Monday, November 25, 2013

Giant leap of faith...or at least it feels like one!

After much prayer, discussion, seeking wisdom and ultimately begging and pleading and more prayers from Luke, we have decided to go ahead and home school him.

I can't even believe that I'm saying that.

We are absolutely NOT against home schooling.  In fact, I have always envied the families who do it and do it well.  Before Jessalyn started school, I remember having several discussions about whether or not we should go that route.  We (obviously) eventually decided that she and the boys would go to public school...a decision that we do not regret.  All four of the school aged kids have gone to public school and have done very well.  We have a good relationship with the school, the staff loves on our kids, the kids excel in their academics and they have all made great friendships!

So why decide to home school now?

Since the day Jessalyn started kindergarten, I have always said that they would be in public school until I felt lead (or called) to teach them at home.  I said that we were going to take it year by year, and kid by kid....and see how it went.  And so far, it has gone wonderfully for everyone...except Luke.

Luke does not enjoy school, which is weird, because you would NEVER know it if you saw him there.  His teachers RAVE about him and his leadership qualities and the example that he sets for other kids socially.   He goes to school each day and puts a smile on his face and sucks up the fact that he has a pit in his stomach the entire time and spends every night before at the point of tears not wanting to go back and praying, praying and praying that he can be home schooled.  You would think that something is going on at school..but there is nothing.  Like I said above...he has great friends, is well liked, doesn't struggle with academics etc.

The boy just does not like to be in a group of 20 people all day.  I think that he's an introvert:)

Josh and I spent a long time discussing this.  Do you take a kid out of school just because he hates it?  Nobody really wants to be in school.  I hated school and made it through.  Eventually he's gonna have to go to work and deal.  All of these thoughts were on our mind.

The one thing that I kept coming back to is that Luke IS capable of handling it.  He has proven it for the last 4 years that he has been in school.  He CAN suck it up and manage a day being social when he doesn't want to be...and he does it well.  If he was not capable of doing these things then we would actually be more likely to make him continue in school.

All of that, and I couldn't possibly come up with another excuse as to why I couldn't do it.  I am home all day and have a 9 year old boy who is begging me to teach him from home....I don't have anymore good excuses!
Luke is well aware that home schooling is not going to involve sleeping in late, wearing his pj's all day (well..that might actually happen:), playing video games etc.  I have assured him that it will be a LOT of work and it will probably be harder than what he is used to at school because I will be on top of his every move.  He seems excited about it.  He is beside himself with excitement at the thought of having "Bible" be part of his school.  He loves to learn and read...and learning and reading we will do!

I know that God is orchestrating this whole thing because I have been resisting this for a long time.  On Thursday of last week I started getting serious about putting together a curriculum (thanks to Luke's constant nagging encouragement).  With lots of great counsel from friends and 4 days of research I feel confident with what I've come up with for him.  When I started, I was absolutely overwhelmed and at the point where I thought it was impossible.  But by Friday it all started to 'click' and it just started to fall into place for me.  It was amazing.  I went from completely overwhelmed to "I can do this!" or more like "HE can help me do this!".  I actually started to enjoy the process of choosing programs that would work for Luke and have started to get excited about teaching him!  I KNOW that is God working.

There are two big reasons why I have resisted this for years....pride and fear.

Those are not good things.

The reason I say pride is because I wanted (and still have on the back of my mind) my kids to go to school....having confidence that they would do well, be liked...and ultimately be a constant "pat on the back" for myself.  Every teachers conference, every compliment from someone in the school, every good choice they made...everything.  I wanted my kids in school so the world could see how awesome they are and ultimately how awesome I am.

I'm being brutally honest here.

I read something just yesterday that helped me deal with this pride issue..

At the end of the day, what matters is whether we have pleased Jesus. When it’s all said and done, we’re going to stand before him (2 Corinthians 5:10). Not our family, not our neighbors, not our boss, not our kids, not our colleagues. We will stand before Jesus. We will see him face to face. And in that moment, the only thing that matters is what he thinks. 

....not our kids teachers, not the other parents....

The fear part speaks for itself I think.  Home schooling is a BIG job...HUGE holy wow, my kids education rests in MY lap.  ..and yet, why does that sound so crazy.  I suppose it should seem obvious.

I think God has used Luke's persistence as a kick in the pants for me and the more that I dug into everything, the less fear I have had and the more confidence I have found.

With all of that said, I am not claiming that I will rock this:)  I might actually really stink at it.  Luke might end up hating it.  I might end up hating it.  But, for now my confidence rests in the fact that God is taking care of this entire "leap of faith" and I know that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."!!!

Today I was relieved after meeting with the school principal and Luke's teacher.  Honestly, I kind of dreaded this meeting, not because I was afraid of their opinion, but because I knew that they would be sad to see Luke go.  I am loyal in general and it's hard for me to switch loyalties like this!  For example, when we first moved here I chose a dentist out of the phone book.  We ended up hating this guy.  He was mean and made my kids cry.  When the new Children's Dentistry opened up I knew it was where we needed to go and scheduled appointments right away.  When I had to go to the old jerky dentist to transfer records, I felt SO bad to tell them that we were switching.  It seems silly...he was mean and I knew I was making the right choice, but I still felt bad.

This is how I felt today, telling Luke's teacher and principal.... only I actually LIKE them!

Both of them were completely encouraging and 100% supportive.  I shared my heart with them, explained Luke to them (things that his teacher was already aware of) and explained that I was going to give this a whirl.  I was able to explain that I am not disgruntled with the school and explain that it was nothing that happened this particular year but something that he has felt since starting school.  Although his teacher was pretty sad to see him go, she understands and they both assured me that I can have access to any and all resources and that Luke is welcome to join ANYTHING he wants at the school.  If he wants to jump in on an art class or Spanish or music...he is welcome.  And they of course said they would welcome him back at anytime if we decided that home schooling was going to work out.

Since the serious discussion of home schooling Luke, there has been some other interest forming in the family.  We will see where this all leads's scary and exciting!

Tomorrow will be his last day of school at least for the time being.  I'm still sticking with the "go with the flow" method here.

Rest assured that he will still be given lots of opportunities to practice being social when he doesn't want to be!  He is already on a basketball team with several of his close friends and will be encouraged to take part in as many activities as possible!!

I hopefully will be blogging more about this journey as we go along.

...what have I done???!!!   :)