03 July 2011

Big Changes Coming

I have been absent for several days.  My humble apologies.

In some ways, I've felt as if I have nothing important to say.  I have no major epiphanies, no major insights, and my summer so far (halfway gone now!) has passed by in such an uneventful manner that your IQs would decrease immensely if I were to blog about it here.

But I think today I may have something to report on.  Today we attended church (two Sundays in a row!), and the service was titled "Freedom = Slavery".  Usually, when I am listening to the pastor speak, I try to fit the sermon's message into a context that means something to me...because frankly, the Bible usually doesn't.

So, during the service, I began to think about everything I consider a freedom that might also be construed as an enslavement.

1.  Food.  So many supermarket choices to the point of stress.
2.  Clothing.  It's great that I get to wear what I want, but I am also limited by my gender, my age, my profession, etc., and the limitations that accompany each.
3.  Speech.  Yes, I can say what I want, but it comes with conditions.
4.  Cell phone/cable service/insurance company etc.  Ooh.  Companies competing for my business, and I have the freedom to choose.  Awesome.  However, having freedom to make all these choices mean I have to research the best one.  Suddenly, I am a slave to information.

And there are many more, I have no doubt.  The issue is very complicated, because no, I don't want to give up my freedom.  But, the word 'freedom' has lost its meaning, and people bandy it about meaninglessly.  Here are two specific examples of how I am meeting 'freedom' head on.

* We are back on the no-restaurant kick.  First of all, we've spent far too much money on eating out.  Second, Brent and I have not lost those extra pounds we gained in Alaska...so maybe omitting restaurants will provide the impetus for weight loss.  It's time to get back in the kitchen and the habit of meal-planning.  So, yes, we're taking back a little control of our nutritional health.

* While I've enjoyed the freedom of educating my children in the way I want, I have not taken full advantage of what that really means.  As a public school educator, I always wondered what happened to students (especially males) between elementary (when they were so excited to learn) and high school (when they definitely were not).  Now, as the parent of a middle school child, I knew.  The non-rigor of a middle school classroom.  My son had two study halls a day, which he did not need.  He was a grade ahead in math, but was bored silly in some of his other classes.  He was frustrated at the time he spent in a seat, all day long.  He was frustrated by classmates who did not take academics seriously.  Frankly, he was becoming mediocre.  The public school system is set up to meet the needs of the students in the middle...not my son's.

And really, we have the time, we have the financial stability, we have the resources, why shouldn't/couldn't we do something about it?  The laws here in America allow me considerable freedom to educate my child - so why am I letting someone else do it?  It concerned me (now more than ever, really) that my son disappeared into a brick-and-mortar for eight hours a day, and I had no idea of exactly what happened in there, academically speaking.

And so, in light of all these questions and discussions and ruminations, it is very highly likely we will homeschool our oldest son next year.  Who better to educate him than I and his father?  I can't say what will happen for sure or how long we'll do it, it's just going to be one year at a time.

There, that's my bombshell.  I've actually wanted to blog about it here several times in the last couple of weeks...but I wasn't feeling it.  I don't know why.  Perhaps admitting it here now really, truly makes it a reality...instead of a hypothetical situation.

Scary stuff, this being free thing.


  1. Blogspot/blogger seems like it's getting a little quieter these days. So you didn't miss much.

    Home schooling sounds like it will make sense. I wouldn't think you could do any worse than the school is doing, and hopefully better.

    On the choice issue, ironically enough I was reading an article today about the fact that too many choices tend to paralyze people and give them stress. Seems as if most people deal best with a limited number of choices.

  2. A great number of variables come into play when making the decision to homeschool a child. Some public schools do an excellent job of teaching young people while others are not up to the task. The academic abilities and interests of students also must be considered. The active involvement of parents in the education of their children is also of utmost importance.

    Our daughter sent her four children to public schools where they received an outstanding education. They were all academically inclined and as a parent she pushed them to achieve at the highest level. As a result, all of them are successful adults. One is an architect, another is a teacher, another son who was the valedictorian of his senior class in high school just graduated on a scholarship from UCLA this year, and the fourth child is an artist.

  3. Skinny: I totally agree with your last statement. Sometimes, the fewer number of choices, the better.

    Whit: The last sentence of your first paragraph completely hits the nail on the head. Parental involvement is crucial. One of the main laments of teachers is the lack of it. So, here I am, able to be involved %100 in my child's education. The question is not Why... it's Why not?