Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I like my rut!

There are those seasons in your life where it feels like you're a broody hen and everyone is doing their darndest to get you off of that nest.  They dunk you in ice water, they lock you out of the coop, they put ice cubes in fake eggs beneath you, but still you return.  You begin to wonder whether you're really supposed to be sitting on that nest.  That's how I feel lately.

There have been major changes in both my church and in the kids' homeschool co-op program that have made it pretty challenging for my family to continue to participate.  I like my rut.  When I find something that's comfortable and really works well for my family, it's hard for me to change.

There's no choice when things are changing around you, and you begin to wonder whether you're really where you're meant to be.  Am I supposed to be at a different church?  Maybe my husband would attend more if we went elsewhere.  Maybe my kids would be more involved in youth group or other extracurricular church activities.  What if the best place to nurture our spiritual growth is a place I'd never even consider going?  Like a mega church?

Are we supposed to move on to a different resource for homeschooling, or is it time to put the older kids in the public schools?  Can I even pull off full time homeschooling?  These are important and hard questions, and I fear I really won't ever know the answer.  The hardest thing about these changes is that I've found a cozy little nest of a place in each of these places: I have dear friends who are like sisters and extra mothers to both me and my children.  The kids don't know any other church or school situation and have grown up alongside the friends they have at these places.  How do you find a new family?

How do you release your kids at one of the most awkward times in their lives into a system they've only known in part?  What is the best way to teach my children about the pressures of the big wide world without leaving them completely vulnerable to them?  How do I give my children the education that I desire for them when there is only one of me, five of them, and at least 4 major course areas that need to be covered?  I realize that homeschooling and public school each have their drawbacks, but which drawbacks do I choose?  Which benefits are the most crucial at this point in their lives?

These are the questions that have been plaguing my mind over the past few months and I can't find the answers.  I've prayed.  I've talked to countless people.  Sometimes I think you don't ever really know what's right, and you just have to choose something.  I don't know if my broody time has passed.  How do you know when it's time to get off the nest?  I certainly can't wait for an egg to explode!


  1. Angie, I hope you are able to find what you need.

    I have no advice to give you on either subject, but I think that no matter which path you pick, your children will be fine! YOU will be fine! The fact that you are consciously trying to figure out the best path for your family speaks volumes to me.

  2. Change is always stressful! I think middle school is one of the hardest times for kids in public school and pretty much whatever you do as a homeschooler, however imperfect, is good for their mental health in the long run! But your kids are great, you are a great and thoughtful mom so whatever you choose will be a good choice and it will work out. There are no wrong choices just different paths.

  3. Hey Angie, Sometimes we just need to rest a bit, be broody for awhile longer, withdraw from it all, before it is time to make a decision. Nothing HAS to be decided today. It'll keep. The loss of the many good things may need to be morned before new trails can be blazed. If it were me, I'd probably get lost in the garden for a few hours- that's my "reflect and reconnect" area-because that is where I get peace and God calms me. It won't undo all the chaos whirling around, but it makes me a little more buoyant and reminds me which Rock to cling to.
    Btw, I like my rut, too! :l

  4. Anna is right. Whatever you choose, you will always have love and your children will grow up in that love. They will look back on how serious you took each decision and know it was done to help them grow into awesome adults.

    I have to giggle a little, Because you did marry a Gypsy-,like Donnelson, and change is like food to us. Each of Grandma Vi's kids were born in a different state, and none were born here in Washington where most of us live now. :)

  5. I can't say which would be better for you and your family. On the one hand, homeschooling can result in a better relationship for you and your kids. On the other hand, it keeps them from learning about and being exposed to many things. Public school could expose them to many good things, but also many bad things. The good news is that thus far you have trained your children well and if they do go to public school, you can rest assured that they have a good, solid background and foundation from which to base the rest of their lives on. If you do choose public school, be very open with your kids, encouraging them to talk to you about what they are experiencing. I think the best thing you can do is maintain an open dialog and help them understand that nothing is taboo to discuss. Drugs? Fine. Sex? Fine. Other bad things? Fine. Just ask them questions and let them do the talking (like, "What did you think about that when Johnny asked you to smoke pot?"). Let them know that they'll encounter things they've only ever heard about before and encourage them to discuss them with you. Tell them you won't get upset with them and you'll be glad they were honest.

    Hope that gives you some perspective, whichever you choose! In the end, you always have less control than you think and whether you release them into the world at 12 or 20 you can only pray that God will keep them from making bad choices and being around bad things and trust that he will...


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