A New Chapter

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on August 23, 2011

My parents lovingly devoted much time and attention to my education, sacrificing much to teach me at home. From second grade through my high school graduation, I never once wished it any other way.

All through my childhood I believed that I would home school my own kids. With each new school year came much prayer and discussion regarding our children’s schooling. Never was there any doubt that I would teach them at home.

This year, as I began a mental inventory of our school books, made lists of all the things we needed, and began to plan for a new school year, I felt the Lord guiding our family down a different path. Doors opened, things fell in to place, and my oldest four kiddos – the twins ready to begin 5th grade, Julz going in to 4th, and Josh eager to start 2nd – will each soon be introduced to a new and different experience – a classroom full of children their own age.

As excited as my kiddos are, they will be the first to admit that they are also nervous to start a new school year away from home. I know that they will flourish in this new school of theirs. They will learn many new things, make new friends, and gain a sense of freedom and identity.

But, I am nervous, too. Nervous about how each of them will manage sitting still for hours at a time. Nervous knowing that they may struggle to catch up in math. Nervous about them fitting in and not alienating others with their passion. Nervous about whether or not we have given them the foundation they need to stand up against worldly pressures and the temptation to be catty and trite.

This nervousness, mind you, is not based on doubting our decision to place them in a local school away from home. This year, just as each year in the past, I am at peace with the decision we are making for our kids’ schooling. This year it just looks different than before.

The school we have enrolled them in is fabulous. It is everything we could hope for in a school away from home. I have met Julia’s teacher, both of the 5th grade teachers (although we’re not yet sure which one Ethan and Zach will have), and are looking forward to meeting Joshua’s teacher. The curriculum is similar to that which my parents used to educate my siblings and me. And, my children will be surrounded by children raised in homes much like ours.

Even in the midst of nervousness, I am at peace – a peace that only comes from Christ – about our decision to release our kiddos to kind and dedicated teachers. Even encompassed in peace, I can’t help but be a bit sad. Sad to see my children so excited for this new adventure away from me. Sad to think of how much I will miss them each and every school day. Sad to think that I might have failed them somehow. Sad to have another chapter in homeschooling behind us.

September 6th will be the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. It’ll be exciting. But, as with all good stories, there are bound to be some tears shed.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Gena Morris August 23, 2011 at 11:15 am

Congrats on this new adventure. We just learned in Church how sometimes God changes his plans for us. You will do great and be amazing! The kids will be wonderful. So happy you found something you love to!
Gena Morris´s last blog post ..Why I choose to breastfeed my toddler and why it’s none of your business.


Selena August 23, 2011 at 11:40 am

Will be thinking of you all during this time of transition… You have not failed them in any way.. if anything.. you have given them and continue to give them the foundation and values that they will need to go out into the world of classroom school and thrive. HUGS to you!


Qtpies7 August 23, 2011 at 11:51 am

God has a plan, and when He moves us on to the new one, sometimes we have no idea WHY, but it is always for our good.
I’ve had the kids in and out of public school. And even when it was bad, it had a purpose. Sometimes it was just to renew my dedication! I have a mix this year, 2 at home, 2 in public school.
Qtpies7´s last blog post ..Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension


Nanette ~ AMomBlog August 23, 2011 at 11:58 am

You’ve given them a strong foundation in which to grow from. Yes, tears may be shed but know that with each new friend your children make smiles will come to their faces.
Nanette ~ AMomBlog´s last blog post ..Coolest Thing I got at BlogHer – Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Tab


Jessica R. August 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm

This is also the peace that comes from knowing your children well and knowing how wonderful this will be for them. They are lucky in that you are an excellent home schooler and will be there to help them catch up wherever they need help.

Hang tight mama! This is going to be a great year for you guys!
Jessica R.´s last blog post ..It’s always better in the morning


ColoradoMom August 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm

LOTS of hugs to you mama!!!! You are amazing!
ColoradoMom´s last blog post ..First Day of Pre-School


Cecily August 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Beautiful post, and I totally understand the nervousness. My daughter is starting public kindergarten in a couple weeks and I feel…


I knew I had mixed feelings, but I do not have that peace about the decision to do public school that you described. The entire decision feels like a dress that’s too small; scratchy, uncomfortable, icky.

I don’t like her having to wear a uniform. I don’t like the idea of her not being able to dance around as much as she likes. I worry that they won’t honor her imagination and creativity.

ARG. I’m so torn. We wanted to do a cool unschooling/homeschooling support school, but the challenge we face with my daughter (who is an only child) is that she requires far more stimulation than we, as her parents, can provide her. If we lived somewhere where she could spend a lot of time with other kids, that would be great, but the truth is that most of our neighbors don’t share our morals in any way (I know, hard to believe, right?).

My hope, frankly, is the have her do kindergarten and then by next year to be in a place financially to make a better choice. But this sucks, yo.
Cecily´s last blog post ..The Economy and Fox News’ War Against the Poor


Audrey August 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Oh, Chris…. what a post! I have known you for so long now, and I am sending you prayers and positive thoughts regarding this decision. You are such an incredible mom and I am always just amazed and inspired by you!


