Letting Your Kids Quit (And a New Series on Homeschooling)

Letting Your Kids Quit CradleRockingMama.com

It’s official. Darrel and I have decided to homeschool our sons.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it as a distinct possibility before, but now we have made the call and bought curriculum for Jed’s Kindergarten year.

In some circles, homeschooling is perfectly normal and acceptable. For others, though, it’s still considered strange and unacceptable. Since I will likely begin posting at least occasional posts about homeschooling, I thought I would start by outlining exactly why we made this decision.

Hint: it’s about more than just food issues. 

In fact, this decision is so layered it seems the only way to give justice to our decision is to dedicate an entire post to each point that influenced our choice.

The rest of this week will be dedicated to the series Why We Decided to Homeschool, and I hope that reading our thoughts about why we made this decision will help you when making your own decisions about how your children will be educated.

As parents, we all need to think carefully about how our children might become the adults we hope they will be. Education is a big part of that.

I hope that this series will bring up some good conversation about your children’s futures, whether here on the blog, or in your own homes. Maybe it will encourage you to homeschool, maybe it will encourage you to send your kids to public schools but supplement their education in other ways, and maybe it will simply encourage you to think about this in a way you never have before.

In the end, though, I hope it will help…somehow.

Before that first post tomorrow, though, I want to give a little update on the kiddos.

Thursday evening two weeks ago, we took Jed to his last martial arts class. He told his instructor that he wasn’t going to come back to class anymore. I stopped auto-pay for the monthly classes.

Jed was fine, but I thought I was going to cry.

Some might wonder why, when we have only JUST started engaging with the world, would we suddenly quit martial arts?

Well, as much as Jed loves martial arts, he has one huge problem with it.

For about three months now, Jed has complained that “it’s SO LOUD! It hurts my brain!”

It had gotten to the point where every time we drove to class, Jed complained the entire drive that he didn’t want to go because of the noise.

Added to that, with working so much, my parents were having to take him more frequently than I’d anticipated. For us, it’s a 30 minute drive one way for a 30 minute class. That’s quite a bit of driving, but it isn’t totally  insane.

For my parents, though, it’s a 75 minute drive one way for a 30 minute class. Absolutely nuts!

They were getting annoyed with it. Even though it is our car, it’s their time and effort, and I had to respect that.

In the end, we asked Jed what he wanted to do. He said he wanted to quit.

I have problems with that.

I don’t like quitting things.

I’ve always been the kind of person that sees things through to the end.

I feel like letting kids quit things sends the message that they can just walk away whenever stuff gets hard, and that’s not a message I want to send.

I went along with this decision, though, for a few reasons.

One, I was outnumbered! Both my parents and Darrel were in favor of letting Jed quit.

Two, Jed never wavered. Every time I asked him if he liked martial arts, he would say “Yes! I love it! But it’s SO LOUD it hurts my brain! I don’t want to go any more.” If he had ever changed his mind, I would have chalked this decision up to the whims of a 4 year old and refused to let him quit. He never wavered, though.

Three, I’ve been in the “special needs kids” world long enough to know that Sensory Processing Disorder is real, and I suspect Jed has it to some small degree. The fact that his only complaint about martial arts was the noise made me wonder if he simply has a sensory overload there.

I have issues with noise, too. When people try to have a conversation with me and there is a TV on in the background, it drives me absolutely crazy! I feel like my skin is crawling and have a hard time focusing on the conversation.

Background noise in general, like in large crowds or noisy restaurants, has that effect on me.

Even when I can calm myself down in those situations, I usually am not capable of actually “hearing” people talking to me. My mom used to get SO mad at me when I was younger and we were out in public. She would call for me, and I wouldn’t answer or even indicate I heard her. Even when she screamed my name, I truly did NOT hear her at all.

The background noise was too overwhelming. I had shut down.

So I have great sympathy for Jed’s plight. I understand where he’s coming from.

That is why I let him quit.

Unfortunately, it leaves me in a bit of a pickle. I mean, what activities for kids exist that aren’t noisy in some way??

Jed told me he wants to keep playing tee ball. He said, “It’s very noisy, but I like that noise. It’s not so loud.” Yes, that is vague and convoluted, but I understand what he’s trying to say. Being outdoors, the noise is dissipated enough that it doesn’t “hurt his brain”.

Apparently outdoor activities will be okay for him.

But tee ball is over with this year, and I can’t think of any other activities for his age that haven’t already started (and therefore are too late to join now).


I’m not thrilled that he quit martial arts. But I’m encouraged that he was showing great growth and progression in martial arts (despite the noise), still wants to play tee ball, and shows interest in other things. Hopefully, with time, we’ll find a perfect fit for Jed; one that helps him grow and mature…and doesn’t hurt his brain.

Meanwhile, Zac still has his wretched cold, and has managed to give it to Darrel! (Poor guys can’t catch breaks.)

Food trials are on hold for the time being, until Zac feels better.

I’m not happy about this cold. 

I did, however, find a You-Pick-It organic blueberry place that we hope to hit up this week, so we should have plenty of blueberries for Zac when his little nose stops running like crazy!

