For the last two years, God has placed on my heart the desire to home school my children. The thought came like a lightning bolt to my brain, and although I tried like mad to disregard this Divine calling, it unfolded around me. I knew it was from God, because this wasn't a typical Lisa-thought.
The home schooling has gone wonderfully! Both boys are doing amazingly well in their academics. But I sense a need, especially in my middle-schooler, for more co-ed socialization. We have realized for some time the one and a half hour of co-ed hanging out he gets on Sunday isn't cutting it.
I have been praying about this for months. Is he ready to return to the world of (gasp) middle school? Of course he is! Just like before, after I truly gave this issue over to God, clarity of thought happened...to both my son and I!
As I was sitting at the laptop one night, checking out local middle schools, he walked by and asked me what I was doing. Drat! I don't lie... but perhaps this would have been a good opportunity to start! Nope, instead I told him the truth. I told him that I had been in prayer over this very subject and was just feeling drawn to start researching schools.
Afraid that he would not appreciate the way that things had fallen together, he instead told me that, he was also thinking it was time to get back into school.
Wow!! God is so awesome!! He placed this idea on BOTH of our hearts at the same time! Amazing!
I have met lovely moms who feel that 12 years of home schooling is the ONLY way to go, no matter what. I also have a lot of friends (and let's not forget those well-intentioned relatives) who think home schooling was a terrible idea from the beginning, and can list for ME the reasons why. I respect both school's of thought. I really do. But from the get-go I, along with my then-hesitant husband, decided that we were going to let God lead us in this venture. And we have! But we have TWO very different learners in our family.
David is my traditional, motivated, "give me a workbook-and-pencil-and-watch-me-go", kid! Transition is not going to be too difficult for Dave, academically.
Joey, our 7 yr old, is doing a first/second grade curriculum. Joey has ADHD and auditory processing issues. We have chosen to NOT medicate him. These two issues would make traditional classroom learning a challenge, to say the least. So, I am still planning on teaching Joe's core subjects at home. We are blessed to be able to utilize a plethora of learning modalities, which can not be done in a 20 pupil classroom.
Joey and I bounce on exercise balls as we practice our phonics. We read under the dining room table, sometimes under a blanket by flashlight. We sit with our feet in the swimming pool and do our math flashcards. Some days we sit on the grass and do our writing. There are even days we just get in the car and head out to the beach and "DO" science. We'll talk about the waves and the sand and the seagulls. Life is such a huge learning op! Homeschooling STILL has Joe's name written all over it!
The plan, unless God places some road blocks in our way, is to start both boys in a local Christian school on an ISP basis for the remainder of the year. For my readers who are wondering WHAT an ISP is; it is school-talk for "Individualized Study Program". Essentially, the boys will continue their home schooling with me, but attend electives that the school offers with other kids who their own age, and who are enrolled in school full time. These electives are: PE, art, music, Spanish and weekly chapel. The boys can also attend recess and lunch breaks at the school, as to socialize with the other kids. We can take advantage of all electives, or just pick and choose.
Next year, if all goes as planned, Dave will start the 7th grade, at this school, as a full time student. Jr high! Holy moley, it's here!! Joey will still remain on the ISP, but be considered a student at this school for all practical purposes.
If you asked me how I feel, I guess I am a bit ambivalent! Extremely happy and excited on one hand, but a little sad that this special time, with David, may have come to an end. Unbeknownst to me, God really knew what a wonderful time this relationship building time would be for both of us. Now I am blessed to be experiencing the same with my littlest one.
There will certainly be bumps in the road, as the months go forward. I will gladly share with you how things are progressing on both fronts!
In the mean time, I am planning on spending a lot more time in prayer!