The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly {Our First Two Weeks of School}

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on September 15, 2011

Well, our second week of school is just about at it’s end, kicking off our busy weekend with a half day tomorrow.

Did I mention that my kids have a minimum day every Friday? Seems to somehow make up for the crazy busy, hectic chaos that is Monday through Thursday. But, I digress.

Where was I? Oh yes… we managed to make it through week two. But, boy, was it hard!

There were buckets of tears shed that first week. Most of them by me, I’ll admit. It was odd having my older kids somewhere else every day. Just thinking about their teacher being able to spend more time with them than I did made me sad. I felt guilty for not teaching them at home again this year, and anxiety about whether or not we did the right thing.

Each of my kids shed some tears, too. At different times, of course. One day math was the culprit. Another day there was a meltdown before soccer practice, because homework wasn’t done yet and there wouldn’t be much time after practice to get it all done. And yet another day, the waterworks started before anyone was even dressed.

Needless to say, the adjustment period has been more than just a bit difficult.

But, it’s been good, too. Really good.

I managed to get over the mommy guilt after that first week and began to trust that God had His Hand in all this. I stopped stressing over not being in complete control of my kids every second of every day. And, I finally gave my children to the Lord. I mean, fully and completely.

Ethan and Zach come home eager to share what they’ve learned. Julia is loving the interaction she has with other girls, and she adores her teacher. And, Josh… well, I think he’s still trying to figure it all out and find his place. But, I have no doubt he soon will.

And? We’ve all survived.

No. No, I think we’re all stronger.


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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