When we are running late I am the worst version of myself. I get grouchy and overwhelmed and I go from the calm mommy to a growling monster. It's no fun.
Yesterday morning was growling monster day. Cap had school and due to a last minute potty break we were about 15 minutes late to school. Today is calm mommy day. We've spent the morning eating breakfast together around the table, reading a new Veggie Tales devotional Cap discovered and just chatting.
When I picture the potential mornings of sending all of our kiddos off to school, I don't envision mornings like this one. Instead I see growling monster mom and frustrated kids. That scares me. If the kids do go to school I will have precious little time with them. I really don't want those times to be stress-filled moments that we all dread. I'd much rather have the flexibility to spend our mornings enjoying each other as we go about the business of our day. (I'm much more productive on the mornings we don't have to rush out the door at 8.)
Being able to live a flexible lifestyle is a major reason that homeschooling appeals to me - and not just as it pertains to morning routines. I think there is a lot of wisdom in Phil Vischer's words in his book, Me, Myself & Bob:
"If I am a Christian - if I have given Christ lordship of my life - where I am in five years is none of my business. Where I am in twenty years is none of my business. Where I am tomorrow is none of my business. So our plan at Jellyfish - and it's an odd one, I'll admit - is to make no long-range plans unless God given them explicitly."There is something reassuring in the idea of letting God make the plans, especially because I'm pretty clueless most of the time. But, even if I wanted to make long-term plans I couldn't. I have absolutely no idea what our lives will look like a few months from now, let alone in five years. My husband is a seminary student, working towards we have no idea what. There is a good chance he may end up as a pastor...or not. Who knows?
As members of the United Methodist church, the potential of Jeff becoming a pastor means an even greater need for flexibility. Pastors in the UMC are subject to itineracy - meaning the leadership of the conference gets to choose where you will serve and when. Last I heard the average appointment for a pastor is around 5 years. That's a whole lot of uprooting for kids. Not to mention that pastors kids have a tough row to hoe as it is.
Whether Jeff ends up serving as a pastor or not, it seems to me that homeschooling would provide some stability for our kids. It would make frequent moves a little less traumatic. We could take mid-year breaks to go visit relatives and friends who live further away. Evenings that might be full of meetings and events wouldn't mean not getting to see Dad at all.
And beyond those freedoms there is the advantage of flexibility in day-to-day scheduling (Not feeling well today? We'll do it tomorrow. ), flexibility in subject matter (Find a tangent that's interesting and educational? Why not follow it?), flexibility in learning style (If one teaching method isn't working we can just try something else.) Education can be as fluid or as fixed as we want it to be. We can do whatever works for us. And that really excites me.