Sunday, September 9, 2012

A New Adventure

Our little family is embarking on a brand new journey.
A new chapter in our lives.
I enrolled the two oldest in the charter school just down the road.
It has been 3 days for Beano and 2 for Doodle.
This has been the hardest thing I have ever done.
I can't stop crying my eyes out.
I see random people that I know and I tell them our news and I just start crying, I look like such a sissy.
 It was a choice about a year in the making.
As a home school mom I constantly worry that my kids are getting the education and enrichment they need.
It came to a point that I was struggling balancing the toddler and younger grade things with Little Man and Dubs, while keeping Doodle and Beano on track, they are at such different levels in their education.
I found that Little Man and Dubs were constantly getting the short end of the stick.
Amazingly the charter school just happened to have one 3rd grade spot left and one for Doodle in 5th grade, too.
Answer to prayer? I think so!
From a home school mind set it's hard not to feel like a failure.
I find myself constantly going back to the feelings of peace and clarity I had and the whispers in my mind that I received. 
But, man, I miss my kids in a bad, bad way.
They have become my best friends and I love being with them and watching them grow into the people that they are.

I will not bore you with all the details, but rather the things I have already learned from this new start.
  • I am a home schooler, through and through. I doubt very seriously this will last longer than one year.
  • I value different things in education than most people (like free time to read what interests the child and music and running around outside with little brothers and a baby girl tagging behind), and that's OK.
  • Test scores can be valuable information, but they could never  accurately evaluate character or perseverance or 'heart'. (P.S. My kids have always tested in the 90th percentile, that's not just a cop out for low test scores)  :)
  • I have learned that I love home school more than I thought I did. Why is it that I didn't appreciate it enough until now? Maybe that's one of the answers to prayers that I needed. I needed to be shown just how much I love it and how much a part of my life it is.
  • My kids are so, so smart (I already knew that one).
  • My kids can do hard things. I don't think I've ever been prouder of them, especially Doodle, for being so brave, even though her first day was so, so hard for her. I think they needed to know that they can do hard things without me right by their side the whole time.
  • I am so grateful already for the time I am getting to read the little books again that I read to Doodle and Beano when they were little to Dubs (who was there but does not remember any of them) and Little Man. I forgot how much I love Winnie the Pooh and Mr Popper's Penguins and story time at the library. We spend almost 2 hours a day snuggling on the couch reading, even baby girl sits with us the entire time and listens quietly (as long as she has her blankie to snuggle). It's is the cutest thing you have ever seen.
  • I don't have any more free time by having them gone because I am still home schooling and cleaning and cooking. But now I get the joys of home work as an added bonus! 
  • Beano LOVES school, it was love at first sight. He started the Friday before Labor Day and wanted to go back every day until it was finally Tuesday. I learned that my sweet boy will be happy no matter where he is.
  • We are in this for the year, committed 100%. After that, we'll see what new adventures lie on the horizon.
  • School is not bad and I am not a failure. Although I never did think school was bad, I know a few home schoolers who do. In fact, elementary school is enjoyable for the kids, except for math if you're Doodle. But she never did like it at home either.
  • Too often I underestimate myself. Why?
  • Change is hard (again, just reinforcing already known facts). After the initial shock of things, we will find a groove and we will thrive!

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