Saturday, April 17, 2010

One of Those Days

No kidding, it's been one of those days.
I went to town and only discovered that I left my wallet at home when I got to the checkout.
After going home and getting my wallet and then going back and re-shopping, I find out that I had forgotten that I was supposed to have Dino at church for his last round of testing an hour earlier.
I make dinner early so I can get Frog to soccer practice on time only to lose track of time and end up late.
I also forgot his shin guards for practice so I just hope he doesn't get kicked. (he didn't)
I fell asleep when putting Monkey to bed and messed up "date" night for me and Hub. (Never fear; it was only postponed a little bit. I woke up soon enough to spend some time with Hub before he went to bed.)

And now I'm sitting on the computer instead of sleeping. Okay, I'm not really sitting on the computer. Just typing on it. Or typing at it? Or sitting beside it, typing on it, staring at the screen? Something.

So, the biggest tidbit about the day that stands out to me is forgetting Dino's test. I am really shocked that I did that. I have been obsessing about that test for weeks. Is he ready? Did I teach the right things? Is he going to score well enough? On and on and on.
I was the kid who liked to get good grades. I never wanted to work all that hard for them, but I enjoyed getting good grades. By the time I went to college in my 20's, I was definitely into getting all A's. I was extremely hard on myself if I did not perform at the level I thought I should. I went to community college and got a two-year degree. I graduated with a 3.94 grade point average. I can still tell you all about the one B I got that kept me from having a 4.0. That is still with me even though it happened over 10 years ago.
I have to work really hard at not projecting that onto the boys. I don't think grades are everything. You can perform well in something but still not get a perfect score. And often, getting a bit less than perfect is more fun anyway.
I am working on it. But I think another part of it is that I don't want to let homeschooling down. I feel this need to make sure the institution of homeschooling is protected. Irrational I know, but what I feel nonetheless. I know the statistics. In fact, I use the statistics quite often to show people that homeschooling is not a bad thing. There are many people in my life who don't agree with my choice to homeschool. And I have been quick to assure them that homeschooled kids outperform public schools kids in standardized tests every time. And the thought that my homeschooled kid might not terrifies me. And I have got to let that go. It is not good to be this way.
I was able to look at Dino's test this week. I had to go behind him and make sure all his answers were bubbled in correctly. So I got to get a feel for how he did. And there are going to be some areas he will have scored better than average, and some areas that he will not have scored as well. And that's okay. Part of the wonderfulness that is homeschooling is the ability to cater to each child. Dino is a phenomenal reader. He loves to read and has a vast vocabulary as a result. So, he did well in his reading comprehension and vocab sections. However, he does not like Language Arts in general. He is not interested in spelling or grammar. He will tell you a detailed story in a heartbeat, but ask him to write it down and it becomes a two sentence, boring mess. He's very good in math but he doesn't think he is, so he tends to not pay attention or concentrate.
These are things I knew about Dino going into his test, so the fact that I was upset when I saw that he had not done as well on some sections of the test is silly.
And for that matter, I don't even know what his score will be. I only know that he didn't get all of the answers right.
And it's an absurd way to look at the whole thing. He doesn't have to be perfect. He doesn't have to have straight A's. He is an intelligent boy and it's my job to teach him to think for himself, not be a miniature me.
And he most certainly does not need to carry the weight of the entire homeschool movement on his shoulders.

Do I believe that homeschooling is a wonderful thing? Yes. Do I believe that in general homeschoolers are getting a better education than their public school counterparts? In general, yes. Do I feel like every parent who would like to should be able to homeschool? Yes. Do I feel like anyone can do it? Yes.

Homeschooling is a wonderful way to educate your children. Anyone can do it. There are so many options out there, that even if a parent doesn't think they have the necessary brains to do it, they can.

But my reason for homeschooling isn't just about the education. It isn't just about helping my children get good grades and go to top colleges. It's about their salvation. I personally believe that public schools now are doing their level best to stamp out Christianity. I cannot willingly send my children into an environment where I feel their faith will be torn up by the roots. I know that God is calling me and Hub to homeschool our children and do our best to instill a saving faith in Jesus Christ in them.
So the test scores shouldn't matter. Nothing else should matter but what God thinks about it. It doesn't matter that people in my life disagree. Even if the boys score way below public school kids, it doesn't matter. What matters is that Hub and I are doing what God wants. Everything else pales in comparison.

So, that is what I am holding on to. Even when I have one of those days.

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