Homeschooling: I changed my mind.

This morning I was awakened by Larkspur getting herself dressed (her clothes are kept in our room) only about a half hour after I had fallen asleep. Beatrix has a cold and last night there was a pattern which consisted of her falling asleep, coughing, waking and crying, latching on, falling asleep, and then the whole thing repeating and this went on the entire night. I carefully crept out of bed so as not to wake Beatrix, helped Larkspur and then started breakfast. The kids all trickled out of their beds one by one and while I cooked, Seth and I got started on his schooling. Jonny was not home today and I wanted to finish early and take the kids to the park. Tuesdays are not as heavy as Mondays and we were finished by 9:30 a.m. By 10 a.m. we were all in the van and headed to a favorite local park.
The weather was beautiful, crisp and cool, definitely hinting that Autumn will soon be here. As we walked together, the seven of us (Beatrix in the Ergo), my thoughts kept going to my children and the fact that two of my boys were scheduled to start at the public school next week. While I felt certain that I made the right decision to send them, as the first day has approached I have been plagued with doubt (which I have tried really hard to ignore). Today my children were all especially delightful, searching for bottle caps, throwing stones into the river (which was especially clear and lovely today), and getting along beautifully.
I thought of the fact that starting next week I would lose this. I would lose the freedom to have a quiet morning at the park with all of my children in tow. I thought of my friend Marj who wishes she could go back and raise her children all over again. I thought of the way I had this nagging feeling that I was losing Keats’ heart when he attended public school last year and then I thought of the fact that I don’t even have Gabriel’s heart in it’s entirety yet.
I started praying and asking God to show me what he wants for us, what he wants from me, I even went so far as to ask for a sign, although I asked for that sort of half heartedly because it’s not really my style to make requests like that. I am more of a follow my heart sort of girl, trusting that God will lead it where he wants me to go.
On the playground there was one of those pipes that you speak into and your words can be heard far away at the other end of the pipe. Keats asked me to say something to him through the pipe. I walked over, leaned into my end of the pipe and not knowing if he would actually be able to hear me, said, “Keats I am going to home school you this year.”
I stood up and looked at him to see if he had heard me and with a huge smile on his face he cried out, “Thank you mommy! First grade?” I replied, “Yep, first grade!”
So all in one lovely morning, I changed my mind. I’ve called the school to let them know and I’ve pulled out all of my kindergarten and first grade materials. I am not sure how I am going to pull if off, but I think that this is what God wants from me and I feel so much peace about this seemingly crazy last minute decision.
Yes, there were lots of nagging thoughts these past few weeks that I believe led up to this change of heart, but ultimately I realized that I want to be with my children every single day because I do not want to look back on my life one day and wish I had done things differently. I don’t think I will look back and regret the fact that most of my days weren’t lovely, but were in fact chaotic and messy. I think I will remember mostly the days where a sort of miracle occurred and I felt rested despite not having slept, my children loved each other rather than fought each other, the sun shined brighter, the breeze felt cooler, and everything looked and felt just a little bit prettier than usual.

Comments

  1. I loved this post. I was called too by the Lord and it has been the second best decision I ever made. I am so glad that I followed my heart and listened to him. He does speak to all of us in a different way, I too am one to listen to my heart. We are in our third year now of home schooling. Each day is messy and not always with a happy ending. However each day we are together and it was all worth it! I hope my children feel that way too some day.

  2. I loved this post. I was called too by the Lord and it has been the second best decision I ever made. I am so glad that I followed my heart and listened to him. He does speak to all of us in a different way, I took am one to listen to my heart. We are in our third year now of home schooling. Each day is messy and not always with a happy ending. However each day we are together and it was all worth it! I hope my children feel that way too some day.

  3. This brings tears to my eyes and a memory to my heart. Before I had children, I told a dear, homeschooling friend that, “I’ll homeschool over my dead body!” Well, God is so amazing – he led me to homeschooling and let me live! And what an awesome life it is with my precious, growing-too-fast kiddos. Thanks for your “realness” and encouragement!

  4. Ginny,
    I am very new to your blog and absolutely love it. You make me feel at peace, calm and relaxed just by viewing your photographs. Then I came across this post (more than 3 years after you wrote it!). My children are currently in first grade and pre-K. I have been tossing around the idea of homeschooling ever since my son (the first grader) started preschool. I kept coming up with excuses for why I shouldn’t, but could never shake that nagging feeling. I’ve been getting closer and closer to the fence, but could never make the jump off of it to the other side. Until now. Everything you wrote is exactly how I’ve been feeling for the past two-and-a-half years. And now I know, without a doubt, that it’s the right choice. I just needed to know that someone else has felt that same feeling and made the jump first. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings, and for making that brave jump!

