It’s been deep discussion ever since moving. We have felt so invigorated to really settle in and make Tennessee home, to establish new friendships and grow roots that will carry us through the years here. And I think each of us wanted to feel that public school was the next step. Having left Arizona and the education system there with its issues and shortcomings, we were thrilled to know that we were moving to an area with a top-rated school district. One that has thrown Common Core out and who continues to perform high throughout all of its schools.
However, homeschooling, or hackschooling as we fondly refer to it in our home, changes you as a family that I don’t think we are quite ready to give up. So, our homeschool journey continues.
Maybe it’s perhaps due to all of the other changes we have experienced in a short time. Moving to a new place where we know no one. Leaving all of our family and friends. Getting settled in a new church family and Jarett also beginning a new phase of working outside the home. Whatever it is, the idea of keeping something the same brings so much comfort. At least for now.
And my feeling of being torn in two directions has not lessened even after almost a year of doing this. I still struggle with the idea of my children not having the experiences I had and have always known to be “normal”, but I also know that times have changed and childhood isn’t what it used to be. And while sharing that thought breaks my heart, I believe it to be true.
It’s true in the reform sex education has been given in California schools. And how the subject of gender identity is now seeping into Kindergarten classrooms in certain parts of the country. And how us parents are told to keep children home when they are sick, but are then sent letters threatening court if they have missed more than a specified number of days. And being involved in a lockdown last year and seeing the terror in those students faces – it’s something I will never forget.
Don’t get me wrong. Homeschooling has been the hardest thing I could have ever taken on. I run two businesses and now handle day-to-day life on my own with Jarett’s new position. I’m not the best daughter, or sister, or friend, and it’s because my life is dedicated to helping provide for our family as well as give my children the best education I can. I only have so many hours in each day and my family comes first and make no mistake about it, I am one hundred percent OK with that. I have to be because I have one shot at this. And these kids deserve the very best I have to give. My absolute best.
But in the same breath that I tell you it’s a lot of work, I can also tell you about the numerous blessings we have experienced as a family that homeschooling has brought us. It’s in the scripture study we are able to enjoy daily and as a family. Where we have the quality time to truly study and pray and always put God first before anything else. It’s in the slow mornings and the later evenings, where discussions organically happen and where we are able to spend the time with our kids to share meaningful thoughts. It’s in the responsibility my kids have learned in keeping the home a peaceful and clean place and working together as a team on it. It’s in the quality one-on-one time I have with each of them to help them with their specific and individual needs.
It’s in the joy of seeing them learn a new concept or finally make a connection with some aspect of their studies that lights them up. It’s in the time we have experienced together as a family. Time that I will cherish for decades to come as I hope they do too. It is not lost on me how unique a situation this is and how blessed we are for the opportunity to do it. And for that, I try to not take a single moment for granted. Even in the harder and more stressful times. Because in the world we live in and all that our children are exposed to, that is a gift.
And while I don’t know what the future brings or what we will decide is best for us next year, I know that our family is thriving in homeschooling. The work done in the walls of our home is priceless and more important above anything else. And so our homeschool journey continues…