Bittersweet and the End of an Era
In a few weeks, Bella will go to school, real school, for the first time ever.
I have prayed, in earnest, the past year for God to show me clearly where she should be. Because it was beginning to feel like 100% homeschool wasn’t the most ideal choice for her anymore. I know many of us homeschoolers scoff at everyone freaking about socialization, but for Bella the issue is real. I don’t have a home full of kids or live in a neighborhood full of them. I began to really consider why this year (I didn’t feel this way others) I was so torn on what was best for her.
So I prayed and talked to friends and family and prayed some more. I spent nights up thinking about it. I love, love, love my time with her. She and I have been together since day one. 7 1/2 years of her and I. I love being her primary educator. I especially love that she’s been able to spend so much time with Char and have a close bond with her. This year has been incredible for that.
I really felt (and I apologize if this comes out wrong, please know I am not now or ever bashing public school) that public school was not the answer for us. Our district here focuses heavily on teaching to the test, pushing for college, and their elementary school runs 7:30-3:15. Take time to get there and back and you’re looking at 9 hours a day. I simply couldn’t go from homeschool to waking her up at 6am and not seeing her until nearly dinner. I mean most days she doesn’t even wake up until 7:30.
I found myself still looking at options and wrestling with what God had laid on my heart for her. Did I want her to be home because I was afraid? That’s a terrible reason to homeschool. Did I want her to go to school for more “me” time? Did I want her home because it was the most comfortable? Because I couldn’t give up the identity of a homeschool mom?
So last night, I asked on FB for private school ideas (thinking it wouldn’t matter because we couldn’t afford any and the times to have her there would be the same as public) and one of my friends recommended a homeschool academy here. I immediately googled it and realized it was close by, well established, student led, and – here was the clincher for me – went from 9-2 Monday through Friday.
I was sold. I called this morning and we went for an interview and tour. Bella loved it. I loved it. Char brought a toothbrush to gnaw on so that’s where her attention was. It was perfect for her – a focus on art and science and whole person learning. A self directed curriculum. French and Spanish classes. Piano. Field trips and dance. The ability to customize her learning – maybe she’d be in 2nd grade math but 4th grade reading – they can do that easily.
I paid the fees to hold her spot and signed all the paperwork then and there. It’s not ostentatiously expensive, but it is a chunk. I have such anxiety about money and our finances. Like – whew. Bad. But in the past couple of years I’ve had to really trust God to both provide and show us ways to save. We haven’t made the best choices always, sometimes it’s hard to resist the shiny things 🤣 but we are trying. I believe this has been on my heart and worked out so easily because this is where she is meant to be. The money will follow – through us making some sacrifices and perhaps me being able to work more on writing and Young Living the time she’s in school.
I’m excited for her. For us. It feels like a really good place to be. I hope this transition brings her a lot of happiness. I will miss our full days together but I am so, so thankful for answered prayers for what my heart wanted even when my fears didn’t want to let her go.