On Homeschooling Bella

August 18, 2014

About a month ago, we enrolled Bella at the CDC (Child Development Center) a little ways down the road from our home. It’s an on post child care and early school program that is highly monitored and adorable to boot.

We’ve loved it. I have her going about 3 times a week for a few hours – either so I can work or be in therapy.

Bella's Classroom

A few weeks ago, one of the teachers approached me about her upcoming class for the school year. It’s a morning preschool/PreK and she thought Bella would be a great fit. She showed me her classroom and the teacher inside of me wanted to pack my bags and move in. It was so perfect, with a schedule for the kids I couldn’t have made any more delightful.

I went home and suddenly doubted my desire to homeschool. After all, it was only 8-11am. We could homeschool in the afternoons. I would have time to work and clean, run errands. Bella would be with friends in a wonderful environment and with a great teacher.

What pulled me the most was the thought of normalcy that would come with it. I could be a room mom. My daughter would be in a school setting. After all the things that we’ve had to work through, this would just look so normal to everyone from the outside. We could seem – ok. That was a very huge draw for my heart.

Yet. 

Over the past 2 1/2 weeks or so, I’ve really struggled with the thought of having her in the class. Not only would I still need extra care on certain days when therapy ran past 11 (and have to pay extra on top of the preK fees), but hours were a factor. Bella has a tough time getting to sleep still, so she usually wakes up around 7:30. We’d need to be up by 6:45am five days a week to make it work.

Above all was this: I believe God has laid homeschooling on my heart for a reason. I know, I just know, that if I put her in this program, I will fill that time. That next year, when she is age-ready for public school kindergarten, I will have found ways to fill the time she’s been gone, and undoing that to make time for her will be difficult. I probably won’t do it. I know myself.

As I struggled over this, and these past two weeks have brought more heartache and stress, I asked God if I was even on the right track anymore. Was I being selfish? Should I put her in this program instead of pursuing my desire? Was this even as big of a deal as I was making it? Enroll my kid and move on.

Last Friday the teacher of the class caught me and explained that all of the children in the class would be 3 year olds this year, but not to worry – they usually had a few leave in December and the waiting list 4 year olds would be put in. However, she wanted me to know that the majority of the class learning would be focused on the 3’s because of their number. I listened to her and nodded, but in my heart I knew that was my answer. Bella will be 5 in November. If she were a young 4, I’d still be on the fence. But as a nearly 5 year old, and with us wanting to start kindergarten curriculum with her, a class full of 3 year olds was too big of an age gap. She’s more of a follower than a leader, and I don’t know if not having any peers her age to be with would be the best idea 5 days a week.

With encouragement from my family and friends, I pulled her name off the enrollment list today. While the staff was a bit baffled even as I explained – I know it’s the right decision for us. She’ll still go to the hourly class as needed. We will start school here in a few weeks and if she needs to sleep till 8am, there won’t be any guilt or rushing or fighting about getting ready.

For us, it’s what we’re supposed to be doing right now. I feel good about it, even though there still is a tug when I see that perfect little classroom waiting to open.

I wanted to share this with you in case there is anyone else out there who is feeling this way as school starts. Maybe you’re not sure if you did the right thing – even if your decision was different than mine. What helped me was reading another mama who poured her heart out about waiting another year to school her oldest, so it can’t be just us two that struggle with these feelings of doubt and wondering.

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11 Comments

  • Our Decision to Homeschool – The Un-Coordinated Mommy – Atlanta Mom Blogger

    September 15, 2014 at 9:25 am

    […] school research. One of my favorite bloggers, who I have been following for two or three years, Diane Wrote, also home schools her daughter and has blogged about it. I immediately pulled up her blog and this […]

  • Tracy @ The UnCoordinated Mommy

    August 20, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Oh my goodness, this brought tears to my eyes. I have been following you for years but hadn’t been to your site in quite some time. I just officially, like 30 minutes ago, took my oldest out of preschool for financial reasons. I had to pick one to stay and I chose the younger since he is at that age where he needs to play well with others and learn to share and I felt he needs it more this year. My heart was weighing very heavy with this decision. I went straight to your blog to begin my homeschool research and this was the most recent post. Isn’t it amazing how God speaks to us!!??

    1. Diana

      August 21, 2014 at 9:55 am

      This gave me goosebumps reading it! I’m so glad a little random post I wrote resounded with another mom.

  • Caroline Austin Ashburn

    August 20, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Oh goodness. Don't all mamas "struggle with these feelings of doubt and wondering?" About so many things…..thank you again for your honesty and sharing your thought processes as you made a difficult parenting decision!

  • Chantal

    August 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I’m finding choosing an education path for my child to be extremely difficult. We always said we would homeschool, but now I’m a bit… scared? I don’t know if I CAN do it. I don’t know if it’s the right decision. And yes, she is only TWO. We wouldn’t even start a preschool curriculum until next fall, and then Kindergarten for another two years.

  • Tanya Beckel Redfield

    August 19, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    I struggle with it every fall, and all through the school year. We homeschooled our first son from age 8 until high school, because of a bad situation at our local PS (very rural community, very few options). That bad situation (bad teacher, to put it bluntly, who kept getting moved along with my son's class) is now gone. Our next 3 have gone to PS from kindergarten on and have thrived there but ever year I struggle with guilt…am I just sending them because it is easier for me? Are they getting what they need from the PS or would they be better off at home? But our second child is now a senior, and seeing him with his football team, kids he's known and played with since kindergarten, has put me at ease. Our second son was scared to death of everything and rarely let go of my leg…but last night he was laughing, self confident, planning senior tshirts and posters and such with his teammates as we parents all talked about this being our final year all together, and I knew that for son number 2, PS was the right decision. At home he wouldn't have had the chance to blossom and grow in the ways he needed, and he's always gotten along well with even the most difficult teachers…. sons 3 and 4 are younger, and right now are also having a great experience, but I rest easy in the knowledge that if this changes, we have options and we aren't afraid to use them… I guess what I'm saying is that there is no right or wrong answer, and it's different for every parent and every child. I think you got your "sign" in the age thing, and I think you made the right call, but should you ever feel the call to put Bella in PS, don't feel like you've failed there, either. The important thing is that kids have caring, attentive parents, and you are one, so Bella will be fabulous no matter what!

  • Melody Aylestock

    August 19, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Diana this brought me so much encouragement. I feel like you wrote it directly to me. love you bunches mama. xoxoxo

  • NJ Rongner (@acookieb4dinner)

    August 18, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Malone is headed off to Kinder in the fall, we’ve decided to take his education on a year by year basis. He’s ready to be with his peers and I’m not so sure I’d cut it as a homeschool mama.

    I think that having the flexibility to be with Bella and give her the freedom to learn on her own time table is one of the best gifts you can give her!

    1. Diana

      August 21, 2014 at 9:42 am

      Year by year is the best choice – we’re doing the same here. It leaves me feeling a lot more comfortable too knowing we can be flexible depending on where we live, not just a one track/education mindset.

  • Hildy

    August 18, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    The fact that you’re thinking about this so thoroughly shouts volumes that you’re a great mom who’s concerned about the best possible path for your daughter. Kudos to you!

  • Melissa D

    August 18, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Good job, mama!

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