Where is Big Ladybug going to go for 1st grade? Well, last February I went “school shopping” to explore all of the options we had in our home town. I fell in love with a little Christian school that was very small and had about 4 to 10 kids per grade. Big ladybug seemed pretty excited about it too.
About 4 weeks before school was to start we received a letter in the mail stating that they had to close the school due to “lack of enrollment.” I was crushed.
Immediately I began to look into our other options.
1) The Catholic Elementary: She attended kindergarten here and enjoyed it, however, we are not a Catholic family and preferred a Christian school for her spiritual needs.
2) The other local Christian school: It was much larger, and big ladybug made it very clear that she had NO interest in attending there.
3) The public elementary school: Her Daddy and I ruled that out immediately, it had never really been an option for our family.
4) Homeschooling: What did you say??? Why would we even consider that?
When big ladybug was asked what she preferred, she jumped up and down and said she wanted to be schooled at home. What? My very social daughter who loved going to school wanted to stay at home and be schooled? Is that even a real possibility for our family? I have two younger children, would I be able to give her the attention that she needs? (I should state that she knows what homeschooling is. Her cousins, her two best friends, are schooled at home. She has been to their house many times in the last two years and joined their classroom activities.) –This is a photo of them.
So after asking her many, many, many times what she would like, and after many hours of constant thought and prayer, I felt that homeschooling would be our best option for this school year. BUT…..what would Daddy think?? In the past I knew that my husband was NOT impressed with the idea of homeschooling. But after seeing that his nieces were not becoming backwards hillbillies, other than what they genetically inherited of course, his view had changed. When I asked him what he thought, he told me the choice was mine. WHAT!!??!!?? I was SHOCKED!!! I was sure that he was going to say “no” I mean, “#!@# NO!” Wow, God gets the credit for softening his heart on this!
So homeschooling it was for us! I was relieved that a decision has been made, but now I had a whole new list of worries and concerns. Would I be able to teach her? What would I teach her? Would we drive each other crazy? Would she be an “unsocialized” homeschooler? Would I have the time and be able to get out when we needed to, with two little babies? Wasn’t I suppose to send her to school so I would have the babies nap times to myself, for my “me time”?
Well the first call I made was to my “seasoned” sister, who was very excited about our decision. She was like a pig- in-poo setting up my school stuff. She was the perfect resource! If you know my sister, you know that she is extremely thorough, or you could say, extremely anal….she does her research. So she helped me to pick out a curriculum, set up our school area, and we were well on our way!
When people ask big ladybug about school she answers with such enthusiasm, that she is homeschooled and darn proud of it! I on the other hand initially would try to avoid mentioning it, because of the look on their faces that seemed to say, “oh great, another unsocialized kid that’s not going to learn anything!” I even had one lady tell big ladybug if she didn’t go to school, she wouldn’t have any friends…..isn’t that nice? Well, I just tell them that when I was uneducated about the whole process and the endless possibilities, I felt that way too. (Like when my sister first told me she was going to school her girls at home. I thought “great, surely your girls aren’t going to turn out quite right!” Boy was I wrong! And I don’t like admitting to her that I am wrong!) I have also had a lot of encouraging remarks, too. But to tell you the truth, now I don’t really care what other people think. I really feel now that this is something God wanted for my family and as long as I am pleasing him, then no one else's opinion should really matter.
We have been in school now for 5 weeks and loving it! We are learning so much! I say “we” because I have learned new things, and relearned stuff that I have forgotten throughout the years. Daddy has also been home from work recovering from two shoulder surgeries, 4 out of our 5 weeks, and has been joining in our class as well! I really think he is enjoying himself, even though he keeps reminding me that he is not the substitute teacher! Now don’t misunderstand me, we definitely have our moments where things go a little bonkers, when you have a 2 year old life doesn’t usually go as planned. Overall, it has been really good for us as a family. I really feel as though we have grown closer through this.
Oh, and as for the “unsocialized homeschooler”, it is quite the contrary. Big ladybug loves people and has had no problem making friends! She is involved in the home school outings such as roller skating, bowling, girl scouts, and is taking a Little House in the Big Woods (Little House on the Prairie) class with her peers. She also attends the children’s ministry at our local church once a week. So between all of that and beginning dance, gymnastics, or synchronized swim team (she is trying to decide), I think she will be just fine!
So stay tuned for the upcoming posts of where our schooling takes place, what our curriculum is, and weekly wrap-ups of what we have learned so far!
My sister has a great blog. If you would like to check out her posts on our Little House in the Big Woods adventure, click here.