Thursday, September 16, 2004

Best of Both Worlds

I spent the better part of today at a parents' seminar put on by the E Bus teachers who will be assisting me in educating my children. I know it isn't PC to say this about public school educators in homeschool circles, but these teachers reminded me of what a blessing it can be to have a talented and dedicated teacher to help you with learning.

One teacher in particular, Mr. Nussbaumer, very kindly did the verbal equivalent of patting my hand and telling me it would be alright. I was on the verge of having a complete meltdown over managing the course work for everyone. They were able to reassure me that everyone would learn what they needed to learn in a way that wouldn't burden me and would allow the kids to enjoy learning.

For those who are wondering, this isn't the same program that I mentioned earlier. I learned about E Bus about 5 weeks ago and decided to enroll all the children, not just the older kids. That means that everyone will be accountable to a teacher, a teacher will do the grading and give out report cards, but the kids can still work at their own pace and use many of the same resources that I would have been using anyhow.

I think this program is going to be a good fit. The work is flexible and it takes into account real life experience for credit. It also provides a means for allowing the kids to do some extra curricular things like taking music or art lessons ~ things we could never do before. Most importantly, it provides me with someone to hold my hand and reassure me that the children really are learning and that they are not going to grow up as little ignoramuses.

I think the hardest thing about homeschooling for me has been the oppressive weight of responsibility that has rested on my shoulders. That weight has stolen all the joy because if I don't do a good job, then my kids suffer. It is hard enough being responsible for their moral training without adding everything else on top. If not every man is suited to teach in the church, why do we assume that every mother is suited to teach her kids a classical and rigorous academic program? Good teaching requires talent and gifting. Not every mother is so gifted. Least of all, me.

So thank you to all you wonderful E Bus teachers! You have saved my sanity. And once I figure out how it all works, I suspect I might actually start to enjoy teaching at home again.

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