Am I the only homeschool mom who uses May for self-assessment?
The truth is, I love homeschooling. It genuinely excites me. But I’m not married to it; I have always said that we will only do it as long as it is working for us. This year had lots of starts and stops with two moves and quite a few life changes and growing pains. This year was not our normal. Jo breezed through and managed to conquer half of the grade ahead, but over all, it’s been more challenging than any year other than Bay’s first.
He finished school yesterday evening- much later in the year than is our usual. He came in and hugged and I loudly thanked Jesus, because phew. We both know. So I got to breathe and pause, and then it was time to reflect. I wasn’t sure what I would be thinking, what I would be looking back at when I “played the tapes”. So here’s where we are:
Every year, the kids get the option to go back to public school. I will not teach under duress; for me, there’s just no sense in it. The only rule I have is that whichever path they choose, they stay on it for the year. Obviously, I also have the power to decide if I see that things aren’t going well.
Certain days, I would have told you that Bay specifically needed to head back; that our relationship was becoming tense from the struggle. I stared it down, took the advice I had received when nursing my E and applied it to homeschooling: You don’t quit on your worst day.
Now that the year is over, I can see that the grand scheme of things is not as bad as those days felt. Through prayer, conversations with Branden, and the big picture hanging in front of me, I am confident saying that we will continue to homeschool next year, per their wishes and mine.
But. Something has to change. For the first time in four years, I need to switch it up. Learning should be fun. It just should, and right now, fun it ain’t. We’ve lost that lovin’ feeling. It wasn’t that I thought what worked in third grade would work in the middle school years so much as it was that I hadn’t given it any real thought at all. Rookie mistake.
So this summer is dedicated to all the learning I can do about some different approaches that may be a good fit. I’m excited and eager to see what we come up with, and what our days look like come next fall. I’m thankful that homeschooling has taught me to be flexible and to think outside of the box, or this decision would have seemed far more black and white. Here’s to the three month break ahead (thanks be to the Father, from whom all blessings flow, y’all), and heading into some new gray area in September. You pray for me and I’ll pray for you.
To end on a happy note, here’s some of my favorite captured moments from our school year: