Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What to do....what not to do....

As school nears, we have been faced with a dilema I was not looking forward to facing. I think I knew we would be making this decision all over again, but I just thought it would be under completely different circumstances. Homeschool or public school? We have been talking about it for about 2-3 weeks now with the girls, here and there, getting a feel for what they are thinking and what they want for this school year. Karly has always been more open to going back to school, but does not want to go if Emma isn't. And Emma just flat out has not even considered going back. There are so many reasons to homeschool and there so many reasons to go to public school.....it's a very hard decision and one we do not take lightly by any means. The top 2 reasons that we homeschool are 1) because we can and 2) the kids grow up so fast that we want to be able to spend time wtih them when we can before it's too late. Thus, I have been beating myself up about this for the last 2 weeks worrying about the decisions to make and how it will affect each one of us. It's so frustrating because this was such a very hard decision for me (us) last year and I went through so much fretting trying to make the right one when I finally realized that I will never know if I made the right decision and I will always, ALWAYS, question if I did the right thing, no matter what. But it was finally time to just be happy with whatever decision we made and make the best of it. And that's what we did. Now I feel like I am back at square one and starting all over with it....what to do?

Since losing Chase, there have been so many things I can not explain. I am truly lost right now. Utterly confused, and truly lost. But when I look back on last school year, I thank God that the girls were home with me. They were a very big part of my pregnancy seeing me grow every day, feeling the baby move, dealing with my mood swings and fatigue, watching me stand up to teach, then sit back down on those little tiny kid chairs during class...and then resort to just teaching class from the 18" tall chair the whole day. But they witnessed something that is precious to me...and to them. The were definitely a part of the pregnancy and new the baby in a way they never would have if they would have been at school all day. I am truly grateful for that and don't know how things worked out that way, but they did. I am also grateful for not having to send them back to school for 4 more weeks after they lost their baby brother right before their own eyes. I could not have done that to them. We needed each other then more than anything and we were able to give that to each other. We finished our curriculum when we were ready to go back to it and we made it happen. For that I am lucky. I also needed the kids with me last year. Again, I can't explain it, but I needed them to be home with me in a way that it was almost overbearing. Physically, psychologically, emotionally. The threats to send them to school when they misbehaved were always empty because in no way could I have really done that.

This year, I am willing to homeschool, if that's the best decision for us, but I also want them to get the best experience with education (and life) possible. I told Emma she can always come back home and I'll homeschool her, that will never change. But school changes every year and she will never get a chance to do this year again in her life. Again, there are several reasons our family likes homeschooling and several more reasons that Emma likes homeschooling, but even though I know there will be times when she is afraid to try something, I don't want that to stop her from trying it. I want her to face it and go after it and feel the accomlishment of overcoming any fears she may have about school.

I don't know what is the right answer. I will never claim that I do. But I do know that I try with all my might to do what is best for my kids. I don't think what is right and what is best are always the same thing because like I said, we don't always know what is right. But we know our kids, we know our family and by all means, we do know what is best. Things change and feelings change and who knows if we will be doing public school at the end of the year, but we are going to give it another shot. The girls are excited. Dad is excited. Reese is excited. And mom thinks she is excited, not 100% sure yet. I just want everybody to be happy, not sad--we have enough of that around here. I'm happy I get to spend time alone with Reese. I'll get to spend more time with Patric, maybe I'll get to go on a few lunch dates again! I'll miss the girls but as long as they are having fun, I'm happy for all of us. I wish I had Chase here to demand as much time as he would have while I was juggling time with the rest of the family, housework, job and all. This place and my life, I'm sure, would have been a tornado, but I would have loved it. For now, though, we can move on with the school decision. There is shopping to be done, supplies to buy, clothes to buy, curriculum books to sell on ebay, the list goes on....

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