I’ve recently been confronted with the fact that my son may be starting school in about a year. This is mind boggling. It turns out that people really aren’t kidding when they say that these precious years are so fleeting. Between realizing that Jerry could be starting school in the fall of 2013 and noting that the sandals I bought him earlier this summer are close to not fitting him anymore, I’m sensing that he is truly working on transitioning to being a full fledged big boy. This makes me feel overjoyed but at the same time, I can’t fully convey how bittersweet this all feels.
Now knowing that having a school age child is literally around the corner (and trying to uncoil myself from the mental fetal position I feel like my brain is in since realizing my little guy could potentially not be at home full time in 13 months) my brain has been churning with thoughts about how I want to see my child (and children) educated. I’m trying to fully discern how I feel about public, private and homeschooling education paths.
I used to think homeschooling wasn’t for me. I would want to see my children socialized and have the same schooling experiences that Rob and I had. After all, we are literally a mile away from the elementary school we went to, which also happens to be one of the best in the county. It would seem like an absolute no-brainer that this would be where our babies would spend their early education years.
Enter divine intervention.
Lately, I’ve had a check in my spirit about my kiddos attending elementary school. I can only say that I feel like God is changing both my mind and my heart on the issue. Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking on, and am proud of, my education through the public system. But I also don’t think I can confidently say that I feel education is a one size fits all thing. Each child is different. Each method has its pros and cons.
So with some time spent online researching one thing or another I’ve concluded that…as of yet I don’t have a conclusion. I’m not sure how I’ll be seeing these schooling-years through. But as I am at the cusp of what could be the last year of Jerry being at home full time, I do feel like I’ve decided on my approach for the next year (or potentially two) and how my special guy, and gal, and I will spend it.
I came across a website today that I have really enjoyed reading. On top of providing good information on theories of early childhood education and development, it also has a fantastic list of ideas for activities and simple everyday experiences that any parent can take part in, capitalize on and enjoy with their child.
I’ve copied and pasted a poem at the end of this post that best sums up how I feel in my heart about the next year. A great reminder for any mom, be she preparing to send her babies to school for the first time or for another year, or about to embark on home schooling her littles come this fall. Learning doesn’t end at the end of a school day. Every moment we have with them is precious and an opportunity to not only teach and encourage them but also an opportunity to enjoy them and the blessing they are to us.
And who knows, no matter how your baby is educated, maybe we will learn a thing or two (or twelve) yourselves.
“I Took His Hand and Followed.”
by: Mrs. Roy Piefer
My dishes went unwashed today,
I didn’t make the bed,
I took his hand and followed
Where his eager footsteps led.
Oh yes, we went adventuring,
My little son and I…
Exploring all the great outdoors
Beneath the summer sky
We waded in a crystal stream,
We wandered through a wood…
My kitchen wasn’t swept today
But life was gay and good.
We found a cool, sun-dappled glade
And now my small son knows
How Mother Bunny hides her nest,
Where jack-in-the-pulpit grows.
We watched a robin feed her young,
We climbed a sunlit hill…
Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky,
We plucked a daffodil.
That my house was neglected,
That I didn’t brush the stairs,
In twenty years, no one on earth
Will know, or even care.
But that I’ve helped my little boy
To noble manhood grow,
In twenty years, the whole wide world
May look and see and know.