Monday, October 21, 2013

Why this homeschool family sent our daughter to public school...

Deciding to send our daughter to public school is one of the hardest decisions we have made in a long time.  I wanted to share our story quickly in case any of you have or are battling through similar decisions and know its ok to change your mind!

First of all I never thought I would be a homeschool mom, to be honest I had stereotypes in my head of what homeschool moms and families were like! But when we moved to Virginia many of the friendships that I began to build were with homeschool mommas. These are women that I respect and cherish and love their family, and because of them my idea of homeschooling changed. As a family we began considering homeschooling and decided to give it a trial run last year when Eliana was 4 and Owen was 2. We joined a co-op and were involved in lots of extra curricular adventures. We had a good year and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves in the homeschool realm. After our first year we still weren't sure what curriculum we wanted to use and decided for curriculum we would go another route.

So that takes us to this year, we started our school year the first week of September. We had daily lessons and Owen was really enjoying it.  We started in a new co-op group and both kids were really enjoying our co-op that met on Fridays. But something was missing for Eli, she was clearly not happy.  As an extreme extrovert (like her momma) she was not satisfied with her social time as she was the year before. Our lesson time was a huge strain and her leadership giftings seemed to be getting stifled by only having her brother to "lead".  At first we thought maybe we needed a different curriculum, something more challenging and engaging so we started to look into some other curriculum. By the end of September it was clear something needed to change no one was happy and our days were stressful and disheartening.

As a family we began to pray about sending Eliana to school, we had looked into the schools in the past and had some information on them but really dug deeper. We visited the Christian school and talked about their programs/cost/etc..  We visited the public school and visited with the principal/teacher/counselor/etc.. We really kept the decision within our family because we have such great examples of homeschool families and public school families that we wanted to make sure that our decision was us hearing from the Lord and not everyone else.

After weeks of praying and researching and our daughter begging to go to school - "mom God told me I should go to school, can I go pppplllleeeeeaaaaasssseeeee" We decided as a family to send Eliana to public school.  And today was her first day, she was beyond excited, can't you tell???

As we have began telling people we have had mixed reactions -

"That's so exciting, clearly Eli is excited"
'"Oh I'm so sorry to hear that you had to do that"
"Your starting her in October, that is strange!"
"That's so awesome you were willing to reevaluate and make a change"
"I am confused"
"I think Eliana will really enjoy and thrive in that environment"

I expected and continue to expect mixed reactions, and that's ok.  Taking care of our children is a HARD job and everyone has an opinion on how to do it best.  For our family we will continue to grow and change in the best way to parent our children.  We don't expect their to be a perfect mold for each child and certainly not a mold that will be perfect for other families.  Yes we sent our daughter to school today, and we are excited, and we will continue to pour into her just as we had before.  We haven't turned over parenting to the public school system, but we are using them as a tool in our daughter's life.  I pray if something isn't working out great in your family that you will be willing to change and grow in what is best for your family despite what the reactions of others may be.

Blessings and Prayers - Dawn


Kristen said...

"I pray if something isn't working out great in your family that you will be willing to change and grow in what is best for your family despite what the reactions of others may be."

Love that! I love those pics of Eli, she looks like she's ready for another adventure! :)

Lauren Mills said...

So great that you just let the Lord lead it, Dawn! Flexibility is so huge in parenting, & I love that you felt free to be flexible. Excited for you guys and Eliana!