This past week, my 15-year-old went to the DMV to take the written test for a beginner’s driving permit. His birthday was at the beginning of August, so he had been asking me for a couple of weeks when we could go, so as soon as we had all the paperwork together, we went. But the night before we planned to go, his attitude suddenly changed.
“We don’t have to go tomorrow,” he said.
“Why not?” I asked. “You’ve been asking and asking to go.”
“I’m not ready. I’m going to fail.”
“Sure, you’re ready. You’ve been studying the driver’s manual, haven’t you? And, even if you fail the test, so what? You can always try again.”
“I’m just not ready,” he replied.
“You can’t get your permit if you don’t try,” I said. I was starting to get a little frustrated. During the past few weeks, I’ve been juggling a lot of the kids’ activities, trying to get everyone where they needed to be when they needed to be there. We had set aside this particular time for him to get the permit. I didn’t want to re-figure the whole schedule.
Though he wasn’t convinced, off we went, my son very nervous and myself just glad we were going. He took the test and came out of the DMV a proud owner of a driving permit.
I’d like to say that the lack of confidence has only been on his part, but lately, I can really relate. As we start another school year, I’ve been reassessing how we’ve been doing and what needs to change. But sometimes, I’m just not sure. There are so many opportunities available; which ones should we make time for? What activities are the best ones to be involved in? Are we getting too involved in extra programs? Should we stay home more? Are we spending enough time with the books? Are we spending enough time as a family?
There’s no single answer to the questions, as every child is different, their needs are different, and family dynamics are different. And for us right now, I don’t even have an answer. We’re trying a sports program for my daughter that’s requiring a lot of time and a lot of travel, but she loves it. Yet as our co-op gets ready to begin, so do the big assignments, and I know we’ll have to start working on those for the majority of each day. So as we begin a new year, I’m thinking, like my son, “I’m not ready. I’m going to fail.”
But like my son, even if I fail, so what? I can always try again. And I can keep trying until I find what works. After all, that’s one of the reasons why we started homeschooling in the first place.
And as for my confidence as a homeschooling parent? I’m thinking that might come after they’ve all graduated…or made it through college…or have families of their own…or maybe just through a lot of prayer! 🙂
Photo by karlzbobarlz