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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why Public School Now?

At the end of each school year I wonder, "Should we homeschool next year?"  We take stock of how it went, what's working, what's a total bust. 

All of last year THIS school year was on my mind. We didn't know what age our new little person would be, nor did we have a clue about his background. If his needs were great, I wondered if this would be our year to have the big kids in public school. I wondered if I'd be able to handle nurturing a young one with a hard history and teaching three different grades. (And if ALL that happened to him was to be transferred from his birth mom's arms to my arms, THAT would be big trauma to deal with! It's rarely that simple - if you can call that simple.)

Mind you, we've never been against public school.  We've always felt there are pros and cons to any school situation and I'm so thankful that we have many terrific options in our town. Between "four star" public schools, private schools, several Christan schools and a significant homeschool community, we have amazing support no matter what our choice.

Then we got our referral in May. At the time, a one-year old boy who'd been in two orphanages already in his short life. Now we knew -- a toddler would come home sometime before Christmas. Joy set in, along with mild panic.  I was leaning toward public school even then, but my kids said they WANTED to stay at home. Ava was tired of getting up early every day and "doing the same thing all the time." Chase had NEVER wanted to go to public school (something about being finished by noon and getting to play the rest of the day and eating whenever he wanted.) And even Sammie had gotten the bug out of her system when she saw all the rules Ava had to follow. (Like only eating one time a day and having to pay attention and follow instructions for 7 hours a day!)

So how'd we end up waiting for the bus to pick them up for our little country school yesterday?

Two fairly simple (yet not so simple) things.

One: I sat down to dinner about a month to all three of my kids saying they wanted to go to public school. All three.  You've got to know by now, that I believe some things are just not explainable. Some things that don't come from us. It seemed out of nowhere and totally bowled me over!  Ava confessed she really did like it and would get to be with her BFF. Chase said, "We get recess every day and we won't have really long math!"  (We will be defining "rude awakening" any day now.) And Sammie calmly explained that she'd just like to try it. "I've been homeschooled all along and I just want to see what it's like." I was secretly relieved that her answer wasn't something like, "I fear I'm really not going to like you if we have to spend one more full day together."

Two: as I stewed over all these things -- their hearts plus the feelings I already had -- we got notice to travel for our court trip. My decision was made after our first trip to the orphanage. We spent two hours in a room full of about 15 toddlers. Seven or eight beds on either side of the room -- and nothing else. Nothing. We watched the nannies bring in clothes and change the children one by one in that room. We watched them bring in food and feed them on the floor one by one in that room. We asked if they had toys. They brought out two balls. One was gripped by a little boy the entire time while the rest of the kids played/tried to share/fought with the other one. Because it's the rainy season there, they don't go out to play. It occurred to me in that moment, that our Little Man had probably not ever been out of that room. Prior to this orphanage, he was only crawling, so I'm fairly certain he hadn't left that room either.

Yes, my big kids will be fine in public school. They have a new adventure: learning in ways and about things they simply couldn't in my dining room. Because it was their desire, I won't have Mom-guilt about feeling like I "sent them away."

And I'll be able to spend the next 180 days helping Eyob believe that he matters to SOMEONE more than anything in this world.  That there is someone -- a handful of someones right in these four walls -- that will drop everything to change his clothes when he's dirty, feed him when he's hungry, hold him when he cries, play pat-a-cake and sing songs with him when he's happy.

Or kick a ball -- a whole LOT of balls if he wants.



  1. This is so awesome! I'm so excited for you all!

  2. I love ya' too (and I miss you!) and I think you're awesome for so many reasons. Love to see how God is working in you/your family's lives and all these fun changes. What a roller coaster, but that's what keeps life interesting :)

  3. You are not crazy and no longer a mother of four -- you MUST fix this sooooooon!

    Thanks for your encouragement,