Friday, August 15, 2014

Getting Real: Our Decision to Public School Pt. 1

This is the last day of Big Brother and Sweet Pea's first week of school.  Last year we shared our decision to homeschool Sweet Pea (you can read about that here and here).  When I shared it I thought for sure we would be homeschooling again for Kindergarten.  In fact, Kindergarten was the one year Tony and I were 100% positive we would homeschool when we had children that age.  We weren't big fans of full day school for five year olds and Common Core seemed to cement that decision.  Yet, here we are, a fully public school family.

Last year, about a month into the school year I watched a mom linger as her son ran to his line at school.  She turned to me and said, "it's just so hard to let him go."  I smiled but inside I was judging her (I know, I know....BIG mistake).  I mean here I was sending three kids to school, was it that big of a deal?  Why did she find it so hard?  Certainly a month later she was beyond this, right?

I thought the first day would be hard with Sweet Pea.  I would cry, she would be a bit shy, then we would move on with life.  As my little girl stood like an expert in line, barely turning to wave (the wave was to the adults in general, she didn't even care where I was), I was nothing but happy.  She was excited, this is what she needed.  But then day two came around and suddenly it dawned on me, a school day is really long.  This isn't going to stop at day one.  She is going to be gone for most of the day, five days a week.

Suddenly I find myself wanting to be that mom from last year.  I wanted to linger just a bit, because this IS hard.  I just want to spend one more minute watching her, enjoying being her mom.

And even though this is hard, I have also been blown away by thankfulness.

I'm thankful that this decision was based solely on what was best for our family.  We didn't have to take into account bad school districts or horrible teachers.

I'm thankful my kids go to a school that tries to give these kids an awesome education with teachers who love and invest in them, despite diminishing budgets.  I'm thankful that each of my kids got incredible teachers, and I don't have to worry about what they will be taught all day.

I'm thankful for a small conservative town that holds pretty true to Christian beliefs.  I'm not worried about the movies my kids will watch or the amount of foul language they hear. Or many other things.

I'm thankful for this opportunity for our entire family.

I'm thankful my kids love school and are doing well in it.

Mostly I'm thankful for a God who walks me through even the hard times, even the lonely times.  Who watches over my children at school.  Who desires His best for each of us.

Next week I will talk about the WHY behind our decision.  But until then what does your children's schooling look like this year?  What are you thankful for as the year begins?

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