So I had 2 children, 8 and 6 years old, and neither one fit in the “box” as defined by the school system.  I was working full-time in my veterinary office and had no associate.  Fortunately I owned my own veterinary hospital and could make rules that worked for me.  My husband also worked with me, a unique advantage where both of us were present to parent the children.

More often than not, the right decisions are the ones that stretch you past your comfort zone, and the decision to take on the responsibility of my children’s education was definitely a stretch. My mom was appalled, had never heard of such a thing (remember it was 10 years ago), and how did I figure I was qualified to take on such a task.  I was not a teacher by career and I worked as a veterinarian 70 – 80 hours a week, where would I find the  time!  Needless to say I was terrified.

I had been actively participating in my kids education since the get go.  I was a natural-born teacher and loved exploring the world WITH my kids.

I was already frustrated with the school system.  I wanted to know what my kids were learning in school so I could consciously reinforce that at home.  No matter how many times I asked to know the lesson plan AHEAD of time, inevitably I’d hear about what they learned long after they were on to something else.

When school issues became severe and I was having to decide on alternative educations, I added up the hours I was spending volunteering in the kids school, lunches with them, meetings with the teachers, letters writing to the school board addressing concerns, and the hours involved in helping them with their homework assignments.  I would save a huge amount of time, be a lot less frustrated trying to buck the system, and have the added reward to influence and be involved with what they learned, how they learned, reinforce life lessons, and foster a closer relationship with my children.  After much soul searching, I finally concluded that whatever happened, the outcome would be better than where we were headed in the public school system.

My guest blog on Alyssa’s blog site tells more on what you could teach your kids from the story Demi and the Dolphins

Too many people look back on the years their kids were small and their unanimous regret is not having enough time with their kids.  You blink and they are grown up.  We wish we could have those years to do over again so we could appreciate them, relish in the moment, don’t sweat the small stuff, and create quality memories.  Raising children is a can’t redo job, you have 1 shot at it.  It certainly won’t be perfect, but you want to be able to say at the end, I did my best.

Speaking to the morally conscious parent, no one will do as good a job as you will, if you want a job done right, do it yourself or actively surround yourself with those that can get the job done the way you want.  If you don’t actively take a role in raising your children, if you let the morals and principles of others influence your kids more than you do, they may not develop into the individuals you desire.

Communities raise children. Surround yourself with models for your children to emulate.   They learn as much what NOT to do as what to do by interacting in society.  With your guidance, they will learn what not to do by you pointing out people with poor behavior and decision making.  Explain consequences. They can learn what to do and not to do by observing and discussing the actions of others.

If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right!