Oh, and our main goat milk lady is having a hard time keeping up with the demands of milking this year. Her husband is in training for a promotion and she’s having to handle the farm mostly on her own for now; she planned to milk this year, but it’s proving to be a challenge for her to cope with. She’s not sure she can continue to provide us milk.

We love her, and so she wouldn’t feel the slightest bit guilty if she decided to stop milking, I contacted our original goat milk lady and she graciously put us back on her customer list for the summer.

She’s not nearly as conveniently located as our new goat milk lady, but it is necessary. Looks like we’re back on a bi-monthly “goat milk run” for the duration.

With luck, our sweetheart (and very close by) goat milk lady will have more help next year and we can go back to her for the 2016 season. (Or maybe keep both ladies next year, so we absolutely don’t have to struggle through the winter “dry” goat milk months!)

The last month, I’ve been on a quest to Clean Out The House, Sell The Good Stuff, And Make Some Money. Yesterday I sold the boys Thomas the Tank Engine toddler bed for a little more than half what we paid for it. Whew! 

The boys were not thrilled with the loss; they cried over the bed, saying they loved it and wanted to keep it…even though neither of them has slept in it for over a year!

Once I told Jed that we had to sell it so we could buy them birthday presents this year, though, he suddenly was much more amenable to the idea. That child really, really wants a bike!

I’ll admit that Mama was on a Mission and had no qualms about putting that ad on Craigslist…until the time came to turn the bed over to the new owners. Then I got a little sad.

That was Jed’s first Big Boy Bed, and he adored it. Even though Zac never slept in it, they both enjoyed playing on it, pretending they were driving Thomas. I felt like I just sold a part of my childrens childhood, and that stung a bit (especially on the heels of the lost hard drive).

It’s ridiculous, I know! That bed was going to have to go eventually. No way could we store a plastic bed for use by our grandchildren! Better to sell it now, when we can get some money for it (and, frankly, when we NEED the money from it) than to wait until the boys have somehow destroyed or damaged it so much we can’t get a dime for it.

Still. At that moment, it stung.

Then I got home and rearranged the boys bedroom. 

You know what? They have a HUGE bedroom! I never really realized it until that big ol’ bed was gone. I’m thinking a lot of the boys toys can be moved into their room, and out of my living room now.

Yep. The sting is gone.

Sure, they’re growing up, which means parts of their childhood will disappear, and that is sad at times.

But life goes on. Sometimes, it brings sweet with the sad.

I’m looking forward to getting some of my living room back.

 So…what’s new with you?

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3 Responses to Letting Your Kids Quit (And a New Series on Homeschooling)

  1. RPCVmama27 says:

    I liked this update post. Good for you with homeschooling! I’ve thought about doing a home school program for preschool with B, but still have time to research and come to a decision, especially since I work full time, so the commitment will fall primarily to me to do with her during non daycare hours.

    As for martial arts, try to think about it this way… by giving up martial arts, it frees him up to choose something else… swimming, soccer, gymnastics, art classes, dance classes, childrens cooking classes, music classes, preschool programs! There are tons of things he could do where the noise level is a bit lower, or muffled by the environment, This link has some good suggestions about where to find them: http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2014/02/find-affordable-childrens-extracurricular-activities.html

    Don’t think about it as quitting, but think about it as an opportunity to try something new that he might like better!

    I’ve decided to try the 40 bags in 40 days home organization/cleaning challenge… but I’m not doing it on that time table… I’m more likely going to do 40 bags in 40 weeks lol. Hopefully we can make some money on OfferUp with some of the clutter. Our cramped 2 bedroom apartment is just filled with too many things I’m holding on to out of fear that I might need it some day. So I’m inspired that you gave up the bed, as it shows that it’s just a material thing, and the memories are more important than the thing itself.

    We started our very first retrail ever… it was frightening, but also liberating. After meeting with B’s allergist, we talked through our plan for retrial. We’ll retrial the foods with the least severe reaction first, and we will only do one retrial a month. So it will take us about 9 months to complete all the retrials, and will do new trials in between the retrials. The plan is to make sure she gets a tiny bit of rest from known allergens in between the new food trials. I was a nervous wreck, but salmon was our least severe reaction (tummy pain, hiccups, eczema, and poor sleep). We’re on phase 2 of the trail (day 2 of phase 2) and so far nothing!!!! Not a single symptom. I guess the 9 months in between were enough to help her outgrow it. It’s giving me hope that the others might be outgrowing too. I can’t wait to be done with FPIES!

    • Carrie says:

      I love your update, too! Good perspective on the quitting thing. You’re right; it is an opportunity for him to find something that fits better. 🙂

      That 40 bags in 40 days thing has tickled my interest for years, and I never did it. Now I wish I had! We have so much junk to unload! Good luck with your efforts; it really feels good to look around and NOT see clutter. Oh, and I’ve never heard of OfferUp before. I’ll check it out! Thank you!

      YAY FOR SALMON!!! I hope it continues to go well and FPIES will soon be history for you! Happy dance hugs!!

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