  5. Wonderful post Ginny! You will never regret your decision. My oldest is a Junior and I don't regret one day spent with her….or her 5 siblings. Many blessings on your new school year. SherryPS- We are also a Liberian (and Korean) adoptive family. I had a blog some time ago that you visited, but I had to redo a few things….long story. <a href="http://www.newsatourhouse.blogspot.com” target=”_blank”>www.newsatourhouse.blogspot.com

  6. Wife to the Rockstar says:

    I am so excited for you Ginny. this post made me cry. You always make me cry!

  7. How wonderful it is to have options and to be able to choose whatever feels right for oneself and ones family at the time. Good luck with homeschooling.

  8. Yes. Yes. Yes. I wish I were you.

  9. Ginny lovely post. Follow your heart.

  10. ManyBlessings says:

    I'm so excited for you! These are years you can never get back and to be able to share them with your children is priceless! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Bill and Christina says:

    What an amazing post and an amazing decision. What is so beautiful about homeschooling you captured with your words. Thank you again for your post!Christina

  12. Wow, Ginny, what a great post! And you are the greatest! It took courage and discernment to make that decision and I know you will never regret it. Doing God's will is always right. You are amazingly wise for someone your age. Or for any age, for that matter. What a lovely day with the children. The days won't all be like today, but then you already know that. I love the way you have surrendered your life to the Lord. Total surrender. You are not out there striving for a vibrant relationship with the Lord; you are out there simply living it. You have one goal above all other goals and that is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and to raise your children unto the Lord as He wills. You see sacrifice on your part as merely the sufferings of Christ within you and you glorify God in your obedience to His will. I know God will bless you for this decision. It sure put a smile on your little boy's face, I bet. I'm glad I was, perhaps in some small way, part of your decision to obey that "still, small voice" of God which comes to our conscious minds and shows us the way. You can't go back and do it again. Enjoy your kids, even when they're driving you up the walls!!!Marj P.S. I got my two stitches transferred this morning making the legwarmers ready to continue. But worked on the neck cuff all day, trying to get it done. Then had knitting group tonight, so tomorrow it will be back to the legwarmers … I hope. They are going to be very nice. I'm also working on a collar cuff (sort of a cowl) out of Andean Treasures "Dill." It's going to be nice too and it couldn't be any easier to knit. I've already passed the halfway point and I just cast it on the needles last night. It may be a little small going over my head but Kathleen says it will definitely go over it so I'm taking her at her word. I want to get those legwarmers done! How's your last one coming along? I'll email tomorrow. Marj

  13. Ginny, Great post! I'm so glad you will get to spend every day with your children! I must agree with Jenny – love them, read, and play outside. I know for us with 4 (and soon 10) children, the "grades" had to go (as in, no one is "in" Kindergarten, 1st grade, etc. . . we all just live and learn every day moving forward and learning a little more, loving each other and the Lord. It's been 2.5 years since our 3 Liberian children came home and they are just now in a healthy enough place (emotionally and spiritually and physically) to really begin to learn to read and write (they are currently 9,8, and 6) – I don't regret for a moment that I spent the last 2 years basically reliving the preschool years with them and just helping them to attach and enjoy being a part of a family!

  14. Yes! Beautifully said! Whenever I have doubts about homeschooling they're quickly followed by sadness at the idea of not homeschooling. It does feel like "losing" a child to send her to school. (I know, because my daughter tried school briefly last spring.)

  15. Perfect.

  16. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. We did the same thing. No regrets. Feels SO right, I am so relieved. There will be days……but for today, enjoy your kids!

  18. waldenbunch says:

    It's worth the work and chaos and worries. I have been homeschooling for 15 years and it is a calling on our lives. Difficult with three adopted (and 2 bio) children with learning/emotional disabilities, but it is the only true way for us to capture their hearts. Don't beat yourself up. Take one day at a time. They will learn what God wants them to know.

  19. Good for you! I don't think you will regret it…getting to spend that kind of quality time with your kids is priceless!

  20. Liberia Adoption says:

    Bravo! I will be praying for you!!

  21. laura mouro says:

    Ginny, I loved this–no, you won't regret it. You may have moments in which you regret it (lol!) but big picture, you won't regret it.Can't wait to see you guys soon!Laura

  22. Wow, don't fret their education much at K and 1st grade. if you read to them and they play outside, they are learning more than school!I had the opposite day – I so want to send a few of mine! I doubt I will, but my fall schedule looks insurmountable right now.Jenny

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