This is our first year homeschooling. Remember your first year homeschool? Yup, it’s like that.
We walked away from a wonderful private school out of obedience to The Lord and what we felt He was asking us to do. I realize that might sound really weird to some of you. I had never been against homeschooling, I just felt very strongly that it was NOT for me or our girls. And then, one evening sitting around a table with some girlfriends of mine, homeschooling came up. Out of the four of us, one of us was already homeschooling her children. As we talked, I kept praising homeschooling and saying all of these positive things about it and as I was saying them, I was having this internal conversation with myself. “Do I believe what I am saying? Oh wow, I do! Do I want to homeschool? What am I thinking? Oh, I think I DO want to homeschool! Who am I and what have I done with Katie?”
About a week later, out of the blue, my husband looks at me and says, “Do you think we should consider homeschooling next year?” Yeah, it freaked me out a bit too. Except wait, it DIDN’T freak me out. At least not like it would have freaked me out a month before. Reason numero uno we knew this was what we were supposed to do. When two separate people end up feeling the same way about something they both felt the opposite way about a short time before and hadn’t even talked about it? It gets your attention. He had our attention. And so, we were going to homeschool that Fall, which was this past Fall. Are you with me?
The school year started out with great expectations. We were in a new home, with our new school room, and ready for a fresh start. I spent hours upon hours over the summer reviewing curriculum and gathering what we were going to be studying and what we would use. I was excited and the girls were too. I admit, as the days grew closer to our first day, I was a mess. It was NOT a case of ignorance is bliss. I was terrified of what I didn’t know and was feeling overwhelmed. But, we jumped in and, yes, there were surprises, but overall, I felt like we could do it.
When we got to Christmas break, I was fried. We were SO ready for a break. I had big plans to work in our school room and to revise and improve some things. The previous 4 months had taught me a lot about the girls and myself and I just needed a little time to get us in a better place. Only, the time to work on things never happened. Our break was BUSY. We had the usual Christmas festivities, a memorial service for my Hubby’s Grandfather, our anniversary trip and then my Uncle’s funeral when we returned. So, we took extra days for our break so that we could rest and recover from the craziness that had ensued and so that I could get organized.
We started back up and it was such a struggle. And really, we haven’t been in a good place since. I know that homeschooling isn’t all fun and games, but there have been many times I can’t even remember the reasons we had said it would be a blessing to have the girls at home. Yeah, it’s been that bad. And I fully acknowledge that a lot of our struggle is because of me – more so than them. I want so much more from our homeschool experience and I believe it can be how I imagine it to be. Don’t get me wrong, we have had awesome days. Many times I have looked at them and my heart has about burst from special moments. An “ah-ha” moment for them with a new topic that I get to watch unfold, something that makes all three of us laugh, or just taking the time to realize that I’m getting to spend that hour with them I normally wouldn’t. There is SO much good in homeschooling.
I feel really good about what the girls have accomplished. Our oldest is moving right along in 2nd grade and doing a wonderful job. Our youngest, who is doing Pre-K with a bit of Kindergarden thrown in, has started reading and surprises me all the time. What they have learned has shown me I CAN teach them and they CAN learn from me. It’s a really good feeling.
I am so thankful for the wise and thoughtful people we have in our life. Many of them homeschool and others just know all four of us well. It’s been so helpful to talk with them and to know they are praying for us. It’s truly what has helped us get through this phase and to be able to make sound decisions.
And here comes the change…We’re really excited because on Monday, our youngest is starting at the private school her big sister went to for 2 years. She’s finishing the year doing Pre-K there and it’s truly the best thing for us right now. She is thrilled to have this experience and I am really excited for her. She has a wonderful teacher and we already know it’s a wonderful school. While she is at school (3 half days a week), I will get one-on-one time with our oldest and it’s going to be precious time. Yes, I’m going to miss our youngest, but this is going to work great for us.
I am thankful that I in no way feel like a failure. That would be a common feeling from a Mom in my position, right? Feeling like “I couldn’t do it” or “I’m not good enough” because something has to change. I don’t feel that way though. My 5 year old can read – because I taught her to! Holla! I feel we are making decisions based on what is best for our children (and yes, for me in some ways). You don’t know what something will be like until you try it. We’ve come through these months knowing something needed to change, and we are stepping out in faith and making that change. It’s the right thing to do. I’m certain of it.
I have so many other thoughts I could share here. I could go into the whys and reasons we’ve have come to this place, but as I have tried to add them, it starts to sound like I am defending our choices instead of explaining. Maybe there is a bit of fear of what others will think deep inside of me! If you are in a similar position, or have been where we are, I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a reply! Some of you may be wondering why I am even sharing this story of our life on here. So much of writing this is for me. It’s so good to take a look back and see where we have been so that where we go from here has so much more meaning and clarity.