[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] I [/dropcap] am a pray for two days, make a quick decision, sink or swim type person while my husband is a methodical, think it all through, pray lots decision maker. When we first married, this was one of our biggest areas of conflict, and thankfully, 6+ years later, we now know each other better and are able to make decisions together without tons of drama. And right now, we’re approaching a timeframe of needing to make lots of decisions, but trying to avoid them. Actually maybe not avoid them, but just not discussing them ahead of time and choosing instead to take them one at a time, as they come, which is totally working for me right now.
Our latest decision to make was what to do about Ryder and schooling/daycare for next fall. Unfortunately, preschools ask you to register 6 months ahead of time!! Sheesh louise. We also had to decide if he should attend summer school as his preschool continues classes through to the first of August. Obviously, with my work schedule, we need for him to stay in school. And Mark felt that it kind of answered the question by itself. But I wanted to be very smart, prayerful, careful about what we decide; maybe I’m becoming more and more like Mark . . .? So I actually spent a lot of time praying and considering the question. And long story short, I started to notice how Ryder is so happy going to school right now. He loves his teachers, loves having friends, and is growing tremendously. I feel like it’s really helped him to get out of the tantrum, emotional drama, the world revolves around me phase, and I see so much maturity building in him every week. So I felt that Mark was right in saying that we should commit another year to this school; plus, it’s the last year that he can go. Why not make the most of it?
And interestingly enough, in my planning, always thinking about the future mind, I also started to pray about the idea of homeschooling Ryder the following year. It seems silly as who knows where we’ll be in 1.5 years. It seems ridiculous to think about now. But it seemed right to consider it, ponder it, and start thinking about it. I had previously rejected the idea because I felt that Ryder is so difficult to handle; I did not feel qualified to be his teacher. Yet something I’ve realized from Ryder’s teachers is that they don’t force him to be or do what all the other students are. He hates painting, hates getting messy, and is not interested in crafts that require mess. He is always the child who has the artwork that is different from the rest due to his unwillingness to hand paint, use a lot of glue, or make an artsy mess. He is mechanical, movement oriented, and into other types of things. His teachers have also told me that he does not like loud noises (which has been true from birth), so they’ve been very slow to get him involved in instrument/music class. He loves music, but not when it’s 24 kids all together banging on chimes, whistles, drums, etc. And they’re totally fine with that; just recently, he has started to really enjoy singing, which is so different from his younger brother who sings all the time. Yet Ryder had to get interested in it in his own timeframe, which is okay. His teachers are totally okay with that, so why wouldn’t be? I know my son quite well, and I know what highly interests him and what does not. I’ve started to pay attention to when he wants to learn and listen and at what point or with which activities he tunes out. I’m trying to be more aware of his cues, likes, and dislikes. It’s allowing for me to feel less terrified of the thought of teaching him myself, and it’s actually making me think that maybe he and I really could do the homeschool thing.
Yet more than any of that, I’m also realizing that our culture is so far away from the culture that we’re raising our kids in. There is no way on earth you could get me to enroll my child in a school that teaches sex ed in kindergarten, that teaches that gay rights are the same as civil (racial) rights, or that teaches that there is no right and wrong and no absolutes. NO WAY ON THIS PLANET. Why would I teach my child to honor God, to be respectful, to value life, to know the difference between what pleases God and what does not, and then send him into an 8 hour per day environment that teaches him everything contrary? Especially when he is so young? If we can’t afford to send our children to a good Christian school or find a charter school that somehow honors God, then homeschooling is our only other choice. And it’s made me think a lot about the UK, about other places that we’ve considered moving to, and made me think that it would be very smart to continue praying, continue seeking God about this very important question, and to start keeping my eyes and ears open. It’s making me very aware of the fact that the home is the number one place where our children learn (right now), and how can I impart Godly values to them as much as possible now, while they’re so little and learning so much.
I have no idea where tomorrow may take us, and yet I don’t want to be an unwise parent and not consider my children’s future. We already know that school registration comes so much earlier than we ever thought. I don’t want to be surprised and have to take 2 weeks to make a very big decision next year. And above all, I feel like it’s the right time to consider all of this, and I don’t want to ignore that feeling. So I’m just processing all of this, thinking, considering, and praying. I hope that makes sense . . . thanks for reading the thoughts of a learning mommy.
P.S. If your kids go to public school, please don’t take this post offensively. I am not for public school, especially in the town that we live in, but I understand that everyone has a different opinion. It’s your children and your decision. These are my thoughts, my opinions, and my feelings, and I’m speaking specifically about small children. I don’t have middle school or high school kids who have their own feelings on where they go to school. I’m responsible for my kids, and in this town that we live in and in this day and age, public school is not an option at this time for us. So just food for thought . . . it’s not to get anyone wound up or to make anyone feel bad that they’ve chosen otherwise. Your choice is none of my business, and I would not criticize it.