Have I mentioned the homeschooling thing?

I probably haven’t mentioned it. It’s been sort of hard for me to get my head around. So, um…I’m just gonna…ugh….I’m homeschooling Stephen…..There. I said it.

Ok, I am looking at this in a positive light. I really really really am. It’s a great opportunity for us to spend time together, to discuss literature, and history and science, and to practice good habits like organization, time management, and independent-motivation. Which Stephen and I, both, need to improve vastly in our daily lives. (Although, I like to blame all of our kids weak areas on Steve by saying things like “Well, YOUR son didn’t blah blah blah!” This is really funny, because we both know that they pick up virtually all of their bad habits from me. So it’s kinda like a little inside joke.) Anyway, it’s a positive time for us to work together to build these good habits. And he is still playing soccer on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and Bible Study and a different soccer group on Wednesday mornings, gringo youth group on Saturday nights and tico youth group on Sundays. So he’s still getting in some time to socialize, excersize, and hang out with friends. Sounds like a pretty good deal, huh.

So why does this make me feel like I am just one long denim dress and a pair of Birkenstocks away from effectuating the classic (and utterly terrifying) picture of a missionary mom?

Maybe it’s because I’ve spent a good many years cracking wise about how fully lame it would be to have to homeschool – or – how fully lame a person would be to want to homeschool. Or, maybe it’s because I’ve spent about three hundred hours this year learning how to make bagels, and sugared walnuts, and sourdough bread, and cuz now I think to myself “I bet I could make that from scratch” about once an hour (Yesterday, I was thinking about how to make paprika from scratch. Paprika for God’s sake! I actually thought about how I could cut and dry and grind red peppers into powder to save myself approxinately 8 cents per decade!). Maybe it’s because I cannot get rid of the lumpy old mattress that is leaning up against the wall in my bedroom because that mattress is also “the guestroom”. I dunno. I’m just saying. Maybe it’s the fact that I literally bought a pineapple with the top attached thinking “Ooh, two for one!”, came home, ate the pineapple, planted the top in a pot, and then got super pissed when my puppies got to it and tore it to shreds because now we won’t be enjoying a free pineapple three years from today.

See? It’s not just the homeschool thing, it’s a lot of other stuff too! I wasn’t born to be a June Cleaver, nor a flour-sprinkled Caroline Ingals. If it were just me, I would eat a handfull of dry fruitloops, a string-cheese, and a bag of Doritos for dinner. Every single night. I’m more of a Carol Brady….you will recall she had a maid… But I don’t need no stinkin maid! I’ve learned to enjoy this new and frugal world I live in. I’ve fully embraced domesticity. I bake bread and I like it. Just try and tell me I don’t reek of surly home economics!

And THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is what freaks me out about homeschooling. I mean, just look at our lives! Look at how far outside of the social norms we are already living. I don’t wanna wear a denim dress. But mostly, I don’t wanna be lumped in with the sterio-type of missionaries that have crossed the globe handing out bible tracts, and dragging around kids in high-water pants and fanny-packs. You know what I mean?

The cool thing is that when I look at my son, in his effing hipster skinny jeans, and fat belt buckle, and Converse, I see a kid who has found a way to do both, to engage in his life as first, a Christian and a missionary, and, at the same time, to stand out as an individual that can contend with the real world, a guy with an opinion and ideas, and, ok, maybe some bad habits to break (which, of course he picked up from his father). And I LOVE him for all of that!

Bring it on, Homeschool! We are sooo gonna dominate you!! and then, God willing, we will re-enroll Stephen at Sojourn in January…. No, but really, I gotta go, cause there are papers to be graded, and bread to be baked, and I’m trying to figure out if I can harvest sea salt from ocean water in bucket in my laundry room…



  1. Anonymous on October 9, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    You absolutely crack me up. I love you. – Caroline.

  2. Anonymous on October 10, 2009 at 1:49 am

    it's only a matter of time…

  3. mikepettengill on October 10, 2009 at 8:10 am

    pointing at you and nudging my friends….DORK!!!

  4. Stephanie on October 10, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Okay… I loved, loved this entry. It is amazing all the things I have said I will never do, "who" I will never be— and here I am. Thanks for your heart, and your authentic, honst words… much appreciated. I just stumbled on your sight in connection with Coffeegirl… just poking around. Glad I found you— I will read more. ~steph, another one of the very worst missionaries in the world.

  5. Jamie Wright on October 10, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    love you too caroline! can't wait for our date in Dec…

    Hahaha….Mike. You're a such jerk. Which is why I love and miss you!

    Thanks so much, Stephanie! It's nice to meet you! I love that so many of us (missionary moms) share these little threads of insecurity or resignation, or whatever it may be, and can help encourage each other through it when needed! 🙂

  6. Krisa on October 31, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Just to let you know, I was homeschooled since 2nd grade and absolutly loved it! I feel led to teach in some way on the missions field. Good luck in the schooling area and know that it is worth it!

  7. Chris on January 31, 2011 at 9:39 am

    lol! great post – glad I found your blog. 🙂
    question, do you have a post that talks about how you MAKE IT in costa rica (ie, support or whatever)?? this is our biggest obstacle in going, so just curious to know how others do it.

  8. Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary on January 31, 2011 at 9:59 am

    We're support based, but I haven't written a post about yet. I totally should. Hope you don't mind, but I'm gonna turn your comment into a question for my fake advice column called "Ask Jamie how Missionaries do it" and post it to the blog. Ok?

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