Ok, again… too long since last post. I promised I’d avoid the POD (Pit of Despair) this summer and I’m happy to report: I DID!!! Another post will outline my strategy for success on this. For now, I have other news.
We’ve spent this summer, Dwayne and I, wrestling with a major decision: What to do about school for the kids???
Our oldest has been getting by with online school, middle had a sad excuse for a fourth grade year, and baby is only 3. Bottom line, we were looking for some good solutions for our kids when it comes to school. Private school is out. Can’t afford tuition, plus our last experience with private school was not too great. Public school, while I have no problem in theory with it, didn’t do the trick for my kids either. Especially Levi struggled mightily this past school year and nothing I tried seemed to work. Nothing major, just barely passing grades and little actual growth. Translate this: 2 frustrating hours of homework every night until somebody or everybody cries and nobody knows what we’re doing wrong. Now that Mackenzie is accepted to NOCCA, meaning we won’t arrive home until 7pm to start the aforementioned homework torture routine, we needed a new direction.
I had a thought, a daring, crazy thought that I knew my husband would immediately reject but I couldn’t keep it out of my mind. So I brought it up.
He didn’t reject it. He thought about it. I thought about it. We prayed about it. We sought advice of trusted friends. We decided to go for it. I’m going to say it really fast so it won’t seem so ca-razy.
Oh my gosh, I said it. I know this is taboo so you’ll still be my friend, right? Even if you think I’m nuts? Thanks, I knew you would.
I’ve rearranged my schedule a bit, so I’m up at 5:45am, and by 7:00 the kids and I are doing school core studies. (The bus for public high school stops on our street at 6:45am in case this seems crazy early to anyone.) Roughly three hours later I head to work and then tap out with stepdad who does afternoon reading, driving to field trips, music lessons, P.E. and the drop off at NOCCA where Mackenzie has been accepted as a student of culinary arts. Around 6 I leave work and head to NOCCA to pick up my girl, and we all reconvene at home around 7:00 to have dinner, get baths, and drop into bed. Weekends include some prep time and coaching from my very own homeschool professional, Janet, is in abundance.
Ya’ll, for a while I totally doubted if I could do this. I sought help from various sources, validation really. I asked a homeschool blogger for advice, but got something like “I understand. I work full time AT HOME too.” Hmmm… I know it came from a good heart, but I felt like it meant “NO way can a work OUTside the home mom do this.” But the truth is, it’s doable. Not easy. But possible. Kids who are professional entertainers, missionary kids, and even regular old American families, all homeschool in unconventional ways…so why not us?
Since this IS still the US of A and my school choice for my kids is still my business, I considered keeping quiet about this because I fear the judgemental attitudes of others. However, I’ve had so much fun the past three weeks and so much joy with my kids that I had to share this with ya’ll.
We’ve memorized scripture verses, learned about sea turtles, dolphins and alligators, learned spelling rules and cursive handwriting, analyzed and written our own poems, studied prohibition and Lewis and Clark and more. And this was all during our “trial run” before regular school started. You know, in case we couldn’t handle this schedule we’d still be able to start regular school and keep trying to figure something out. But the trial run only served to prove to me that this CAN work.
I’m looking into my children’s eyes. I’m spending the FIRST and best part of my day concentrating on them, not just the last and most irritable moments. My son has learned more in three weeks than I saw him pick up over the entire second semester of last year. I’ve been able to determine some areas that need attention, ones I didn’t realize were lacking.
Since Levi was a baby, I’ve been haunted by a night when I, against what I KNEW God was telling me in my heart, allowed a doctor to catheterize him. I knew it was unnecessary, but was afraid to go against the doctor’s orders. I never want to feel that way again. It turned out, my “feeling” was right, he was fine and there was no bladder infection. I caused my baby unnecessary pain by being scared to just be his mom. Not anymore. In my heart’s deepest places, I want to give whatever it takes, do whatever it takes to love these babies and introduce them to God and give them a happy life. I know that God will direct me and give me everything I need to do what He wants done for these three amazing creatures He created in my womb. I’m so excited for what we’re doing. Whether we do it for the next year only or for the rest of their school careers, I’m enjoying every minute in this uncharted territory. Maybe it’s a lil’ weird, but I’m cool with that. I’m happy to be mommy to these three, wife to Dwayne and whatever else God asks me to be.