I haven’t blogged in a while… but with insomnia in full effect lately. I find myself in the position where I want to write.
Today my sweet Owen will start school at the same school my older two boys started at the 1st of the school year. It was our 1st ever year not home schooling all 4 of our boys. With a great option at our church we opted to give it a try… just with our older two boys. Caleb being in middle school, subjects were becoming more difficult for me to teach (math especially) He had a great desire to try “normal school” as he called it, outside the home… So far, its been good for my older two boys. The staff is wonderful and I love how small the classes are *I think Taite’s class has 12?*. I also have had such peace knowing my husband is there in the building every day, as the student Pastor in the church. It really couldn’t have been a better situation for this “home school mom” fearful of letting go.
We’ve made it through the 1st half of the school year and so far its gone well. We’ve had our bumps with adjustments. (My boys have had to learn that TEST matter, haha and that home work is a pain but has to be done.) Over all though it hasn’t been a bad experience and my older two boys love it. I truly expected them to hate it, due to the early mornings and longer hours… but they are social dudes and appreciate the structure and meeting new people.
Towards the end of Nov. we started thinking about sending Owen there mid year. Owen is 7, turns 8 in late March 2018. Owen has had issues with speech since he was 3. We had him evaluated and he was diagnosed at age 3 with a speech delay, but comprehension wise, he was on it. The speech evaluation lady at the time said to just work with him & he’d be fine. Owen excels greatly in Math. I am absolutely the type who is a believer in starting boys later in school. Age 5 IMO is to young for boys. I’ve taught two boys to read and neither of them did it age 5. In fact, I tried teaching both Caleb & Taite to read at age 5 and it ended with a lot of tears, frustration and defeat. Delaying them to age 6 was without a doubt best. What Id spend months agonizing over with them at 5, they got within days at age 6. So home school mommas, if I can encourage here for a second, don’t kill yourself over age 5 reading. Just saying. :)
Owen though at age 7, almost 8, is struggling still… and I get that all kids learn differently. I love that about home school and understand not all kids will share the same strengths. One day though around thanksgiving, I just broke down and told Travis we should consider sending him to the school his brothers go to. Maybe it was the balance of having kids in school outside the home and having to be in school mode ALL DAY. Teaching Owen during the morning hours and having home work and other things school related in the afternoon/evening hours. Its as literally like non-stop school mode…. I think it just mentally and emotionally broke me down.
With Owen I have felt like he needed someone besides “mom” to help aid him in this reading road block… and I felt that the push of seeing his peers learning, may encourage him as well. I was finding it hard to get him motivated at home to learn reading. He no longer had his older brothers around. He didn’t see them learning… and with just Reed (who isn’t even in school yet), getting Owen to sit and do school was a struggle. I got a lot of “are we done yet.” – after 10 minutes of schooling… to tearful moments on both our parts, where I just wondered if I was doing more harm than good. Motherhood! Those who get what I’m saying, get it.
Fear though these last few months have just completely consumed me.
“What if this is a mistake and Owen becomes defeated and it is worse.”
“What if the teacher is mean to him and doesn’t understand how he learns.”
“What if this is all a terrible mistake and we should have never stopped home schooling.”
“What if my kids never want to be home schooled again and one day we can’t afford the tuition & have to pull them out.” (this is a very real possibility… right now we’re just taking it one month at a time…)
“What if Owen gets made fun of because he will be the oldest in the class.”
I have probably run every scenario through my head these last few months… and I’ve had my share of crying for sure.
Letting go…. isn’t easy! For me, I struggle with doubt all the time… and there are just times “I don’t know” if its the right decision.
Just because we’re in ministry, doesn’t mean we have the unique ability to discern and know for sure. Some times the answer isn’t clear… and some times decisions have to be made on faith.
These are just the moments you have to trust… and be ok with imperfection. Be ok with growing pains. Be ok with new normals. Be ok with possible struggle and or possible blessing. There is no guarantee that this will be the right decision.
I may struggle for a while questioning ALL of it. Missing what use to be… and doubting ever changing any of it.
I know though that The Lord does not want me to doubt… or struggle with fear.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim. 1:7
Will writing this post fix my fear… no. Its more of a therapy for me to write out my thoughts like this… and share my heart.
So as 4am rolls around… and in 2 hours my sweet little Owen will wake up, put his uniform on and head off to his 1st day of school. I have to trust.
and know that God has a purpose in all things. The little… and the big.
Will we home school again? We don’t know but Im def. not against it.
I love home school… and believe it is a blessing. I believe those who do it reap such a unique gift of being able to stay home with their children… and I love love love the flexibility of it. But I also believer in being ok with change… taking each season as it comes. Home school was our routine for 7 years so changing that now, wasn’t going to be without its struggle. I understood that going into this year… and am thankful so far for what we have learned. The older boys truly have enjoyed their new “school” routine… and I believe the responsibility they have on them has been good so far. Just hoping Owen adjust easily too and that it works well for him… <3