In tenth grade, a new girl showed up. Growing up in a smaller community, to see a new person either meant they had just moved to town or they were one of those people.
Turns out, she was one of them.
She’d spent the first 16 years of her life learning at home. Her skin glowed. She conversed easily. She was beautiful. And she was in AP Geometry & AP Biology & probably AP Teenagehood. She was homeschooled.
We only had one class together. And I’m sorry to admit that I didn’t get to know her. She was the first normal homeschooled peer that I’d met. She didn’t have frizzy or permed hair. She wasn’t socially awkward. She didn’t wear clothes from 1993 or long skirts. She was, well…normal.
Our kids aren’t grade school aged yet. I’m holding my breath for two more years. From what I’ve heard, school systems & their own red tape have changed a bit from the days of Fourth Grade Knighting Ceremonies & recess time that lasted almost two hours. I’m not sure if kids still knit at recess (oh…you didn’t do that?). Or play with POGS. Or exchange trading cards. I’m not sure if they learn about volcanoes & watch Gilligan’s Island during the Earth unit & build dioramas of volcanic islands & explode soda bottles with Alka-Seltzer and Mountain Dew.
I want my kids to be able to do those things. I want them to be able to be kids.
Someone much more motherly, much wiser, with so many more kids than me told me once that homeschooling is a calling. I’ve never EVER considered it my calling. But now, at the crux of preschool enrollment, at the bend of what seems to be the road to childhood, we need to make a choice for our family.
The reality is that we have time. Thankfully, we have time. The decision for enrollment is a solid year away. We still have a full year of preschool left, for heaven’s sake.
At this time, I’m both fearful and hopeful of what that year might hold.
Right now, we are the people who just moved to town. We now just need to decide if we want to belong to the other group, too.
· Be prayerful about what lessons we teach our children.
· Consider the harder road—the one that will yield the most & the best & the most culturally aware children who love the Lord. Realize that the harder road looks different for everyone.
· Make learning a priority, but commit to following their curiosity. Use goals as a suggestion instead of a structure.
· Be structured. Be spontaneous.