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Sunday, August 28, 2011

thoughts about not homeschooling.

Tomorrow morning I send my baby off to school. My first child's first day of Kindergarten, (ironically it's my oldest sister who is sending her LAST child off to her first day of her SENIOR year)! The circle of life!

Oh, be still my heart! I'm SO EXCITED FOR HIM. We met his sweet teacher last week and saw his classroom, his eyes just lit up when he entered the room. Upon seeing his teacher for the first time he said, "Hiiii Mrs. Ditzleeer" in the sweetest, kindest, high-pitched voice you ever did hear! (he even drug out his words as written above). "I got this map for you from Dutch Wonderland and here's some meadow tea, it's from my house." He handed her a mason jar full of cold meadow tea and his little tattered map, so delighted with himself! He took a tour of his room and colored a picture, talking with his teacher almost the entire time.

For the past month he has been coming to me each day with a first-day-of-school countdown. He has his own calender on which he crosses out each day, (when he wakes up~~before the day has even begun)! :) And so, each morning he announces with glee how many days until he goes to school. "Only one more day 'til school Mom, I'm getting so tall like you, I'm going to miss you Mom and when I come home you will ask me, 'how was school today Tyler?'"

I have such a peace about not homeschooling him this year, although coming to that decision was not an easy one for me. A lot of internal wrestling. Feeling like a failure. Perhaps I didn't give it my all, if I would have tried harder then it would have worked, gone smoothly, blossomed.

Is something wrong with me? Am I too selfish to even try? These and many, many more questions......a journey working through this was mine this past Summer. Jake really left it up to me, this decision. He understood that it was I who would be taking on the extra workload and he was fully supportive in whatever choice I made. I so appreciate that about him. And he was gentle with me, firm too. He saw the stress I carried in trying to do it all. He saw that there were more days of me not enjoying it, then enjoying it. He didn't like the way things were going around here.And neither did I.

Don't get me wrong, we had a wonderful year together and I do not regret it one bit.  We lived and learned together, so much quality time, we went on lots of field trips, lots of reading and writing and watching Tyler learn before me was exhilarating. Yet it still wasn't working as a whole.  

Maybe my priorities are out of line.  It's my child's EDUCATION so I should TRY HARDER to do it all.  And quite frankly, I WANT to do it all and do it perfectly too. And that's the problem. I see others around me supposedly doing it well, almost effortlessly. But that's not the truth, it's not my priorities that are out of line, it's my PERCEPTION that's out of line.  And I am NOT saying that if you homeschool that you are trying to do it all.  It is a decision that you have come to for your home and it is working for you. And I am happy for you, I celebrate your life and it's ebb and flow.  May this year be more flow then ebb, wherever you choose to educate your children

There are sacrifices made within homeschooling homes that I know nothing of.  Actually, some of my best friends homeschool their children and I DO KNOW just a bit of what they face, they tell me. The sweet times, the challenges, trials, victories, joys and confirmations. And yet, even in talking with them, I still do not fully understand. Can we ever understand someone elses life without living it? The high regard I have for my homeschooling friends is beyond words.

One of my deepest desires is to excel at all I try, at all I put my hand to. And that's not a bad thing, it's when trying to succeed at something comes at the cost of those around me, that's when it crosses over into something unhealthy. Something selfish even. Self-serving and done in my own strength.
Excellence gone bad.

I don't have any clear cut answers, no ABC's as to why it didn't work out with homeschooling him. I just knew it wasn't working for us, within our home and hearts. Not to say it never will, I am open to homeschooling Luke and Paisley or even Tyler at a different stage. I guess the bottom line is this:

And that's fine.
it's fine.

it is o-k.

it's not failure.

Dare I say it might actually be success?
Realizing this and living it out for yourself?

And so, tomorrow morning I send my baby off to school. My first child's first day of Kindergarten.


"Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations."
~Faith Baldwin~

p.s. my apologies to all who may be crying because of the first song, "Hourglass" by Mindy Gledhill.  It's a tear-jerker or maybe it was just me. xoxo.


Mark and Heather Buckwalter said...

i am on the journey with you in letting go of perfectionism, my perceptions and realizing I can not do it all. there is freedom when I can really embrace this. thanks for sharing your heart!
love ya, heather

Jena said...

sending my big girl to second grade and my big boy to first.
just typing that brings tears to my eyes.
My baby has one more year of pre-school before he heads off too.

ahhh.... letting go....

it is a journey indeed.

so excited to hear how Tyler's first day goes for him/you!
ps- if you still want to pop over for coffee some morning this week, I would love that!
xoxo my friend...

Smokers in the Valley said...

One thing i know is there's no such thing as homeschooling perfectly. and when you homeschool there's no such thing as keeping up on the laundry or the dishes perfectly either ;) i have struggled so very much in my choice to continue homeschooling b/c i often find myself saying I CAN'T DO IT ALL!! but my kids like it, they want to do it, "Mom, you would RUIN our lives if you sent us to school" is what I'm told soooo... i do it. for them. but i think that judging from Tyler's enthusiasm you are making a great decision for him at this stage of his little life. i'm sure he will do very well but it still kinda "hurts" to let go, to watch them grow up so quickly!!!

consume me... said...

Blessings to you...and to Tyler as he starts a new year in that sweet little schoolhouse down the street! Letting go of dreams and ideals is not easy, but the peace that overflows once we do is well worth all the pain and anguish in getting there. Knowing what is best for your household is a wise woman's job. May there be confirmation of your decision every morning and every afternoon. ♥

Anonymous said...

Hi Janelle,

I rarely post but I do check out your blog from time to time and enjoy reading your "heart". Thanks for you honest and mothers heart! I struggle often times at feeling like I just can not meet my own expectation, but who cares! Our kids are healthy and are in a loving home. What else matters. So my house is sometimes dirtier than I like, but oh well!

Hope you and Tyler and the rest of the family have a great school year.

Sheila Martin

Sharon said...

No you're right. I'm crying at the words of Hourglass. You see, for the second year I drove two of my children off to college, tucking them all snug into their dorm rooms. Counting down the days until fall break. Skyping, always skyping and texting. There's a new normal...again! And it's ok.

Life is an altered dress for sure! And then it's altered again, and again!

Sarah Gingrich said...

Me too. To be a mother is to be in prayer...

Anonymous said...

Hi Janelle!

I wrote a long winded comment that seemed to get lost when I tried to publish it.

Our kiddos are in kindergarten together. My little girl is Alayna.

I feel like I know you from following your blog and from a few mutual friends that we share.

I really appreciate you sharing your heart on the issue of school. It is a battle that my husband and I discuss every year!! To date we havent homeschooled yet! We have one in fourth, one in second, and one in kindergarten and then a 16 month old. In a nut shell I wrote that it is important to continue to give every area to God and cry out to God on behalf of our children. Just becuz this is the decision we made for this year, I remind myself that it can change any time that we would feel lead to do so. I read something recently...No matter what "school" my children attend home or not, does not bring assurance to their salvation. Neither one will "save" them. They could go to public school their whole life and still become a Christian and live a godly life. We are trying to be intentional in our time with them when they r home. I need to trust God! It can be sooo hard! I never thought this would be a battle every year. God does bring me to a place of peace and trusting him in the end. We didn't make our decision for this year until one week before school started :)

Anyways, thanks for sharing your heart here.


The lady of the house... said...

Kendra~hi! Please introduce yourself if you see me at pickup tomorrow! :) I'd love to meet you, but it might be odd if I walk up to each Mom asking if their name is Kendra!