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Homeschool….wait what?!

I have decided that I would like to share a little of my world. I feel knowing a bigger picture might help even more…me included! COVID has taught me a lot. Some good, some frustrations, and even some bad. No politics here. I don’t feel that’s my battle. Of course I have opinions, but those are for me and my family. I know I have mentioned things in past posts but I guess I have more to say on it now.

So I’m not here to discuss any of that. I want to share what it has done for us. I look back at 2020 and first glance it was the worst year yet. But you start to peel the layers as you look back on the past months and in all honesty it’s probably been one of the better ones.

I have a husband, 3 kids, 1 dog (did have 2..another post for that). My husband is an insurance agent. I’m a photographer, which really struggled this year. Our oldest, 6th grader, does soccer, basketball and loves building things-legos mostly. Our middle one, 5th grader, does football, basketball, and baseball. He is our athlete and full of energy. Our baby, 3rd grade, does soccer and basketball, and loves building tents, riding her bike, and anything sports related. We have a very busy life. ❤

Back in March, of course school shut down and all of a sudden these 3 loves were home.all.the.time. Sports shut down. It all shut down. Busy was in understatement and boom nothing. Talk about a huge adjustment for us all. I honestly think the ones that had the hardest time was my middle one and me. We are both social butterflies. And also I kind of had my freedom Monday through Friday and now they took that. All up in my space!

You know what we found out we missed the most though, even my introverts?! We missed family. We missed our friends that are like family. We missed our church family. It wasn’t sports. It wasn’t things. It was the relations. I think it’s funny that I find this interesting because God made us for relations. He designed us to have this. I think it taught us about who is real for our family and our life. Who meant the most when the noise all went away. Who he chose to be beside us in this journey.

It set a lot of our priories straight. I was able to pour God and who He is into my kids. I actually had time to go a step deeper with them. Before our life didn’t have much minutes to spare between school and sports. Yes I had things a little messed up. I got what I had prayed for. I wanted the quiet. I want them to know Gods promises. I wanted them to see first hand God working in our lives. My biggest goal with them is that they love Jesus more than anything. This was my time.

Those months and into summer were kind of hard. We love our summer. We love being with friends, swimming, just being free. We didn’t get to do the swimming thing as much. Or honestly not as much friend time. But we had a lot of quiet free time outdoors. Walking trails. Finding water falls. Well finding any kind of water, no matter how dirty.

Not going to lie they did get to see their closer buddies quite often. We just can’t stay locked up. Not in our veins! Our middle one did end up having a baseball season in summer that was insanely busy, but we didn’t completely plan our life around it.

I say all this not to look like everything was just peachy, I say this because I can look back and see the goodness this actually was for us. In the moment the thought of running away wasn’t too hidden. Being so busy before the quietness got to them…and me. Just being us got us all. There were days I had to apologize later for. Guys this parenting thing is HARD. So up til middle of august I was 500% positive they had to go back this fall. It was the last day our school needed to know about “homeschooling” using their online program that something inside me felt unsettled.

My husband and I talked and talked. I talked to their teachers and principals. I talk to my sister in law who does homeschool. I prayed and prayed. Something in me just felt like God wasn’t done with them being home. They ended up extending the dead line for the end of the week. I wrestled with God. I was wish washy when talking to others. Like what is this?! I can’t handle them at home. But I also want to follow Gods path for our life.

We took everything into consideration and decided we would keep them home. Oh and did I say the commitment is for the first semester. Folks that’s 2- 9 weeks. Oh Lord what was I thinking?! I know for a fact it was Gods path for us. I see it. I wish I could tell you obeying Him made life easy. I think it did the quite opposite. It’s been hell. The adjustment. The new programs for the school. The new way of learning. The new way of no time for me. There are 3 of them and 1 of me.

The program the school chose is trash (now this is my opinion!). It has been a nightmare from the start. The work is way too high of a level. Although my elementary kids, their teachers realize this and have modified things which I can’t thank them enough for! They’ve had quite the time too. We are all learning this together. My middle schooler though. The things he has had to do. How many times the program has crashed….in the middle of doing quizzes. This is a whole new level of frustration! It’s almost the end of the first 9 weeks and I do say we are getting a groove. So much brought us to this. Lots of tears, frustration, and wanting to quit. Honestly couple weeks ago I almost pulled him out to do our own curriculum.

They have a percentage system to keep the kids on track. I get why they do that. But for the ones that want perfection, this just adds a whole new level of issues. It was all I could do to get him to do the assignments. I didn’t blame him one bit. My heart was breaking for him. One of the teachers reached out to me, after me knowing something had to change. This poor guy. He was the first one that actually was listening and it just all spilled out. I was throwing everything at him. Shockingly he sounded sincere like he knew my feelings. He was listening. And he was going to help. He did just that too. Now we are still behind that percentage, not as much as we were, but he feels ok with that. The stress levels are not as high. There is just so much writing and he is not a writer.

I can’t tell you how many times I question if I did the right thing. Like hello God I know this is the choice you had for us, it gets at least a little easier, right? Most days I’m stretched beyond my capacity. I mean hasn’t my life been hard enough the past 2 years?

I did say I know for a fact this was the right call for our family for the time right now. I do know that. I just want others to see you can’t always expect life to be easy sailing if you choose his way. Every once and awhile you do get the easy path. But sometimes God wants to teach us something that we might not choose on our own will. This was definitely one of those latter times!

I love that most afternoons we get to do some bible teachings. RightNow media is a huge hit in our house. We are doing a series of What’s in the Bible with Buck Denver. Phil Vischer does it, along with his puppet friends. They have really grasped some deeper meanings of the stories in the Bible. Some catchy songs that I hear them sing around the house. So this part of it has been worth it. I did get what I prayed for!

I did just have surgery (another post) and having to rely on someone to take them to 3 different schools for at least 2 weeks was a lot. I knew before school started that this would be happening this fall.

Even with being at home, the kids get to see their friends. We plan park lunches and other things with the other friends at home too. It is soccer and football season so that threw us right back into the crazy. We get a little quiet time in afternoon before it’s run run run. This would not have happened if they went to school.

The whole mask thing was also a game changer for us. We have our reasonings that I don’t feel I need to share. Our plan if we can get on track is to maybe take a day off here and there and go find adventures in trails and waterfalls. This is our family time. I want this to be a priority. It’s in nature where we truly see the miracle of God. It’s where we are the happiest. (Although the beach is probably a little happier for me).

So did we make the right call? Yes I think so. Has it been easy? Absolutely not. Are we facing things that have meaning that we wouldn’t have going to school? Again absolutely. I feel I could go on more about this but this has become lengthy enough. For that mom that is in the same spot as us or thinking about it, we can do this! Just make sure it’s Gods calling for your family first. The outcome will be different for every family as we all have different values and stories. Will be praying for all the moms out there just trying to survive this stage of life! 💜