At the beginning of the school year, I mapped out what my kids would be doing for school this year - we would be homeschooling, as we had done the year before. So, we started homeschooling again. This year, I was so much more prepared; so much more confident. I was excited about the experience and what would be happening.
Not gonna lie: the first week was terrible. I called my mom within the first few days and told her that I was gonna send my son to school, I had already had enough. She talked to me, helped me process and make a game plan and set up a better system for Cade. We did it, and everything went so much smoother. We continued to do Classical Conversations (CC) - which is a fantastic program. The kids and I had begun to make some friends in the program - we probably should've had more of that the first year, but I'm not so great at connecting with people sometimes. It was great to be building a base in that community.
|Elsie's school picture from CC|
|Cade's silly school picture from CC|
But, God had a different plan. Within the first month, there were a number of things that were pointing us straight to enrolling Cade into Riviera Christian School. I won't go into all the details, but it had nothing to do with my ability to homeschool or anything like that, it was just made very obvious that the door was so wide open for Cade to go to that school, that not going through it seemed to be disobeying the Lord. He did everything he could to let us know to go through the door, short of pushing me through it. So, we obeyed.
|First Day at Riviera Christian School|
|First Day at Riviera Christian School|
It has now been a little over a month that Cade has been in 1st Grade at Riviera Christian School and Elsie has been going to the preschool at Riviera 2 days a week. So far, they have been involved in a jog-a-thon,
Cade's gone on a field trip, and Elsie has made applesauce (though she didn't want to eat it). Cade's class also has salmon eggs that the kids are all watching grow and Cade is really enjoying that. We just went on a field trip to Ballyntyne Learning Farm for a field trip where we learned about the life cycle of salmon and other things that were on the farm.
|Cade's class on the field trip|
|At Ballyntyne Learning Farm|
My kids, well, Cade, is really enjoying it. He says the worst part for him is being away from me for so long (melt my heart!). He's loving reading and I love that they are writing so much in class. I'm not so great with making him write at home, so it's been really good for him. He's also in charge of the calendar at school this week, so he's been super excited and proud doing that. Elsie, on the other hand, would rather just stay with mama all the time. I have her go to school so that I can continue to go to my counseling appointment and my Bible Study group on Tuesday and Thursday - and so that she can have some structure from someone other than me. (She is still the screamer that she's always been, so it's nice to have a break from that as well.)
Conclusion: school was the right choice for this year. Is it hard to have my kids (specifically Cade) away from me for that long? Yes. Am I enjoying the break and getting more done with them in school? Yes. 100%, yes. Are they thriving? Yes. Are they better socialized now? Nope - there's no change in that aspect, far as we can tell. Cade's teacher actually told us that Cade is doing great with the other kids and the struggle he has is with speaking out of turn, which (according to his teacher) is common for kids his age. So, take that, society that says kids that are homeschooled aren't socialized enough! :D Am I missing my Classical Conversations and other homeschool friends? Yes. So much. Schedules are harder when your kids are in school, but it does help with the consistency for my kids. Plus, I do not feel as overwhelmed now that someone else is in charge of a lot of their education - I get to just enjoy my time with them. I do miss being a part of it all, but I am grateful for the clear path and I am grateful for my sanity as I actually have a few hours a week where I get to just be. (Although, usually, when I get to just "be" - I be cleaning.) I'm grateful.
So, with that, I will say that stopping homeschooling was a very, very hard decision. I felt like a failure and that all those around me, in my homeschool circle, would look down on me but, thankfully, they haven't.
As my mantra for MOPS and all mamas goes - you do what's best for your family and for your kids. As long as you are doing your best to love on your babies and doing what you believe is best for them, you are doing well, mama. Let's all strive and thrive to be the best mamas we can be.