Tomorrow, at 8 AM South African time, my kids will start going to school. It’s been quite the process for me that goes something like this…
The beginning of December I had a meltdown, like a crying I need to take a walk kind of meltdown. I’ve been homeschooling for 15 months, and while there’s been some sweet and fun moments, it’s been hard, real hard. Most days felt like such a struggle to get my kids motivated to do their school work. I feel like I’ve tried so many different techniques, and still felt like I was trudging through mud. I was exhausted and felt like something had to give. Either I needed to lay down several other responsibilities (particularly around ministry) so that I could have the energy to homeschool, or we needed to explore other options for school for the kids.
I asked myself the question, “If I could choose what I wanted to do, what would it be?” The question was the easy part. Answering it bravely and honestly was the hard part, because, given the choice, I would choose another schooling option.
Insert a flood of emotions, guilt being at the top.
A lie started twirling around in my head that I was choosing work over my kids. Tears, deep breaths, and a walk. An inner turmoil was battling in my heart, and all I knew to do was cry, breathe deep, and walk. In those sweet moments of crying out to God, He started to speak the truth.
What was the most loving for all of us?
I started thinking about my children and how Joshua does so much better academically when he’s around peers. I started thinking about both my kids and how they are social butterflies and love the interaction they can get from others. I started thinking about how I’ve struggled to teach academics in a way that they can understand. I started taking comfort in the peace that was engulfing me as God spoke the truth, and I saw more clearly what choosing the highest good for everyone might be.
I remember people saying to me how good I would be at homeschooling and how much I would love it. I think I’ve tried to attain to something that, quite frankly, I am not and something that drains the life out of me. I love discipleship, and that will not change with my kids. I will still teach them about good character as we live our daily lives, but the rest is not for me in this season.
If you’re wondering, our kids are beyond excited to go to school. That certainly helps. We’ve found a small school (only 12 kids) that seems like just the right fit. They believe the arts are just a part of learning as academics. They are also very flexible with us with traveling (a huge answer to prayer).
It’s a new school year and a new season for us. Expect some first day of school photos in cute uniforms soon.