I never thought:
- I'd go to college in Utah
- I'd be married while still in college
- I'd have kids while still going to school
- I'd be living in Minnesota this long
I set that all up to say, my world was kind of changed this week. Or a very small part of it that feels rather large.
What happened was this. Weeks ago I signed up Sophia for the public school. This was not a decision made lightly. I feel as though we had exhausted other options. I researched private schools and they seemed out of reach (also, expensive). I researched charter schools and had signed up for one but we are #88 on the waitlist (that's just for kindergarten). So, it seemed that public school was what we were left with. What else was there?
We are currently in a Sunday School class about parenting. This past Sunday, Pastor talked about education. That was eye opening and very interesting. Parents are responsible for educating their children (insert: "duh") but how do parents really manage that? What does "responsible" mean? Long story short, I was challenged. We know that the public school is not neutral. There is no such thing as neutrality; that's a lovely façade created by Satan to make us feel secure. I'm not saying she wouldn't do well in the public school or that it wouldn't create some good opportunities. I'm not saying teachers in public schools are bad. What I am saying is simply that the system is not neutral, and in it's lack of neutrality it is taking away God intentionally. There is no prayer in public schools. There is no Bible education. And it isn't that it's not there; it's that there is a hostility towards it. Kids can't pray openly or discuss Jesus without possibly a reprimand.
With that in mind, the Sunday School class was kind of a kick in the butt. We weren't at ease with the public school idea anyway and we were pushed to really look into other options.
Private school? That's a real possibility. Perhaps. We toured some, spoke with some principals and administrators, found out a lot of information about tuition cost and curriculum. Home school? I will say this. I never saw myself as being able to home school. I like the idea, and I admire moms who have done it, but I thought it could never be for me. How do I teach my child... period?
Well, I was brainstorming with Sherri. She came by to go on a walk with me on her birthday and we talked about school options for quite a while. There is a homeschooling co-op type of organization called Classical Conversations. The group is first and foremost: Christian based; second: classical education. The banner on their website, which I think states their "prime directive" (if you will) is "to know God and make Him known." I can get behind that. Christian education should start with God; what else are we equipping for?
So, what this group does is meet once a week. For young elementary years they meet for there hours from 9-12 and do things like gym time, science experiments, music and rhythm lessons, art, etc. and then the "tutors" work with the kids - and parents - and essentially teach the parents how to teach their children. The remainder of the week is spent doing school with the kids. The classical education model is excellent; the charter school I was hoping to get Sophia into follows this model. It starts with the "grammar" phase, so, the building blocks of learning (like learning addition and subtraction and math facts before learning how to use equations). It moves up from there as the kids get older.
I will admit I am still terrified of the idea. Homeschooling? I have run into few other things that make me feel inadequate. But that inadequacy drives me to my knees, which is where I should be. I am on my knees praying for grace and wisdom, and I am also on my knees thanking God for this opportunity and the support of community that I have (namely, Sherri) who is helping me along in this endeavor and being willing to work with my (our) children. The *plan* is to take the girls to this day of schooling, and then Sherri will work with the girls when I am at work and I will work with the girls on my day off.
I do not have fears like "socialization" issues. She has a lot of socialization. I am not worried about the level of education; this curriculum seems to far surpass the local public schools and the girls will be getting more direct guidance. My biggest fear is my own competence.
But for right now, for the fall of 2017, this sounds like an excellent option. I am not going to worry about tomorrow, for it has its own problems. I am going to take this one step at a time. And perhaps I just do Kindergarten with them at home. Perhaps I continue with this Classical Conversations all of the way through high school. We will see what that looks like, but I am excited for the possibilities.
And, providentially, a funny story. When we had first brought this up I decided to look on Craigslist/Facebook marketplace to see what options there might be for school supplies and desks. I was wondering how much student desks would be if parents were getting rid of them, and what the cost might be to try to set up a "school room" in my house. I found a parent who was getting rid of three desks and sent her a message. She originally listed them for $40 but she wanted to just get rid of them and said I could have them for free! WOW. She was driving to a thrift store to get rid of one of them when I contacted her so she just dropped that one on by my house and I went by her house to pick up the other two, so I happen to have three perfectly good school desks! Sophia and Heidi have already staked claim on which desk belongs to who.
So; yes, this sounds overwhelming and crazy and different. Or, at least it does to me. But I am excited about the idea of a God-focused education and spending more time together as a family.
On top of the school change, an added stressor was that on Monday evening I ended up with a ruptured Ovarian cyst. I forgot just how painful those were. Came on all of the sudden and I didn't sleep that night because of the pain. I was afraid to eat and drink, or even take ibuprofen because it was upsetting my stomach so much. Tuesday I went to the doc because he wanted to verify I wouldn't need surgery (I guess made sure it drained?) and everything seemed to be draining. I didn't even have coffee because of my stomach so Wednesday I woke up with a lovely migraine to boot. It took a couple of days before I got my appetite back! By now (Friday) I am back to 100%. Coffee and all. Praising God I didn't need surgery and I recovered so quickly!
|A rare selfie - showing off my awesome hot pink saguaro leggings|
|Sophia's TKO. She tripped and her face hit the floor straight on :(|
|Goofy work training|
|Ridiculously cute Baby Toms|
|Playing with our new desks|
|Chris beating me at our new board game|
|Bethany was trying to drink my coffee...then she saw the phone and wanted to eat it!|
|Heidi getting dressed, specifically, wearing her absolute favorite pair of green socks|
|Sophia learned how to cut with scissors. Paper is EVERYWHERE!|