Last night, I was searching for something I had written a while ago on my blog, and I stumbled across this blog post from last year. It was fun to look back and remember that huge transition stage we were going through just one year ago after the first week of school.
It seems so funny to me now that on our worst days of home schooling, I would sometimes pull out the most horrible threat to strike fear in my kids. “If you don’t change your attitudes, I will be happy to send you to SCHOOL!” (Cue the gasps and cries of terror.)
Well, here we are a year later, and I could just as easily reverse that threat if our kids were misbehaving at school. Even though we had a positive experience with a lot of aspects of home schooling, I don’t think any of us would choose to go back to doing school at home.
We have been super blessed that all three of them have wonderful teachers, nice friends and some great experiences at school. We felt like experts walking into school for the first time this fall. We had so many funny conversations remembering how nervous we were the year before as the new family at school. This year, we were on the look out for other new families we might be able to help and show the ropes. 🙂
I had moments last year when I thought maybe I had failed them somehow by giving up on home schooling. Was I giving them the best chance at a good education? Would they suffer by losing the efficiency and one-on-one attention they got through home schooling?
What I’ve learned the past year is that home schooling can be an excellent choice for a lot of families. But it’s not for everyone. I loved being with my kids. I did my best to stay organized and find creative ways to teach them. We could not have asked for a better group of friends. But honestly, my heart just wasn’t in it. And if my heart wasn’t in it, it was going to be a challenge for everyone involved.
It was definitely the most difficult thing I ever tried to do. I didn’t even realize how incredibly difficult it was until I wasn’t doing it anymore. When my home schooling friends are having a bad day, I wish I could express to them how amazing they really are. It’s not easy to be mom, wife, homemaker and educator (plus, keep track of all of the other commitments we have)!
I’m so, so, so thankful that our new school is working. Life at school isn’t perfect. But I would have to say that even when they have encountered challenging situations, it has led to good conversations about making smart choices and doing the right thing.
I still have my days when I’m in awe of the magical drop-off line where I just open the door, and there they go! Off to be educated by someone else! The most amazing part is that their teachers truly do love them and want to see them grow. I feel like their teachers are my partners in this journey.
I love picking up my kids from school and hearing all the stories from their day. I love being the mom who can have warm cookies ready when they walk through the door. We’ve even adapted to spending our evenings doing homework. And I completely enjoy the hours during the day when I can focus on my part-time job and other responsibilities without having to worry about whether I’m doing OK as their teacher, too.
I know other moms are going through the journey of trying to figure out the best way to educate their kids, and maybe that’s why I decided to write this blog post. It’s a difficult process. One solution is not right for everyone. Just because public school or private school or home school is working great for another family, it doesn’t mean it’s what you should do. Just because our school situation is working well for us, it doesn’t mean it would be a good fit for everyone. And guess what? It’s even OK to make a change if what you’ve chosen isn’t working. 🙂
We still don’t know what the future will hold. We have one child who is two years away from another transition going to high school. And we have one more who will start kindergarten in a few years. But for us, at this moment, I’m thankful for the amazing invention known as school. 🙂