I have had a lot of questions as to why Todd and I decided to homeschool Sydney and Sean, especially with making the decision for Sean to come home in the middle of the year. I thought is would be best to answer those questions here at cheval glass and allow for comments and discussion through this post.
I never saw myself as a homeschool mom. To be honest, the day I dropped Sydney AND Sean off at HHCA as a 5 yr old and 8 yr old was sad, but I did have that moment of "FREEDOM!" I enjoy my kids so much and I love being a working mom also. It was a great year. I had time to myself and I had time to devote to some areas in my job that I really needed to give attention to that year. I took a sabbatical that year as well and got away. It was a lifechanging experience.
But I sensed in my heart in the first of 2013 that my daughter and I were drifting apart. Sydney is a female version of Todd. Sean is a male version of me. I don't think, respond, process, or in ANYWAY view life the way Sydney does. It has been a wonderful and challenging experience to work at understanding her and how she views life. She was having an amazing 3rd grade (Thank you, Mrs. Buck and Mrs. Atkins!) and was connecting in some ways academically that she had NEVER done before. But for me, our connection as mom and daughter was not something I was content with where it was and where my heart said it was headed. Financially for our family, it was also a positive thing to only have Sean at HHCA. I didn't talk to Sydney about this at all. Todd and I talked about it and prayed about it.
Then as Sydney and I were having dinner one night at Atlanta Bread Company after ballet, she says to me..."Mom, I would like to homeschoool. I would be ok with doing that." What! I had NEVER told her that I was thinking about this! That was the affirmation I needed from her (as only GOD can do!) that this was a good decision. We started in August of 2013 and I was right. We needed to reconnect on SO many things and our Fall was the most AMAZING few months. There were tough days where I had to apologize and days she had to apologize. However, I cannot decribe what the gift of time with your child can do in your relationship with them.
I was actually suprised this was going so well this fall. My work schedule and spending time with her was actually working! However, things were not as great with "the boys." Sean was doing great at HHCA (thanks, Mrs. Boley!) and Todd was doing OK with taking him to school everyday and his own job and seminary. But as Todd and I talked about it, our days had changed to not really being the typical "9-5" routine. The ONLY thing that was like that was Sean being in school. Todd was doing seminary late at night and getting up to take Sean and I was seeing the toll it was taking on him. We also saw some financial things in our future that concerned us about how "tight" we had been living to make everything work. Todd and I prayed about it and decided to go ahead and add Sean to the homeschool adventure as Todd finishes seminary and we accomplish some of our financial goals (Thanks, Dave Ramsey!)
One thing you have to understand about our family is that we make decisions that are based on what's best for the entire family. We always keep in the individual in mind, but I have found after almost 20 years of marriage that this works best for us. We all have to compromise and give so that the family as a unit can operate at its maximum potential. This is just the way we have decided to operate as a family.
We love HHCA. When God leads us, my kids will go back to school there. We feel very strong about a God-view based eduaction. What I discovered this year is HOW important is for me as the mother to be aware when the Holy Spirit leads me to do something. It's not easy and it's scarry sometimes. I'm learning more about trusting God than I ever have in my life. One day at a time.
We just completed our first week with both kids doing homeschool and it actually went better than expected. Sean misses his friends and I'm making a huge effort to give him opportunity to be with them as much as possible. In fact, they both have friends coming over this afternoon. I don't homeschool them the same. I use different curriculum and different ways to motivate them. I will blog about that at another time.
So there it is...why we made the choice. I ask for prayers as you think of us. Feel free to comment here and ask questions. I'm on this homeschool journey for as long as God leads my heart that this is what is best for everyone in our family. One day at a time...