Heading Back To The Kitchen Table

A few months ago, I wrote about leaving the cloister of homeschooling. I was done, I declared. After 15 years of teaching my children at our kitchen table (and the coffee table, the back yard, in the car…) I was going to turn their education over to someone else.

I was wrong. I had forgotten to account for was my children’s opinions.

While my husband and I had mulled it over and looked at it from our own point of view, we didn’t fully understand it from that of our kids. They filled us in pretty quickly.

They’d read my blog post, listened to our rationale, and vehemently disagreed. Instead of tears and temper tantrums, they sat upstairs in the playroom and worked out a presentation of why they should be allowed to remain at home for their educations. They made up visual aids, wrote essays, and pulled out all the stops in order to persuade me to keep homeschooling them.

While I was impressed with their research, preparation, and presentation, this was a personal decision – was done homeschooling. I was tired, worn-out, and ready to move on to parenting without having to also be the teacher.

As February faded into March and March blended into April, I mulled over my decisions about our children’s educations anew. They had made some very good points for which I had no counter-points. The longer I considered it, the more I realized that my desire for a quiet, empty, sane house during the day, and the freedom to be able to write and work uninterrupted, didn’t outweigh their very real concerns.

Which is when my resolve to change-everything-in-a-big-way became how-do-I-find-a-way-to-make-this-work-for-all-of-us, and that’s what I’ll be spending my summer doing. I’ve found a way for my Freshman to take math and science with someone else, and to do everything else online. I can’t chase him back to his schoolwork any longer. (He’s still on the cusp of going to high school next year unless we can iron a few things out.) The other will be doing a hybrid of co-ops and on-the-computer classes, with me teaching the few things I want to teach.

It’s not a perfect solution for any of us, which means it’s probably the best one for our family. We’re heading into summer unsure for the first time in 15 years of what the Fall will look like. I do know for certain that whatever we’ve been missing this last year has been predominantly on my end, because the quality of work they used to change my mind has raised the bar for what I expect from them next year.

We’re heading back to the kitchen table this Fall. Please pray for me as I figure out how we’re going to do this.

About Rebecca Frech

Rebecca Frech is a Catholic author, speaker, CrossFit coach, and the Managing Editor of The Catholic Conspiracy website. She is the author of the best-selling books Teaching in Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the Rest of Us and Can We Be Friends? She is a co-host of the popular podcast The Visitation Project, and is a columnist for The National Catholic Register. She and her husband live just outside Dallas with their eight children, a German Shepherd named Dave, and an ever-multiplying family of dust-bunnies.
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