Wednesday, March 6, 2013

guess we're still going to be Homeschooling....

There is something I really hate about blogging. Most of the time I really love it. It helps me keep track of the work the kids do. It helps me feel connected to some type of community. 

What I hate is when I post rant about something, I can't actually ever take it back. Did you see this post a while back I did on why, as a christian, I felt we needed to keep our kids in the public school system? I still feel the same way. But I am sad about the way I went about it. I am sad that I may have hurt some friendships along the way. 

We did open enroll Barrett this year but they didn't have any spots available for him to go to the school we had wanted.

So that left us with the option of homeschooling again or sending him to the really nice local school down the street.

Both fantastic options.

I never thought I would have this much of a hard time with how to educate our kids. We stumbled into homeschooling- hesitant and defensive. "It's because I have to" "We don't have enough money for preschool." And yet, as I find that money is no longer an issue, I really do want them to stay home. And that scares me to death- the idea that I do actually WANT to homeschool. What crazy mom wants to be surrounded by her kids all day every day with no moment to breathe? But even more importantly what does God want for us and how are we supposed to know it's right?

After months (years really) of prayer and discussion we have finally decided what to do for Kindergarten. We enrolled Bear in a one day a week program that allows him to go to school part time and homeschool the rest of the time. 

Not exactly "a public school with horrible test scores."  
 But I am really excited about next year.

I try to look back on how we made the decision. But I'm still not sure. I don't think our reasoning on either side was necessarily wrong. Homeschooling has worked really well for us. I know that any school Bear goes to (public, private or charter) will be great for him. We have had a bunch of really great options on the table. And what more can you ask for really? I can chat with my mom (an elementary teacher) and want to send him tomorrow! Or I can chat with my sister in law (a homeschooling mom) and want to keep him home forever and ever! I know that either way, there will be proponents and opposition to both sides.

In the end, I was not able to make the decision on my own. I owe that to my wonderful and amazing husband. I showed him what was on my heart and asked him what he wanted for us. He encouraged me in the work we've done and wants me to continue to pursue it. "Why mess with something that is obviously working" he said. 
 I asked Bear what he wanted. What he was looking forward to in attending school.  He wanted to see his friends. Learn how to program a robot. He wanted to play. And bring his lunchbox to school. "Salami and veggie straws would make a great lunch mom."

A few things have been on my heart with this issue: 

-I do still think we need to be actively involved in our communities. 
-Schools are a really great and easy way for us to do that
-I am saddened by how living one block in a certain direction can change your school from "horrible" to "great" even in 2013. 
-I have been naive in thinking that homeschooling prevents us from being a part of the community, from taking care of our neighbors, and from our home being a safe place for anyone and everyone.

So here we are. Looking into another year. Excited about it. Hesitant about it. Knowing that I'll have to make the same decision again next year. But I am grateful. Grateful for the ability to choose. Grateful for the opportunity to be a part of so many different communities. Grateful for the wisdom and clear head that my husband can provide.

And finally, grateful for the peace that well... God.

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