Saturday, August 6, 2011

From Homeschool To Public School

After homeschooling last year, my three girls will rise and shine {okay, well, rise...I don't know about shine} very early on Thursday and head back to public school. I'm nervous, and yet, excited. The girls are very excited. They can't wait to be with their friends every day.

My wise friend Ashley, who I quote often, says, Our job as parents is to teach our children to love God and others, and to teach them to grow up to live indepently in the world.

I'm not sure why I felt the need to homeschool last year. But it was a strong leading, so we did it. I can't say I kept the girls from any harm in public school. Or that there was something we did while homeschooling that made a huge impact on them. But, I do know this: I now know my children better...their personalities, their learning strengths and weaknesses. And because of that, I'm prepared to send them into the world of public school, confident that we are all prepared for whatever this year holds.

I'm prepared to help with homework, to talk with teachers about my childrens' learning habits, to get help if we need it. I was never confident in these things before homeschooling. I'm also prepared for my children to hear conversations and words that I'd rather them not; to struggle through being, as well as finding, faithful friends; to see and experience things I might not choose for them. I'm ready, and they're ready, to participate in the public school experience. Before homeschooling, I was terrified of what each day of public school might hold. Now I'm confident that we can be an active part of "the world" without feeling the desire to shelter them.

I think I've taught my children to work out problems on their own: schoolwork-related, as well as relationships. I endured many days last year of hearing, But I can't do this by myself. I need you to help me. But by insisting that they keep trying, they learned how to think for themselves {at least a little bit more than they had been}. I also endured many long days of hearing, She's bothering me. Make her quit. But by insisting that they learn how to work out their differences, after a while, they actually enjoyed each other for extended periods of time. The girls know they can come to me and ask for help about anything, but they also know I'm not going to make a big deal over or fix petty relationship annoyances. {Of course, if someone were intentionally being harmful to them, I'd jump right in!} But I think that's part of teaching them to be independent: sometimes there are things you have to do, and people you have to deal with that you just aren't going to particularly like.

Most importantly, I think we've all learned a little more about loving God and others. They got the chance to be active participants in helping others in ways that otherwise they'd never have had the opportunity. They handed out food to those in need, they entertained precious little children whose parents were getting help, they organized items at a ministry house, they spent time seeing other sweet volunteers serve out of love. And I hope they learned that all of it meant nothing if done without love.

Yes, I'm so thankful they had the opportunity to homeschool last year. And I'm so thankful they have the opportunity to go to public school this year, where hopefully, they can take what they learned last year, and influence other students' lives.

There's just one thing I'm not quite sure we're ready for: the alarm clock!!


  1. God bless you in this new decision. I am sure it will fine, and a positive experience. You can make your presence known by going to the school often and by even being a parent helper.
    I believe in both, homeschool and public but I also believe in being an active participant if you let your children go out of your 'daily care'. It will be interesting to hear what you say as the year ends.

  2. We are thankful for those gals watching our little gals! :D