Katja of Skimbaco August 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm

You are an amazing mom, and you know in your heart what is the best choice for your family. Take the change with open arms and embrace it. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers this back to school season. Hugs!
Katja of Skimbaco´s last blog post ..Washed Up, Art Project from Waste Washed on the Shore


Amy B. August 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

This is going to be a wonderful adventure for everyone in the family. You would never do anything that wasn’t great for your kids. I’ll be thinking of y’all on the first day!
Amy B.´s last blog post ..A Yummy New Beginning


Fadra August 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Can I just tell you that my son is 4 1/2 and he NEEDS to go to preschool and I think I’m subconsciously avoiding the enrolling because I’m not ready to let my baby go! Someone need to give me a slap in the face before I break down crying! So basically, I totally understand :)
Fadra´s last blog post ..The Road Less Traveled, The Day Less Planned


MusingsfromMe/Jill August 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I’m always in awe of moms who work at home doing what I do and homeschool. While I love having my kids home for the summer, it is so difficult to get them on to a schedule of being occupied with something without the school structure. By August I usually have some semblance of a schedule, but this year I am working more so it is difficult.
I’m sure you have chosen the new school well. Your kids will thrive in the new environment. Plus they will have a friendly face throughout the day in their siblings. Good luck with the new school year!
MusingsfromMe/Jill´s last blog post ..Clutter…Back-to-School Edition


Kelly August 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm

As someone who has homeschooled and made that transition I can tell you mostly it will be harder on you than them. It’s been my experience that my kids need different things, and life definitely makes some changes necessary-ones that I never would have dreamed of.

This will be the first year I have all 4 kids in school since I gave birth to my oldest nearly 14 years ago. For my family the new chapter will look different than yours, but I’m sure I’ll be shedding the same tears.
Kelly´s last blog post ..Back to School and Healthy Lunches


kristin August 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Christine, I know your kiddos will do great but also know what a decision this was. Many prayers and thoughts, every ending has a new a wonderful beginning. This is just the start of something new.
kristin´s last blog post ..Genetically Modified Foods: Should They Be Labeled?


Joyce August 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Here’s to a smooth transition!
Joyce´s last blog post ..Ardenwood Historic Farm


Sheri August 24, 2011 at 12:18 am

Nicely written Christine. They will do great! I’m curious as to where you decided to send them. You’ll have to fill me in at soccer sometime! You and Ray will always be the biggest source of teaching and encouragement for your kids…but a great teacher can help!


Melinda August 24, 2011 at 12:21 am

don’t only think of the freedom for your children, but also think of the freedom for yourselve as well! you will be able to do alot while the oldest kids are in school, and perhaps a bit more rested as well, since you will have what … one or two kids at home?! the kids will love it i am sure, to be able to meet new friends and engage in other great activities that they may not get at home. you will have to let us know how the 1st day and week goes for all of you!! wishing you lots of luck! :)
Melinda´s last blog post ..Ensign Magazine


oh amanda August 24, 2011 at 9:13 am

Oh, Christine! I know this is a big deal for you. But homeschool mom, public school mom or anything in between, you are fantastic. And I know you approach every decision about your kids with the utmost thought and prayer. Love you and praying for this new season!



Mindy August 28, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Chris, I am SO proud of you guys!!! Proud of you for doing what’s best for your kiddos…and you…in this season of life NOW. You are not a failure! They will THRIVE and love it, I’m sure of it! How exciting to see what God will do through this new season of life!


debbye September 1, 2011 at 12:00 am

I am in a similar yet opposite position as I begin my daughter’s 6th year of school. This is our first year of home schooling, and I am as nervous and excited by it as you are in your new schooling arrangement! We are 7 days into our new school year, and it has been bitter and sweet so far! :)
debbye´s last blog post ..Sibling Series Part 2: Juggling Different Baby and Toddler Sleep Schedules


Tanya @ Mommy Goggles September 6, 2011 at 2:38 am

I have thought about home schooling because of you. I am utterly proud of your decision to send your kids off to public school, not only so that they can experience a whole new chapter in their lives, but I firmly believe that our world has plans for each of us. I think of it as a type of freedom in some sort for our kids, but as well as for us as mothers. We cannot be with our babies 24/7 every day. Hugs to you! xoxo
Tanya @ Mommy Goggles´s last blog post ..Ralph Lauren Presents the RL Gang – Narrated by John Legend!


Lisa September 6, 2011 at 7:54 am

I have a kid in private school and one in public. What I’ve learned is that you have to do what is best for you and your family.

Good luck to them this morning!
Lisa´s last blog post ..Grilling Ty Pennington


kerry September 27, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Thanks for the marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and may come back down the road. I want to encourage continue your great posts, have a nice weekend!
kerry´s last blog post ..beef jerky maker


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