Areyna was graciously given a full scholarship in Charlotte to our church's preschool and got a GREAT start. It was nice to have alone-time with Zeke, during that time, before #3 came along and it was only a couple of days a week so it wasn't like it was all day every day.
The only downside to her being in school was that, well, we travel for a living! Let's just say that she didn't get any awards for perfect attendance. In fact, I had to sent a schedule to her teachers to let them know when she'd actually be in class!
Herein lay the first "problem" with sending Areyna off to school. I think she'd be kicked out of school for lack of attendance;)
Josh has been so sweet through this whole process. He has absolutely NO expectation either way and just wants me to do what I feel like God has called us to do as a family! I have his full support, regardless of what I choose, which has been very encouraging. Especially when one day I'm gung-ho about homeschooling, feeling very motivated and self-confident, and the next day I'm feeling totally overwhelmed and inadequate, not to mention the days I'm ready to send my kids off to boarding school in another country, ha!
This whole year I've been floundering around, doing some "homeschooling" but it's been VERY sporadic and inconsistent at best. It's lacked direction and structure. I was just making myself more frustrated than anything.
I decided it was time to start researching the different options.
I attended a homeschool convention last year and, while I thoroughly enjoyed it, I was completely overwhelmed with the vast array of curriculums. I just wanted someone to tell me, "Here, this is what you need...all you need...and this is exactly what you need to do everyday."
I also started looking up our local public and private schools and reading reviews and ratings and checking out pricing, which we totally CAN'T AFFORD by the way.
Then I had a realization.
I was trying to decipher whether we were going to homeschool or not, while KNOWING DEEP DOWN INSIDE that I'd already made the mental choice to homeschool. So, why was I making this first step so difficult? I already knew the answer.
My prayers began to evolve from "where" to "what".
Before I get into that I want to write out a few reasons why we have decided to homeschool.
- We are out of town a lot.
- Traveling and every day life have become our biggest learning strategy. What could be better than hands-on learning?
- Since Josh works from home quite frequently, Areyna feels left out when she is the only one not at home.
- We're not too thrilled about some of the habits she'd pick up in a school (public OR private).
- By deciding to start homeschooling doesn't mean that we are stuck doing this for life. If we get down the road a ways and it doesn't work then we will pray through our next step. I realize that parent/child dynamics change with each child.
- Zeke is a bit slow in the alphabet department=) Don't get me wrong...I know he's only almost 4 but he has absolutely no interest, or attention span, for that matter, in anything alphabet or numbers related, unless it concerns how many minutes until the next meal, or how many guitar picks he needs, HA! I want to have the freedom to invest in his passion and love for music until he is ready to tackle reading and writing.
- I realized that one of the main reasons I wanted to send them off to school was for my "me time". You better believe I KNOW how precious "me time" is and that it is very important for a mother's sanity (as well as everyone else around her). I just couldn't justify my personal selfishness.
- I also realized that the other main thing holding me back was that I didn't know where to start.
This leads me to Part 3. Come back tomorrow and I'll let you know what has been working for us so far.