Last Spring, when I started this journal, I wrote a post about homeschooling our son Aiden. I mentioned how my wife and I were kind of torn on whether or not we wanted to continue homeschooling or enroll him in the school in our neighborhood. We loved the idea of homeschooling and had seen good things come from it, but to be completely honest it wasn't working as well as we'd hoped.
It wasn't "homeschooling's" fault though, it was ours. We weren't as consistent as we needed to be with the lessons, and we didn't put in the time and effort to make them fun and interesting. Danielle and I got into arguments about who was going to do what and whether or not he was actually learning anything. At the same time, Aiden was losing his excitement for learning and we were getting frustrated that it was becoming so difficult to get him to "do school". We could also tell that he was really craving more social interaction with kids his own age, and we were not doing a good job of creating opportunities for that to happen on a regular basis. The whole situation was becoming very taxing on our marriage and our relationship with Aiden.
It was tough to admit that we weren't doing a good enough job to make homeschooling work; especially with me being a teacher. I felt a little bit like a failure, being able to teach other kids and not my own. But it was clear a change needed to be made. This Fall, we decided to give "traditional" school a try, and so far it's been going well. I can see that Aiden's excitement for learning has been rekindled and we're not having to fight and argue about getting him to do stuff. My wife and I are able to play a support role and still be very involved in what's going on without carrying the burden of doing it all
I'm still a big propenent of homeschooling, and I know it works well for a lot of families. It just wasn't working for our family during this season of our lives. And even though it took me a while to admit that, I'm ok with it now. I'm learning that in parenting, and just life in general, good ideas don't exist in a vaccuum. Context is key. Just because something worked well for someone doesn't mean it will work well for everyone. At the same time, just because something didn't work for us at one point doesn't mean it won't ever work for us. As we continue to assess both our boys' learning needs and goals, we may decide to do some form of homeschooling again in the future; but for now, we're thankful for where Aiden is at and looking forward to partnering with his teachers and school community to help make this current school experience as fruitful as possible.