Before the rain came last Monday (yes. The metaphorical rain I prayed for was delivered!), I made a decision. It was always in my soul to do, but a series of “God winks,” confirmations, and my own heart opening my head up to possibilities, it has been reaffirmed over and over to me over the past weeks.
When we moved to Myrtle Beach, it was a given that I would have a position in our new business venture. It was a new career step for me, and while it was exhilarating, challenging, and at the same time ego-crushing and ego-boosting. And as I recorded here, transitioning from being a work-at-home mom was so hard.
Well, the position seems to have only lasted for awhile (understatement and oversimplification, but whateves). And during that ‘while,’ my little girls had a very adventurous and unforgettable summer with their amazing big sister
and then began attending a truly wonderful school where they have been loved on and where they have grown and learned and made friends. My ‘mommy-guilt’ was replaced by a dependency on their school, as it became one of the few constants in their lives – and mine! – over the past six months.
(the Christmas program)
But when it became time to really start thinking about schools for the fall, when Miranda will need to start kindergarten, I found myself dealing with a different frame of mind: avoidance. We had a few options, and none of them were jumping up and screaming, “We are right for you!” There is the public school, and the bus that comes to pick up our sweet neighbor boy at 6:45 in the morning. There are several Christian schools, none in great locations from our current house ‘in the boonies,’ and all with rules about skirts (4 year olds having to wear them and middle-schoolers not being allowed to wear them seems a bit against the laws of nature to me), and the one most appealing to me cost twice as much as the others.
The factors that seemed to surround our decision included our geographic location (we are basically in an unincorporated area that is close or on the way to nothing), our unknown job situations (just a week ago, we were unsure where Rod would be working and whether or not I would need to work and if so where that would be and then what sort of after-care we might need for the girls and of course, whether we could afford private school), and who I have as a support system. Almost every mom I know here works full time outside the home and/or has kids older than mine. All my close friends who are homeschoolers-of-little-ones are back in Illinois. And there is also the question of my own confidence. It’s been a little rocked by decisions gone sour.
Three or so weeks later, I can’t recall the exact moment that it hit me again, like truth. I only remember the series of moments that confirmed it. The sight of Miranda sounding out words with Kirsten on the couch. The friendly librarian who interrupted our reading time to admire it. The preacher whose prophetic words to me were not about my career path or our ‘big thing,’ whatever that might be, but about my own intelligence and ability to train my kids.
You know what my reaction to all this was? Duh.
I am going to homeschool my girls next year.
It’s not all that dramatic. It’s kindergarten, for crying out loud, and I am sticking by my policy that we will take all school decisions one year at a time. But since making this commitment for the fall, I have felt such peace. And, since I made the decision, new projects have been put in front of me to battle for my time commitment. It’s all good. My decision to homeschool is in part so peaceful and comforting because it is a commitment that does not depend on any circumstance:
– money? Don’t need it. I already own the curriculum, and even if I didn’t, I’ve learned a lot about homeschooling for free.
– location? Home. The beach. The library. The state park. Trips to Chicago and Florida and Charleston and North Carolina and Lexington and other places when we can. Since we’re learning about the world, why shouldn’t we see it? Nothing I taught Miranda during our home-preschool time came so alive as the first day I was able to show her the horizon line over the ocean. Suddenly, the idea of the heavens and earth being separated was illustrated before her eyes. Homeschool=everywhere school.
– dress code? We are all finding our own style around here. It’s part of learning and part of growing into who we are, for the girls and for me.
– work? Thankfully, God has provided a job for Rod that is going to meet our needs and settle our concerns. While I have some opportunities before me, they will have to fit in around the anchor of homeschooing my children. They are my job, they are my calling, they are my ministry, first, for this season of our lives.
– support? Well, my HS friends in Chicago are as much an intimate part of our lives as ever, as we can be with 1000 miles between us. I have a strong group of friends here now as well, including past homeschoolers. There is a well-rooted co-op in town that I am reaching out to. And who’s to say which of our family members will be living here by fall…?
–time? This is the one that makes me the most nervous, because the projects on the horizon for me will require me to work and meet deadlines. This is the one that I must work through with my husband and ‘support team’ and godly wisdom. And this is also what will show our family’s unconventional tendencies… Because whatever work I do, my kids are going to be a part of it.
There are so many other positive aspects in my head… the freedom of our schedule… the freedom in our finances… the ability to discover so much about nature, culture, industry, history, and faith with my kids… the time to allow them to follow some of their individual interests, like dance and instruments and swimming.
I am so excited about where we are heading.
Six years ago, my life was forever changed by the promise of motherhood. Today, two lively, creative, and smart little girls need to raised up, and I remember more than ever what a blessing and privilege it is to be allowed to be their mama. They are my heart, and I’m grateful I’ve been reminded to follow it. When it comes to my babies,
it hasn’t led me astray yet.