Friday, June 29

Homeschool. Obedience. Panic Attack.

Last November, Phillip and I made the decision, after lots of prayers and tears, to not re-enroll the boys in the private school they have been in.  It had been something that was heavy on my heart for a while. While in  Ethiopia in November, for our court trip with Emme, I felt like God had spoken to my heart about missions. He impressed on my heart that my first mission was in my home. Right where I am at in this present moment. He has placed me here with these children for very specific reasons and I was to shepherd them and raise them up in a way that glorifies Him. For our family this means homeschooling. Part time. Maybe God meant full-time but I think he really meant part-time.

 Here in the town we live in, we have this great little school that I feel offers the best of both worlds. Home School and School.  It took me until February to come to terms with Parker leaving the friends he has made at his first school. The school he is at is a fantastic school. I love the school and I am sad that we are leaving such a great program behind. Not only are we leaving a great school but, we are leaving our very best friends. That part gets me. But when God calls us to do something, no matter how hard, uncomfortable, challenging or impossible it may seem we must be obedient and follow his voice. His voice is leading me to this school. Here is some info straight from their website:
The Grammar School at Midland Classical Academy exists to provide an excellent academic foundation from a Biblical worldview. The program offered by MCA Grammar School is unique to the community because of the quality academic program combined with a high level of parental involvement. We believe that successful completion of MCA Grammar School will provide an outstanding education in a classical Christian environment and will equip students to succeed in the MCA Upper School and beyond.

Structure of the Grammar School
The Grammar School at Midland Classical Academy operates on a “university model” schedule. In other words, students at the Grammar School attend school two days per week for the core academic program. Fridays are reserved for science and enrichment classes.

MCA seeks to partner with committed Christian families who are willing and able to supervise the home component which complements the school’s three day per week on-campus program. The part-time, on-campus concept allows parents to remain intimately involved in their children’s education, allows tuition to remain substantially below that of traditional private schools, and is practical for those who can effectively supervise their children’s work at home. Typically, teachers introduce concepts and provide schedules of assignments for reinforcement at home. In keeping with the classical tradition for the grammar stage of learning, MCA focuses on achieving an excellent grasp on the fundamentals of each subject, with heavy emphasis on reading classic and high-quality children’s literature and understanding God’s plan and work for mankind through history.

We LOVE what the school stands for. We LOVE the structure and the standard of the school. We LOVE that they will be home more then they are at school. I LOVE having my kids home. Lately I have found myself on the brink of grief that my children are growing and they are growing FAST! a third of my time with Parker is already gone and that saddens me deeply. What a precious season of life I am in. Though it is hard some days and I am getting gray hairs at 25 I love where God has me. I want to cherish each and every moment I have with these little before they are grown and gone to live their own life making memories of their own. OK.. I gotta stop... I am getting weepy.

We hit a little road block with Parker's enrollment. You see, you have to test into the school to find the right place for you. I prepared Parker with encouragement and pep talks and little hand holding prayers before his test. I felt really confident that he would do amazing since he is doing so, so great at the school he is at now. So one morning I took him out of his school to have him "evaluated", that sounds a little better then tested. Or maybe it doesn't ;). 20 minutes later he was finished and I took him back to school. A couple of weeks passed and we received our call for our family interview. (Phillip and I both had to be interviewed...together...not separate) When we sat down, the precious ladies in front of me opened Parkers file and begin to tell me that they were recommending that we hold him back and allow him to do Kindergarten over again. They felt strongly that this would be the best place for him since his fine motor skills aren't developed to where they should be and he only knew 4...Yes 4!! letters of the alphabet. WHAT?! Those poor ladies. The defensive momma bear came up in me. I immediately heard them telling me that Parker was Dumb and couldn't do 1st grade. (Which is so not what they were saying but thats how this momma's ears heard it!) I quickly told them that their test results surprised me because he is one of the top in his class at his school! He can read and he can spell and do numerical tallies, count coins, speak some spanish... I ran through all the things my child can do. I am sure I sounded pretty ridiculous arguing with the professionals who had tested him. What do they know right?! They just don't know how smart and special my son is?! HA! These were real thoughts people. During the rest of the interview, I was in a fog trying to figure out what in the world went wrong. Why did he flop this evaluation?! The meeting was ended, we shook hands and I went on my way. Immediately texting my closets friend who had been praying about this whole ordeal since the very first thought of homeschool came up and told them how crushed and confused I was and what in the world should I do?

After a few weeks of prayer, (they gave us the option to re-test) we decided to retest. We re-tested in early June only for him to flop it again. WHAT?!?! I had even been working on some of the things with him. The sweet teacher showed me how he wrote his name and drew his self portrait. I am not even sure Parker drew that!! Parker is our little artist. He is extremely detailed and artsy. He drew a tiny little stick figure with NO detail and wrote is name with some letter backwards and slanted across 4 lines. The sweet teacher clearly saw my confusion and heartbreak that I so eloquently wore on my face after peering at his work and said "Kindergarten is my recommendation but if you feel like he can do first grade, then we will put him in first grade. You will just have to do double the work at home to get him where he needs to be. I even recommend going to Mardel this summer and getting work books for him to work in and handwriting books for him to practice on before school starts so he doesn't fall behind."

I prayed for several days and decided first grade is where he is supposed to be. I feel like he freezes up when he is around people he doesn't know. Plus the kids HATES performing for people. Everything he does is usually on HIS terms. So I called the school with our decision and they signed him up for first grade.

Yesterday, I went to Mardel to get some work books for us to have special school days for the remaining of the summer. I cannot even begin to explain to you what happened to me yesterday standing there in the school area of Mardel. I picked up one book called Letters per Week and flipped through it. I felt like the entire store was spinning around me and my body started to get hot. I thought I was going to hyper ventilate right there in the homeschool section. I grabbed another, slammed it shut, grabbed another, slammed it shut. Over and over until I nearly came to tears. I was so overwhelmed. Can I really do this? Did I hear God right?? Can I really be disciplined enough to educate my son myself? His whole education relies on my ability to follow through with what I am supposed to do. For those of you who don't know me well, I am a very whimsy, spontaneous and very bird brained. I am not sure I can do this. But I will! I know this is where God has called me. I will follow Him and trust in Him. I want to be so great at this. I left Mardel empty handed...well not exactly Parker scored an awesome $.99 cross necklaces that apparently makes him look like a "real" Christain! HA! But I left without the work books I intended to get. If there are any homeschool moms out there who have any advice I would LOVE what you have to offer. I would love to hear how you do it. Where do you start? What should I get to help him out before school starts? There are way to many options. I am feeling a little crazy and a little unsure that I can really do this.
Will you pray with me? 
For Strength...
These are the book options that sent me into a mini panic attack. I can't hardly even look at them without feeling panicky all over agin. I am pathetic! 

1 comment:

  1. That is so cool that there is a school that supports home schooling like that! I've got a few years to decide yet but I keep going back and forth on the school vs. home school debate. Will be praying for you!


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