Though I have been alluding to the changes I am about to share, I have been reluctant to pour out my heart. The last two years have been filled with frustration, hurt, and tears.
In many ways, I have disconnected myself from the blog. This was not meant to keep you at a distance, but rather to keep the blog upbeat during these heart-breaking struggles.
For the past 4 years, my son has attended a private school where he received an excellent education. Two years ago, my daughter was ready for school.
Thinking she would receive the same caliber of education, we enrolled her. Unfortunately, the product was changed without appropriate notice to parents.
After 2 years of receiving “you make good points,” “we know there are problems with the curriculum,” and “if she can’t get it, then you can do it for her” responses, we have chosen to give our children a solid foundation based on Biblical principals with a variety of well-written, complete curricula at home.
This change is scary. Though I have taught 7th grade language arts, 9th-12th speech and drama, 11th grade English, and college freshmen speech, I’ve never taught multiple grade levels to different students at the same time.
I know there will be many difficult days ahead as Paul and I start Miss 6 at the kindergarten level for the phonics/reading/spelling curriculum and solidify math fact mastery before forging ahead to the suggested second grade curricula. However, laying the foundation, giving her the tools, and showing her how the tools work together is vital to her future success.
Paul and I made this decision after years of attempting to work through the issues. When the result was a brick wall focused on the grades more than the learning process, we knew the door was closed.
Since Miss 6 is missing so much foundation, we did not consider any other school option. Though no school is perfect and I know we will make mistakes, we worked with an exceptional curriculum coordinator to put together our resources for next year.
Our Family’s Reaction
Surprisingly, my children are so excited about this change. I really thought they would be disappointed being away from their friends. Though there is some sadness, they are both excited to learn and tackle subjects that their school friends won’t get.
My son has already had a year of Latin which he will continue. But he will add Greek to his subjects this year which he would not get at the prior school. Then our daughter will add the Latin course Mr. 9 took last year as that curriculum was written for Grades 1-2.
These changes are making the transition easier as we will complete Grade 4 for Mr. 9, complete Grade 2 for Miss 6, and K4 for Miss 4.
For Miss 6, we will get through as much as we can. Due to needing more foundation, we will adjust as needed. With Miss 4, I will work through the kindergarten phonics/reading/spelling program as we focus on printing. She is so excited to be “going to school.”
I did not have either one of my other children take K4, but in light of the home school changes and her willingness, we will start and see how far she wants to go.
Using Time Wisely Reaction
With our family changes, you might wonder how it will affect Using Time Wisely. Well, honestly, I’m not sure. This is my personal blog where I share tips and tricks that I am trying and working through to using time wisely.
With our change at home, I’m sure some of the posts will be focused on our home school activities. Though I have no plans to convert Using Time Wisely into a home school venue, I will share what we are doing, and the progress we are making.
In no way am I advocating that home school is the best option. In fact, my friends who know me are still shocked that we have made the change. I am an educator at heart and saw so many poor products of home schooling.
Though my children went to school, I still did much teaching at home. With bringing our schooling home, I will not need to spend so much time re-teaching items, but rather training my children by giving them tools to solve problems confidently on their own.
This change is going to be filled with ups and downs, and I now feel free to share those with you. Thank you for taking this journey with me. It’s been a hard road getting to this place, but the freedom and release from the burden of undeveloped curricula which I now know was worth that path to the brick wall.
If you are in a situation where you feel like you’re in a maze with no end in sight, then you are not alone. Keep searching. During our struggles, we depended on God’s will for us. We knew and claimed the truth that He never makes mistakes.
At the end of last year, we had not reached a closed door. In fact, after seeing great strides in the first three quarters of this past school year, we thought we might make it through. However, realizing the uphill battle would continue and running straight into a brick wall the fourth quarter, we thanked the Lord for giving us our direct answer to the prayers we prayed.
Life is full of difficulties. Working through them is a learning experience on its own. I’m so thankful for the lessons learned about responding rather than reacting. I’m a better wife, mom, and friend due to the struggles from the past 2 years.
Putting the past behind, we are looking forward to our life changes on the horizon as we embark on home schooling this fall. (Well, if my children have their way, then we might start in late summer.) Either way, I’m embracing this time with my children and the privilege of learning with them. Happy learning!