This next year, my daughter has decided to attend public school. I have nothing against public school. After all, I attended one for four years of high school and survived. Like any environment, some kids were bullies and others were dolls while some teachers were competent and others should have been fired years ago. I decided to homeschool because I want to give my children a customized, flexible education that prepares them for their future, not because our local school offers a poor education.
While I’m mostly okay with her decision, I pause and tear up every once in a while. I’ll miss her company, and I’ll miss learning along with her. Plus, I know she’ll be under someone else’s care (both teachers and friends) for more hours than she’s under my care. It’s the letting go that I’m not enjoying.
Her daddy’s concerned that she’ll be bullied. Realistically, that happens everywhere. In my Christian elementary school, the kids were as cruel as any kids (or adults, for that matter) I’ve known since those long-ago years. As parents, we want to protect our kids but of course can’t always be by their side.
This leaves me with prayer. When I can’t be by her side, God knows, sees, cares and loves. This is an opportunity for both her and I to trust Him. I trust Him to give our family the guidance we need to navigate public school in a few short months.
While cleaning up the kitchen today, I thought of my pastor’s sermon from yesterday. He shared how evangelism is a process rather than an event. As I pulled dishes out of the dishwasher only to immediately refill it, I realized that housekeeping and education are also processes rather than events.
Just like doing dishes, sweeping floors and washing clothes must happen over and over and over again, our children need to be taught educational concepts, character traits and manners over and over again.
We can’t expect them to learn new concepts from a single lesson. Like they can’t learn spiritual lessons or character traits with one Sunday School lesson, they need repeated instruction for school subjects.
The process grows wearying. It’s hard to persevere, especially if a child struggles to “get it.” Perhaps the mentality that it’s a process rather than an event will give us the strength we need to keep going, the motivation we need to keep teaching and the hope we need that one day they will learn. May the process rather than the event help us as we educate our students at home.
I’ve seen many posts this week from moms who welcome their children home from school. They either anticipate or dread the next few months of unlimited time together, and they’re trying to find creative activities that prevent boredom and prevent their children from the infamous summer brain drain.
For all my friends who welcome children home from school this week, happy summer!
For those of us who homeschool, the summer routine is barely different from the regular school year routine. At least in my house, we spend so much time learning as we’re living that summer just gives us different activities in warm weather.
Today, I learned an important lesson in planning time together: A Great Escape.
My children need a space where they can escape each other, me and the television. My son chooses his hideout behind the sofa where he can play with his stuffed friends or Flick Trixs. My daughter retreats to her bedroom where she reads, writes or plays Barbies.
I need a space to escape the noise, the arguments and the activity. My bedroom, behind closed doors, provides a quiet oasis where I can cry, scream, journal or rest my eyes for a minute (or two).
We all need a personal space where we can retreat when summer days grow too long, nerves fray or activities leave us cranky.
While one reason I homeschool is so I can enjoy learning with my children, I appreciate and value the time we spend apart. That being said, I’d love to hear your creative ideas for making sure everyone in your home has a place where they can make A Great Escape.