I’ve sensed the change coming. I’ve prepared for it. And now the change is here. A typical season even has a different atmosphere during the beginning, middle and end of that season. And over the last few weeks we have been in the transition between the end of one season and the beginning of another. Whilst I don’t want to hurry these last few moments of this season I also don’t want to cling to it when the change from one season to another is a necessary part of life.
John and I have observed our son, continually prayed about his needs and decided that it is time. Time where his needs will be best met by going to school.
Long time readers may see how we’ve slowly prepared him for this new season. I’ve known this time was approaching. Our homeschooling approach has changed in preparation for it. We went from unschooling to using ACE paces to being enrolled in Open Access College. School seems like a natural progression for this young man. I know he’s ready because, for the first time ever, he is keen to go and is looking forward to it.
I have a great relationship with my sons. And I want that to continue. However, I was finding it more and more difficult to maintain our relationship whist being his primary educator. We both found it difficult to go from school marm who is dishing out consequences for assignments not turned in to the supportive, cheerleader, mum that I am naturally am. Our relationship was suffering because of it. That is the main reason he studied through OAC. I wanted him to learn valuable skills in the area of time and resource management. Skills that I simply was not able to teach him nor impart to him by myself.
The year at OAC was beneficial in a few ways. I saw how much he needed the structure, the one-one-one direct instruction, the consequences and the constant pushing. I can’t facilitate that at this time, nor have I for the last few years. So going to school is a natural progression – it’s what he needs in order for him to grow, develop and mature. He has had s solid foundation through his years of homeschooling and it’s time for him to have even greater exposure to the world in ways that will benefit him.
Maybe if our lifestyle and family circumstances were different, school wouldn’t be necessary to further his growth and development but it isn’t different. We are who we are. We don’t live on a homestead. We aren’t self employed. My husband doesn’t work flexi hours. We cannot employ our son in our own business. Some can and that’s great. It’s not our life. Rambo needs to learn further skills and develop tools that we simply cannot facilitate.
For Whose Sake?
It’s times like this that I have to remind myself of the real reason we homeschool. I ask myself, “For My Sake or For The Children’s Sake?”. Is this whole homeschool thing for them or for me? Having had one child attend school from Yr 8 onwards I know the painful process of dealing with homeschool mama pride. My life experiences have taught me that homeschooling is for our children, our family, for us. As long as I’m seeking the Lord and we are putting the needs of our children first, then there is no need for me to worry what others will think. and to do so is a form of pride. Time is too precious to waste on that. Been there, done that. Not going back!
Our goals haven’t changed over the years. They are still process oriented, not product oriented:
- Build and maintain relationships
- Develop the character of his heart
- Develop needed learning skills and a love for them
Not all homeschoolers have the same goals so I’ll try to expand on how the above points are our goals and how we used academics and curricula as a tool:
1. Build and maintain relationships
By working with the child, we grow in intimacy. Using curricula as the tool, I will demonstrate love, grace and patience, thereby building trust. Academics are not the sole priority here but I want him to see that he is much more important to me than forging through a workbook.
2. Develop the character of his heart
Through this time I hope to help my child recognise any wrong attitudes and learn how to deal with them, leading him to submission to Christ.
3. Develop needed learning skills and a love for them
I don’t adhere to any standards of school or state. I don’t follow a syllabus that dictates to me when or how I need to proceed with new disciplines or subjects. Rather, the Holy Spirit reveals my child’s needs to me and I trust that He will shape the approach and requirements for each child. I desire that Jesus Christ become Lord over our education, approach, methodology and processes of learning. Academics and education are secondary to that.
The Freshness of Every New Season
And so he is enrolled, has new uniforms and stationary and is excited to start in year 11 at King Grammar Baptist School. Even though I’m not the one going to school I am giddy with excitement too. We had a tour of the school and I had to wipe the drool from John’s mouth when we were in the Design & Technology rooms! Ah, all that guy stuff – the power, the tools, the equipment! It is a new learning experience for all of us but it was our decision to do what we believe is best for our son at this stage in his life. I am excited that I will be able to support him, guide him, have fun with him and all those great parent type activities (including the discipline, at times. I mean he IS a teen boy. Can you imagine the state of his bedroom?) without being his school marm. Yay!
I also have a fresh vision for Falcon’s education for 2012. I am excited to be able to do lots of one-on-one work with him. I’ll share more of that in future posts. Just imagine, going from a full family of 5 children at home to now having one child at home. Whatever will I do with myself?