A new era is beginning! We’re homeschooling next year! An official homeschool family, that’s us!
And I’m scared spitless.
Here’s how it all goes down — Years ago, before we had children, Dominic and I tossed around the idea of homeschooling someday. It’s easy to talk about someday plans. So easy. We are practically professionals at someday plans! But then, one day, you wake up and “someday” is “today”.
So, here we are … today.
Jemma will be starting kindergarten in the Fall and by then the boys will be newly 4 years old and 8 months old/most likely crawling. That combination made homeschooling sound like a bad idea to me. So, imagining our life come Fall, I told Dominic that for this year at least, homeschooling was not for us.
He agreed, because he’s the bomb at backing me up (when I can logically walk him through my thought process) and we started assessing other school options. You see, we’re not ready for the financial commitment of private school, but I didn’t want to just default to our neighborhood elementary school. That put us on the track of tossing our names in the lottery at the alternatives schools. We attended 5 different open houses and entered 3 lotteries. Then, we waited.
In my vain attempt to trust the Lord, I prayed, “God, if one of these schools is a good fit for Jemma, please, oh please, help her get in.” I added a half-hearted, “… and if you want me to homeschool next year, don’t let her get in to any of them and then I guess I’ll figure out how to make the best of homeschooling even though I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
Dom liked the Montessori school best. I liked the earthy school that boasted a child-tended garden and painted murals in the hallways. We crossed our fingers and hoped that she would get in to one or the other.
I, anxiously, and Dom, patiently, waited until mid-April when the schools promised to send acceptance letters and/or waitlist numbers. And, guess what? Jemma was offered a spot at the Montessori school! Eek! We were so excited and couldn’t wait to break the news to Jemma! Up until this point we had kept all the schooling talk under wraps so she wouldn’t have to go through the roller coaster with us. We celebrated with Chipotle for dinner and chatted all about the awesomeness of Jemma’s upcoming kindergarten year.
Then we got 2 waitlist letters – at one school Jemma was spot #5, the other, #6. Such good odds!
Then Dominic and I visited the Montessori school to see the classroom in action.
Then another letter arrived, Jemma had moved up to waitlist spot #1 at the earthy school!
Before we knew it, it looked like we were going to get to pick between our top 2 schools!
Then we had a change of heart …
For so many reasons, sending Jemma off to school for 6+ hours each day just didn’t feel right. Even if it was a awesome, top pick school. I started imagining us homeschooling. A book would catch my eye and I’d think, “Gosh, that would be a fun unit study” or I’d see a post online for a free printable and save it “just in case”. I finally shared my wavering with Dominic. And he echoed what I was feeling. Maybe, just maybe, we needed to revisit the idea of homeschooling.
And that was that. Pretty much, once I voiced my fresh interest in homeschooling we went full throttle in that direction, trusting that the Lord had changed my heart and given me peace to do something hard and fantastic for our family despite all the reasons not to.
We withdrew from the Montessori school and when the call came for Jemma to accept a spot at the school I loved last week, I cheerfully passed it on to the next family in line. Because, you guys, we are officially homeschoolers!!! And it feels good. It feels right. And I’m excited!
We went on a long, round about road to return to our original plan – Dominic will never let me forget this! – but I guess that’s what I needed. I had to explore every possible option to feel fully committed to homeschooling. But I’m there now, 100% in, and that’s all that matters. Bring on the curriculum research! This gal is gonna add homeschool mama to her resume!
And yes, of course, I’ll totally share a post about all the books and resources we decide to kick off our year with soon … I’m so glad you asked :)