Wow, the last few weeks have been a blur!
School is going fairly well. There have been several bumps that we are working through. There have been days I wondered why in heaven's name did I even dream about doing this. There have been a LOT of days that I think throwing them on the school bus would be SO much nicer! But then my oldest snuggles up with me at night. My youngest begs for me to read through her lesson with her. Those are the times that I know we made the right decision.
We live in a decent area of town with very good schools. But there has been a shift in how the schools are treating the kids. The first 4 years they were at school I had a sense of true caring in the staff. I could go in and my kids were begging to STAY at school. Then something shifted. Not sure exactly what it was, but bit by bit my kids were coming how with really nasty attitudes, tears over how they were treated by fellow students as well as teachers, and there was no one who would listen to our concerns. When it was time for my oldest to move from the elementary school the middle school I knew that we had to make some decisions. The middle school is huge. The teachers that taught 5th grade had been previous middle school teachers who had been moved into the elementary school because of school changes. These teachers ran the classrooms like a middle school. That would be fine, but there was no real easing into it. There was no sense of caring for the individual student. My oldest has some challenges. The challenges are not severe enough to warrant an individual education plan, but they are bad enough that she needs a bit more attention. Last year in school that was totally missing. My oldest who absolutely LOVES school was now coming home in tears, literally. This child was going to be eaten up in middle school. So the decision was made to try this form of homeschooling for one year. One of my good friends from church assured me that we can't screw them up too badly in only 1 year. Another friend who homeschools all 8 of her children reminded me that we need to learn to be a family again - that our consistent parental love and authority needs to be relearned by everyone, including my husband and myself. So we took the plunge and are now several weeks into the process. My house is not clean (not that this is new), my laundry is still not caught up let alone folded, and we are still searching for some sort of routine. But we are definitely learning to be a family again. The children are back testing boundaries, but appropriately. They are also talking openly with us about many topics. The children are learning how to be supportive of each. Don't misunderstand me, they still compete for our attention and they fight tooth and nail many times a day. But there is a lot less venom when they fuss at each other. I am so thankful that we have this opportunity to grow with our children, to be at the very center of their development so that we can guide and teach them right from wrong and know who their friends are.