While we’ve intended to homeschool for quite awhile, I have always been extremely cautious to not make it about a ‘school is evil’ thing. Because it isn’t. The reality is that as a parent you have to dedicate 25% to your children’s education. The CHOICE is whether it’s 25% of your time homeschooling, 25% of your time in supplementing public schooling with extra education and morals, or 25% of your time/money to send them to private school. No matter how you do it, it takes a huge chunk to do it right. And no one ever does it perfectly.
I feel like a breakdown is inevitable. I know that I can tough it out and force myself to be the all-powerful, homechool super-mom, but I WILL have a breakdown at some point. I don’t want it to be at 3rd or 4th grade after a miserable year, where I’m putting her in public school because of a failure. I feel strongly about homeschooling, but I think that taking a break now for a year to get a good head start and be really prepared next year (or the next if we decide to send her longer, whatever) is a healthier decision and it’s on my terms. I’ve always said that I’m not married to homeschooling. I’ve seen it done so well that it produced amazing, confident adults. Yet I’ve also seen children broken by horrible circumstances where parents insist on homechooling for their OWN identity. I have to choose on what is best for Selah and Jacob, and right now their momma is tired and overwhelmed. I don’t know that I can do the best job for them *this* year. The only 100% is that my children are my priority, and I will sacrifice who I want to be to see them be who they need to be any and every day.
So, there it is. I feel so strange now that it is decided. I can’t imagine my children being away from me THAT much. It’s a very humbling decision, because I’m admitting my human-ness and my inability to do all that I think I should. But I know that God has grace for this.
On Saturday we went school shopping, just the two of us. We stopped at Starbucks, where she was thrilled to pieces to get a chocolate milk in a mini version of Mommas cup of coffee complete with the lid to sip it through. She couldn’t help her random giggling and kept saying, “Momma, do people think that I’m drinking real coffee? Caffeine isn’t healthy. Do they know?” I assured her that they knew caffeine was not healthy and that anyone would easily assume that she was drinking decaf coffee like her mommy. It was a simple shopping trip, since her school requires uniforms. I did let her pick out some barrettes and headbands. What a precious morning.
Selah starts school on July 14th. The school is a year-round program. For the past 5 weeks she has reminded me every Saturday morning of exactly how many weeks are left until she starts school. It’s on Saturday because she says that is when the week ends. It doesn’t matter that school will begin on a Monday, the week begins on the Sunday. But for me, I know that two weeks from today I will be alone with my 2 boys. And then only a few more weeks after that for Jacob to start preschool.
Lucas is such a wild card for us. I think that a few months of alone time with mom, before conceding the throne of ‘the baby’ to another, will be good for him. Selah and Jacob never had a minute of jealousy over being dethroned. They were each immediately enthralled with the title of big sister/brother. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see Lucas giving in so graciously. While he’s more daring and adventurous he also has an edge of anger and attitude that the others never seemed to have. It’s just who he is and I have to parent him differently. It’ll be good to have some time to work on his little heart before my time is taken up with all the newborn stuff again. I think this year will be good for all of us.