Teddy went to his first VBS, his first (and second!) baseball games…
As well as his first camping trip! This trip to the familiar haven of our friends’ parents’ home in central PA was our practice trip for a longer camping adventure later this summer. Teddy did really well. Our biggest fear was that he would escape from the tent and get into mischief in the early morning, but in fact, he loved the tent so much that a few times he escaped INTO it to hang out and look at books during the day!
But the biggest first of all will be happening for our family in just over three weeks, when THREE of our children will be going to public school!
It all began back in the Spring with the thought of sending Lewis. I have enjoyed teaching him, and he has done well at home, but at this point, he can really only be doing schoolwork when I am directly working with him. He has a good attention span and is a hard worker, and I just felt like he could benefit from more direct instruction time than I could give him. So we began the IEP process with our local school.
Over dinner one evening, the other kids began to realize that this was a thing that was really going to be happening, and immediately, Beatrix and Romilly spoke up to say that they wanted to go to school, too!
I’ll admit, I was a bit dismissive at first. We have always said that if any of our children ever wanted to go to school, we would hear them out. So far, whenever anyone has voiced a desire to go to school, it has been followed by, “…so I can ride the bus/have recess/have snow days,” so I wasn’t expecting this conversation to go far, but my girls surprised me.
Romilly, our highly sensitive, tender-hearted introvert, shared that she felt she would never overcome her shyness if she wasn’t pushed outside her comfort zone. After hearing her out, I found (surprisingly) that I agreed with her.
Bea, our bubbly, tomboyish chatterbox, had completely different reasons, but excellent ones. She feels that going to school is part of our shared cultural experience, and she wants to experience school for herself so she is better able to relate to others. (I’ll admit I have been teasing them that Ro needs to go to school so that she can learn to talk to other humans, and Bea needs to go so she can learn to let other humans talk!)
They had gotten past me, but I was fairly certain that Trevor, the die-hard homeschooler of the family, would veto this crazy idea. But you know what? He heard the same thoughtful maturity in our girls that I heard, and gradually, a “we’ll see” turned into a “maybe” and blossomed into a “yes!”
Both of us have a peace with this decision that I never could have imagined I would ever have even six months ago. The girls have never wavered in their resolve. And Lewis loses his mind with excitement every time he sees a school bus, anticipating his big adventure this year. We are all excited. The ones who are staying home are excited for their year, too, though it will look very different without our three public-school adventurers in the mix at home.
And this mama, who in nearly thirteen years of parenting has never sent a child to school, is learning whole new lessons about trusting God and letting go. Not to mention back-to-school shopping!