I have struggled for weeks with how to put this post into words. Every draft I’ve written, though thorough and thoughtful, ends up sounding just a bit negative. That’s not my intention, that’s not how I feel about this new adventure but it’s hard to detail the why in our decision making process without mentioning current world events, which are…negative. As you read on my hope for this post is to help other parents struggling going into this new school year; wondering if you’ve made the right decision for your children, feeling like you could do more, and at it’s core simply share why we have made this decision.
In March, life as we knew it was changed and I believe forever. Constants and unchanging facts of life disappeared; school exams, graduations, anticipated Memorial Day festivities, hugs from family members coming together to celebrate Easter and Mother’s day, the list goes on. It was also at that time that I felt the calling to homeschool laid on my heart. I quickly ignored that tugging feeling, remembering how stressful our first year of homeschooling was three years ago! However, it kept coming back to the forefront of my mind. Watching and trying to help my daughter through the remainder of “school” in the spring was tough. Layla couldn’t stand the virtual meetings – even 15 minutes was too much for her – and thankfully, her teacher didn’t mind that we skipped nearly all of them. She worked through endless pages of packets that neither stimulated, interested, or educated her, and most of the time Nate and I were just as confused by the packets as she was. I’ll admit that I’m blessed to have a child who loves going to school and loves learning, but it was in watching her lose all interest in the model of “school” that will now be the reality of children returning this fall that I fully realized in both my heart and mind, that I had to do better for her. In trying to fully understand the situation, I held off taking her out of public school until I knew what the school district’s plans were for the fall and then hearing that it would be vitrual, at-home learning for the foreseeable future, as well as speaking to some friends who are teachers, we realized that would neither work for us, nor for Layla.
After so much prayer, research, and miraculous discovery of a method of teaching math that is catered to people like her (left brain math curriculum is a thing!) we realized this is God’s calling for us right now, and decided to homeschool our girls. We officially withdrew from public school in July and have been gathering materials since; (I plan to write a post on the materials I chose, soon).
We began our homeschool year yesterday, and my girls are just as excited as I am, which brings me so much joy and confirmation that this is the right decision. Layla had a countdown to the first day of homeschool written on our wall calendar, and at the end of day one she was already describing to her dad what she had learned – we never got that kind of enthusiasm from public school! If you feel torn, or have even the slightest negative gut feeling about sending your child back to public school, please don’t ignore your intuition! As parents, it’s our job to raise and nurture our children in the right way -and there is no one better equipped to teach your children than YOU! However, if you have felt that sending your children back to school (however it looks in your district), and through prayer you’ve been guided to that decision, then trust that you have made the best decision for your family.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29: 11 NIV
8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”Deuteronomy 31: 8 NIV
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”Proverbs 3: 5 – 6 NIV
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I look forward to sharing updates with you on how things are progressing as the year goes on! I do plan to share what curriculum I chose, as this was a big challenge the first time around, and now I feel like I’ve got a better handle on it. If there’s any other homeschool information you’d like (I think after the first time around I’m a master in what NOT to do) drop a comment below and I will answer that in a future post as well!