Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I'm not part of blogger friend school

but I read this post and was inspired ... So, read FaithfulGrace's post and come back to mine, or vice-versa. Perhaps you will want to add this to your list of good things to do. I know I was re-fueled.

I wanted to homeschool when my firstborn was under one. I cannot remember if I had given birth to baby number two or not, but it was at our first church, together as a married couple that I began announcing it to people. I was greeted by mixed reactions. Some thought it was wrong ... there were many perfectly good private Christian schools to choose from. Ok, my husband and I were pulling in less than $8000.00 that year, so how in the world we were supposed to afford this was beyond me. Some thought it was just to show off that I had obtained a degree (what?). Some just looked at me like they weren't sure why I was talking to them in the first place. I think the latter happens more often than I care to admit. Some people just don't know brilliance when they hear it, I guess.

I ended up sending my son to the local public school for jr. kindergarden because it seemed really cutesy and because I had actually given birth to the second child and had no idea what I was doing. His teacher told me to take him back home. "Most of these kids cannot even read their own name to see where to hang up their coats ... yours wants to sit at a desk and actually do lessons". So, for Thanksgiving, he came home (this is the first week in October here in Canada).

Next year we tried option #2 ... French Immersion. His teacher was wonderful, he learned copious amounts of French (which he is now re-learning) and I was there pretty well every day helping the teacher while my youngest used the in-class computer, at 3yrs old. I re-thought homeschooling and prayed about it with my husband ... "why not"? I ordered some stuff, and told the Principal that we would be homeschooling for the next year. He was very pleasant and wished me luck, then said "you'll be back", just like that. I have no regrets over that year ... my son had a lot of fun, but we wanted to have fun all together, and at home.

Move ahead to the year that my husband got a new job in a new city and our house just wouldn't sell. Can you say "emotional"? I tried my youngest in the system this time, for some reason, and he lasted three full days in our church's school. The principal had a lot to say about the benefits of homeschooling and that trying to fit my boy into their system, especially since he had not learned to raise his hand to ask a question, was like putting a square peg into a round hole. He told us that if he wasn't the principal, he would be homeschooling his own. I thanked him through my tears and went back home. I felt like a failure, and so did my wee boy, who just wanted some friends for a change.

Well, I "quit" homeschooling one more time ... did I mention that I have to try things out for myself and not just take other people's word for it? There was a tremendous amount on all of our plates a few years ago: infertility, severe weight loss on my part, house not selling (still) with Dad in a different city during the week, no friends for the boys (really), psycho friend I couldn't shake, failed adoption, foster children in and out of our house, had recently changed churches ... I could go on. We finally managed to sell the house, but had no money to purchase a new one. We actually lost money on the sale, but were desperate to just be together again. We found an 800 square foot townhouse 20 minutes from my husband's new job and put the boys in the local school down the road, assuming that a town of less than 2000 would be "different".


I remember day one, standing in the school yard, as my boys asked me to, when the principal approached me. She informed me I was not allowed on school property as they could not run the risk that I might discipline someone else's child. I guess that explained why I was the only parent within eyesight. This same principal also told me, as I was interviewing her before enrolling my boys, that "you know your children the best right now, but we will know them better by the end of the year". You are probably shaking your head right now, but remember, I was completely deflated at this point in my journey and honestly felt I had nothing left to give my family. We pulled them out, gladly, after 6 months and have been journeying on very solid ground ever since.

Sometimes it takes a few knocks to crack open the nut, revealing the sweet meat inside. No regrets.

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