Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ever Onward

Five years ago, Mozi Esmé’s first post was published.  It has morphed over time, starting with happy baby updates for family, incorporating more mission-focused posts during our time in Mozambique, running wildly astray into book reviews for a period, settling into a preschooler routine, tackling homeschool product reviews, and lately trickling into… life just taking over.

One constant has been the homeschooling of Miss Esmé.  I tell people we started homeschooling at birth.  And I don’t mean reciting times tables and books of the Bible as I paced the floor with the ever-unsleeping baby – though I did do that as a sleep-deprived-sanity-tactic.  I’m talking about always researching the next developmental step and providing Esmé with appropriate tools to get there.  During infancy, we played classical music and flipped through black-and-white shape flashcards, progressing to bright colored ones.  At four months, I placed a marker in her hand and before she was a year, she was intentionally marking stuff up, much to my chagrin.  As she started to crawl, I was researching how to set up Montessori-style stations.

And so it’s gone.  I’ve relished the time, the magic moments, the amazingly deep spiritual conversations with my amazing big girl.

I’m a believer in the benefits of homeschooling.

And we’ll probably enroll Esmé in public school this month.

About-face?  I’ve struggled with writing this post.  Do I slink off into the night?  Try to justify it?  Get all cheerleader-y about this “new” direction?

I can give you a whole lot more reasons to homeschool than to public school.  I’m not here to convince anyone otherwise.  I’m not listing the reasons, the steps that brought us here.  Maybe next year, next week, things will be different. 

But I AM wondering this.  Are public school and homeschool mutually exclusive?

I see a resounding “yes” coming from the ranks of die-hard fight-for-homeschooling-rights homeschoolers, from those who choose to homeschool on moral grounds.  I cringe a little and duck.  We can get into all kinds of definition arguments, and I’m not feeling strong enough to weather the storm right now, especially when I can make your arguments as well as you can.

But we’ll progress, ever onward. God doesn’t always lead in the direction we’d think, amazingly enough.  This isn’t a cheerleader-y post, but rather one of submission.  That’s all.

Here’s the deal:  30 hours of her 168-hour week, my daughter will be in someone else’s care, with some input from her parents.  We keep tabs on what is going on; what we don’t like, we address.  The rest of the time (82 hours/week if you deduct my sleep-resistant daughter’s sleeptime), we are absolutely homeschooling.

So yes, you’ll still see homeschool-type posts.  I’ve got a curriculum lineup coming shortly.  You’ll see some homeschool product reviews.  You’ll also probably see public school activity posts.  It’s not some split-personality disorder.  It’s our life.

There.  Got that off my chest.  Now we can get on with all the photo posts of awesome summer activities.  Life has been full!


Ticia said...

Of course they're not mutually exclusive, and different times of life require different things. At some point you may be solely homeschooling, but right now you get to do both. Think of the ministry opportunities you'll get because of this that you didn't have before! And how God will grow you in a different ways than if you were homeschooling.

Alicia Johnson said...

I have always had a difficult time relating to the die hard home school philosophy, because I had phenomenal public school experiences. Yet as I raise my boys, I find myself seeking out home school curriculum to help me teach them at home. Your blog is such an inspiration to me as I try to find new ways to help them explore the world. Blessings as you embark on a new phase in your lives!