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Looking for Encouragement
An Ending and a New Beginning- What's beyond the horizon?
The Transition into Public School
I looked up an article for encouragement with a very hard and important decision: transitioning from homeschooling to public school. Although I appreciate the author's opinions I found, I didn't find what I was seeking. Perhaps someone will be encouraged by my experience...
My son is doing better with this decision than the rest of our family. He's excited about school, frustrated, bored at times, and being challenged in multiple ways. Kids are amazingly good at adapting! My two younger kids have shown some signs of emotional struggle but they we are helping them adjust too. I love having more time to physically and emotionally be able to attend to their needs with 2:1 instead of 3:1. I think the hardest for my husband is less flexibility as we are tied down to the school schedule. Although my son may be spending about the same time each day on academics as we did before, the extra time at school is teaching him valuable lessons I couldn't provide. I couldn't find enough groups or activities to give him the lessons we all learn in spending time with groups of people, people he isn't related to.
I still get to help him understand the world through our Christian faith/viewpoint, but he gets to practice choosing to make his faith his own and apply it to interactions with other people without me being there to intercede. Bible stories at night is more precious than ever and we have more opportunities to put our faith into practice.
This is a very tough journey being a parent and making informed decisions to give our children the best we can. It's very personal and people are very passionate about their decisions and reasoning. Faith should be important to those who chose to live by it, that isn't something to be ashamed of or mocked, rather it should be valued and shared by all in a compassionate, informative way. The world is full of hostile, confused, angry people- I've gone through rough seasons myself. As much as I wish I could protect my child from all of this because he doesn't deserve to deal with it, I want to help him learn to live gracefully and respond to people with kindness. I want help him learn to be confident in himself. I want him to be different because we are ALL made individually different for a reason. There is beauty in being apart of a group or community. I want to ease him into this world while I can help him learn how to respond to it before letting him go out on his own. That's my job and I love it.
I have my Masters in Education. I've been a teacher, a coach, a tutor, but my favorite is my time as a homeschool mom. I've homeschooled my son from age 4-8 until just this year when we decided to put him in public school starting 3rd grade. (I plan to still homeschool my other two children at least through Kindergarten and maybe even 1st grade.) If this was just about academics, honestly, I'd choose homeschooling. If it was just about learning to live with people in a community, I'd choose public school with strong family and faith support. If it was just about faith, homeschooling. Competition and recognition, public school. Diverse opportunities, exercising choice and personal independence, public school. And there are many more topics to consider, but it's so complex and there is no one right answer.
Bottom line for me
I'm going to pray, love my kids, follow my heart, then trust in God who loves my child and me. Just keep going.
I'm curious....What do you think?
How are some of you out there responding to the struggle of educating your children?
Is it an issue for a majority or minority of parents?
Please share with me your experiences with the positives and negatives of homeschooling and public schools.