Friday, May 25, 2012

Back Home We Go

Oh this story has many twists and turns, but I should probably just spill it before I get sidetracked:

When the kids finish the school year they will not be going back.  We are going back to what we love - homeschooling.

Just like there were many reasons we put them in school, there are many reasons that they are leaving.  I am SO GLAD that we put them in public school and just like we knew it was time that they went, Dave and I know it is time they come back home.  We've all gotten the break we need, worked on the things we needed to work on, and realized that the tradeoffs are just not worth it in the end.

I have loved having time with Allie and Nolan.  I have NOT loved missed David and Taylor during the day. 

I have loved not having to be the teacher and I have loved both of the teachers we have had.  Those women are nothing short of God Sent.  I have NOT loved watched the kids not learn anything new and forget large portions of what we taught them due to a government-run monolith trying to meet so many kids on so many levels.  The system is broken and I don't want to feed my kids to it. 

I have loved watching them gain independence and a little more self confidence.  I have NOT loved the attitudes and behaviors they have brought home.

I have loved the new experiences they have had.  I have NOT loved missing the ones we could have had together.

I have loved seeing them learn how to act in a "real" classroom.  I have NOT loved watching my square-peg kids try to squeeze into round holes.  

When we decided to homeschool I could confidently say "Homeschooling is the best choice for our family."  There came a point, however, when I was so burned out and the babies needed so much of me that I couldn't say that anymore.  Now that a little time has passed and I am on better footing, I realized that I can confidently say that Homeschooling is again the best choice for our family.

It's so funny to me how these things change and how the path of a family can look different than how you think it will be.  I never planned on homeschooling in the first place.  Then I NEVER wanted to put my kids in public school.  And then I was so tired that I couldn't imagine having it in me to homeschool again, no matter how much I loved it.  And now, I see how I needed to know how my kids would do in public school.  We all needed to know.  I needed to know if I needed to QUIT homeschooling, if I was unable to go the distance, or if I just needed a BREAK from it because of the stress (lovely stress, though) of adding our 4th baby.   I've seen such wonderful parents and kids in the public school system that I now see what a great place it can be.  We had FANTASTIC teachers, a great school, and I can't fault them in anything.  What I can do, though, is see how much better MY kids did at home.  There are things that each of them need that a classroom just can not provide.

Now that I am out of the fog of what I affectionately call my "Post Baby Six Month Slump," I can see that I was tired.  No lie, I was bone-deep tired.  I was trying to do everything and be everything for everyone and if there is anything I have learned it is that I am not remotely capable of perfection.  What I am capable of,  is learning from my mistakes and lowering my expectations from perfection to "my best".

In January, my best meant putting the kids in public school.  I don't regret putting them in school a single bit.  It was, without question, the right call and it was my best.  And now, my best means pulling them back out and continuing down the educational/lifestyle path we set out on.   Dave and I love homeschooling.  We love the philosophy behind it and we love who we are as a family with it. 

I'm grateful for the rest stop and I'm even more grateful to be back on the road with my small people by my side :) 


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