Saturday, January 11, 2014

Why I Stopped Homeschooling and Put My Kids Into School

  I couldn't sleep so I thought I would write out my thoughts just to keep them from rolling around uncontrollably.  (It may help, anyways)  I don't usually write about personal matters on my blog, but I just needed to get all of this out and didn't really know where else to do it.  

The girls did their placement testing for school this week and we got the results yesterday.  My oldest is 11 and is supposed to be in 6th grade.  She is reading at an 8th grade level! Yay! I was so proud of her.  She was a little behind in math, though. We decided to go ahead and place her in 6th grade math and utilize the amazing tutoring program that they have in place at the Middle School.  They have two math lab classes for struggling math students and tutoring before and after school.  So with all that help, she should catch up in no time.  My second oldest did good in math, but is a little behind in reading, which I already kind of knew would happen.  We decided that since most of the subjects require reading, to keep her home the rest of the year.  Since I have two  in school, I can work with her one on one and get her caught up and hopefully she will be caught up for next school year.  

I was thinking about our four years of homeschooling and everything that has happened with our family and I am glad that my kids know anything at all with everything that we have gone through.  One year into homeschooling my husband had a heart attack and was home recovering for about 6 month afterwards. About a year later he went for a checkup and discovered that the blockages in his heart gotten much much worse, so ended he up getting a quintuple bypass surgery.   A few months after the surgery I had a baby.  Not long after that hubby went into a rehabilitation program.  Then we split up and the kids and I moved to north Louisiana and he moved to a small town in the center of the state.  We met almost every weekend in a town in the middle to let a kid or two go visit him for a week, alternating between the three oldest kids. The baby was still breastfeeding and I wasn't ready to part with her.   After doing this for  almost a year, God began to heal our marriage and our family.  When we first split up, I thought we were going to get a divorce, but God didn't let that happen.  He brought us back together.  So the kids and I moved to live with their Papa.  I am amazed that we are not only back together as a family, but we are really doing good! God has made it better than it was before all of this happened.  

I am not telling you all this to make excuses.  I take full responsibility for my kids education.  I did the best I could do under the circumstances.  I know there are people who are thinking that I should have put the kids into school a long time ago with all this that has happened to our family.  When Papa's heart attack first happened, we couldn't look into the future and know that all this was going to happen, so I thought that it would just blow over and we would get caught up again, but then the next thing happened, then the next… the problems just didn't stop coming.  And I am going to say something that you may disagree with and I am ok with that.  I believe that there are things in life that are more important than academics.  Now, before you completely bash my head in, let me explain.  I know that you must know someone who is so completely intelligent, but you find yourself saying about them, "He is so smart, but he just can't get his act together." Or, "She did so good in school, but now that she graduated, she just can't live in the real world." or "he is the smartest dumb person I know," you know, something along those lines.  People can have a lot of knowledge, but don't know what to do with it and it really does them no good.  You can have the knowledge of a brain surgeon, but if you don't know how to handle everyday life, you may end up flipping burgers at McDonalds.  I feel that I have grounded my kids in the word of God, I have taught them coping skills to get through extremely hard situations in life. I have been there for them to cry on my shoulder when Papa wasn't there.  They know that bad things can happen, and that life goes on and you just do the best that you can, and that will go so much farther in real life than knowing algebra.
Math can always be learned, but a broken spirit is hard to mend.  

There is also a group of people who are thinking that I should not put my kids in school and keep homeschooling.  I am still a huge fan of homeschooling.  I love it.  Even with all the bad things that have happened, I loved homeschooling.  But as a wife and a mother, I have been pushed and stretched to the very edge of my sanity and I need a break! Lol!  I really tried to search out every avenue, and there are absolutely no homeschooling groups that I can find. We live in a small town that is just not a homeschool friendly town. And there is just not much to do here.   After 8 months of the kids being cooped up in the house with Joey and I, having no friends and nothing to do, we decided it was best for the mental health of our entire family to enroll our kids into school.   At first I fought it, but finally I realized that is really is the best thing for us right now.  And now I am looking forward to having a break.  I need it.  I feel that one reason that God brought us to the slow pace of Winnfield is so that we can just rest.  Our whole family needs to recuperate from the stress of the past 3 years.  I am looking forward to sending my kids to school and being able to just breathe for a while without having to worry about being solely responsible for my kids education.   

We are beginning a new chapter in our family and I can't wait to see what God has for us.  Hint: He told me it was going to be awesome!