Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The choices we make

I was sure that I had written this post, or something like it, before. An email conversation and a Facebook discussion came together in my mind to create this topic, but I was certain that elements of it had been written before. I spent a long time looking through two of my blogs. Then I realized. I didn't write about it; I spoke about it. (Back to that in a minute.)

I got an email last night that is like others that I've gotten in the past. The mom who wrote it had been reading my blog and wanted to know if it was okay to ask a few questions. (The answer to that is yes. I like dialogues far better than monologues.) The main thing that she wanted to know was how, as an unschooler, I made sure that my kids learned everything they were supposed to learn.

At the same time there was a conversation on my Facebook wall about potential negative effects from a widely used medication. There were those who were giving it to their children, for a specific reason, and while they were--of course--concerned about potential side effects, they also had other concerns if it wasn't used.

These may seem completely unrelated, but I think that they have something in common. We are constantly making choices about every aspect of our children's lives. Each choice that we make has potentially good and bad outcomes. Each choice makes other options impossible. Choosing to give one medication for a condition means that others aren't used. It means hoping for the good that is supposed to come from the medication and being aware of potential dangers.

In the same way, when we choose to educate our children in a certain manner, we may close some doors. We choose based on the positives that we hope for and, at the same time, are aware of the potential negatives and paths not taken. One example that always comes to my mind is that by continuing to homeschool through high school we lost the opportunity to continue to participate in team sports. But the kids decided that it was worth it.

So we make choices. We do what we think is best. We pray for good outcomes. We evaluate as we go along.

And sometimes we decide that a post is really two posts. And that we will write the post that we thought we already wrote, and answer the email question tomorrow.


Cheryl said...

I have often given a similar answer to people considering the choice between homeschooling or institutional education. Both have advantages. Both have drawbacks. In our case we have decided that the advantages outweigh the drawbacks. But someone else may decide differently. We make the best choice we can for the time and circumstances in which we find ourselves and we pray unceasingly.

Cheryl said...

P.S. I totally agree with your SAT writing observations!

Jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane said...

"We make the best choice we can for the time and circumstances in which we find ourselves and we pray unceasingly.