoulders. He is our ultimate example to follow.

So, I respect you, my children, and I’m glad you feel comfortable enough to voice your desires to me, but after much prayer my decision is final and for your best interest. You’re homeschooled. The grass is not greener on the other side. You do not have the burden of making such decisions, as that is a burden that I carry for you until you’re wise and strong enough to carry it on your own. Until then, we can take an art class at the library and a monthly science group, plus great field trips anytime we want. I love you and you’re welcome! {trust me, one day they’re going to tell you thank  you for this so “you’re welcome” is absolutely in order}.

Happy homeschooling!

{Originally published on my other blog that will be migrating here to Starts at 6}

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