If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Friday, August 10, 2012

I just don't know...

Yesterday was a very bad day. Let me give you a little background first...
Some years back, my sister started attending a church. She found she was happy there, and after a while, my mom started going too. They love their church, and kept inviting me. I finally went, I liked it pretty well, and so I started going, with my family. However, I never felt quite at home, and there are some things about the religion itself that I do not agree with. And so I decided I wanted to take a break. To figure out what MY desires in all this were. And I took the chicken route, and emailed them.

In hindsight, that was a terrible way to approach it.

They are angry with me. My sister is constantly sending me messages through various platforms to convince me that I am mistaken. My mother thinks I lied to her about ever liking the church in the first place. Meanwhile, I am depressed and afraid. I love my mom and sister, and this is the closest we have been in years. I don't want to lose that.

I did go over and talk to them in person yesterday. And left more confused than ever. Half the time I was there, they acted just as always before... chatting about this or that, and then the other half of the time, they accused me of lying, and tried to defend their faith.

I am glad they have found a spiritual home. Now I am afraid though that if I choose something different, I shut myself off from them. I told them of this fear, to which they have not directly responded. And now my husband is furious with them, and me, because I am so upset over all this. And I feel guilty (yes, I know I shouldn't, except for the way in which I approached this), but I am very good at feeling guilty.

And I still can't make up my bleeping mind about history and science, with less than a month to go before I planned on starting our next year. All the confusion and emotions whirling around in my mind aren't helping.

Here's what I have on hand - yes, I own ALL this stuff! And our background...

We have never really done chronological history, but have studied bits and pieces of a number of eras. I can't decide, with The Boy in sixth grade already, if we need something more coherent, or if we can just keep following interests. The kids and M are no help with this, since they are "good with whatever" I choose.
  1. K12's Human Odyssey, volume 1
  2. The first couple of Famous Men of... books
  3. Builders of the Old World
  4. The Rainbow Book of American History
  5. The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
  6. The first couple of units from the Time Travelers series from Homeschool in the Woods
  7. The Core Knowledge What Your X Grader Needs to Know books 
  8. Several volumes of the World in Ancient Times from Oxford University Press
  9. Probably some other stuff I am forgetting about.

Same kind of background, same issues. Should The Boy, at this age, be studying one branch of science at a time? Or a more varied approach?
  1. Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding
  2. Elemental Science's Logic Stage Biology
  3. A number of living books like The World in a Drop of Water, The Story Book of Science, etc.
  4. Lots and lots of hands-on experiment/project books
  5. The Story of Science along with the Student Activity Guide
  6. 6. The Handbook of Nature Study
  7. Real Science 4 Kids Chemistry and Biology (both Level 1) 
  8. The Core Knowledge What Your X Grader Needs to Know books 
I run my brain in circles around all this. One day, I think we should start more rigorous science (biology for example), and chronological history, so that the kids are familiar with the flow of history. The next day, I think we should just follow their interests, of which The Boy has many, and The Girl... well, not quite so much. I know I'll figure it out... eventually.

I just hope things get better from here.


  1. I'm banging my head over curriculum planning too. I thought I had it all nailed and then we started reviewing products for the Homeschool Crew and there are some amazing ones I'd like to incorporate but I can't figure out what to drop/rearrange.

    My friend and I were just talking about a similar church situation this summer and she is in the position that you're in. After a few sessions similar to what you're describing, she told her sisters and mom that ultimately she needs to do what feels right for her and her family, that she is not passing judgement on anyone else's choices, and that discussion of church choice is not on the table any more. Whenever they bring it up, she reminds them kindly and "passes the bean dip". Since you say your mom and sister are talking normally about other things, it may be that it'd work for you too.

    Sending you some positive thoughts and hoping you find some peace of mind.

  2. Sorry you are having such a rough time with your family. I hope you will find the right church. I wish I had some great advice, but I'm rather inept at relationships. I do wonder if this issue to fresh for everyone to deal with rationally? Perhaps a "cooling off" period might help.

    As to curriculum, I've changed my questions. I used to ask what was "best", when they were all good and all had strengths. This year I'm asking "what will get done"? I haven't fully decided yet, but I keep thinking of a quote from my favorite forums: "A curriculum that gets done is superior, to a superior curriculum that doesn't get done.".

  3. Sounds like some very hard family stuff going on. I feel for you and know that you will find the path. I like the advice given above. Take it off the table. Your path with faith is yours alone and it won't mean anything to you to attend a church or say words in a prayer just to make your mom and sister happy. The problem is they feel you are rejecting them, not the church (even though you're not out and out even rejecting the church!). It's hard for them to find a boundary, I guess.

    Be gentle with yourself. You did the right thing, as hard as it was to do!

  4. I'm so sorry your family isn't being more gracious with you. Faith is a deep and personal choice and you ultimately need to do what brings *you* peace. I have also experienced bitter comments from family members when we left our church a number of years ago...hurtful to say the least. We are the same people as we were before, just on a different path. I hope your family can come to see that you need to make the choice yourself, because a coerced choice is a meaningless one.

    As far as curriculum goes...you are in good company. Trust me,you are so much more normal in the homeschooling department than you think! How many years have I been doing this, and still I cannot make my choices in a timely manner!? I just spoke to a girlfriend on the phone for almost 2 hours with both of us throwing out history ideas for our high-schoolers and still we couldn't come to any solid conclusions! I wish we could fit into a neat box every year, but our interests and tastes change from year to year making it impossible to just buy the next year plan. I can honestly say though, as down-to-the-wire as I come some years, we are always happy once we get going and we "go with the flow".


  5. Oh goodness .

    Church is not a building. It is the community of Christ. I am sorry about everything going on and I pray for peace in your family.

    The last few years I planned because we belong to a program through the public school. I left this spring, as it was so overwhelming and they were removing a lot of the perks due to legislation changes that were passed in our state.

    So, I am back to not planning. I have the books and supplies for our first term. I will log as we go and any curriculum is do the next thing.

  6. Oh, G, I'm so sorry. I know when we don't do things our family thinks we should, it's so very hard. I'm giving you cyber hugs and wishing peace! {{{HUGS}}}


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