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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First day of school...some thoughts

As I look through my news feed on Facebook today, I see many smiling children in "first day of school" pictures from my friends...mainly public and private school "first day" pictures.  But I know I have homeschooling friends who are starting today as well.

I have been taking pictures this morning also...I took a picture of each of my boys as they left the house for school.  Each year, school has looked a little different for our family.  This year, my oldest is a junior at the public high school.  He left early, as he is taking an "early bird" class this year.  Our middle son, is starting his freshman year, at the same public high school.  Our youngest, is still in bed as I write this...he is starting his 6th grade year, and he is still at home with me...homeschooling.

Our school journey started out with me teaching my boys at home.  In my life before kids, I student taught at a public elementary school...and thought public school was "the way to go"...I then was blessed with my first teaching job at a private school, and thought that private school was "the way to go"....When my husband and I had our first born, I could barely dream of sending him off to school, and had started teaching for a homeschool co-op...where I met some wonderful students/families.  So when it was time to think of kindergarten, we explored our options and decided to "try" homeschooling for a year.  I started to think that homeschooling was "the way to go".... Our one year homeschooling experiment has turned into 13 years, adding in our other boys as they were ready.  I will never regret that we homeschooled our boys, and I don't think I will ever regret that the two oldest, wanted to go off to school, and we let them go. 

They had been involved in community sports programs, and we had met so many great families, that I could understand why they would like to discover what public school had to offer.

I am thankful for great teachers and great schools in our district.  For the most part, our boys have had teachers that really care about them, and have challenged them to work up to their potential. 

It isn't always easy...I wish I could shelter my boys from the "not so nice" things out there...but that is not reality.  It has been a challenge...they have been challenged to think about what they believe.  I think that has been a positive thing though...they realize that not everyone shares our beliefs, and we can discuss at home the reason that we believe as we do. 

There are pros and cons in every schooling situation.  Sometimes homeschoolers can be critical of families that choose to send their children off to public school (I remember hesitating to tell fellow homeschoolers when we had decided to send our 2 boys to public school)...and I know that families involved in public school can be critical of homeschool families...that is the part that makes me sad.    

So today...whatever method of schooling that your family has chosen for your children, I hope you have a great school year! 

Hats off to the teachers too...public, private and homeschool!

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