Thursday, October 18, 2012

Looking at school

What's in my view these days? Schooling, that's what. We're looking at schools. Seems like a simple thing, but because I don't do simple, it's raising all kinds of interesting issues in my heart.

Initially we had planned to keep homeschooling through this transition because it seemed the easiest thing to do and would give some normalcy to life along with time to process with the kids. Our schooling philosophy has always been whatever option seemed to offer the best education for our kids while aligning with our values and lifestyle. Previously, this has always hands down been homeschooling.

And then I went to visit this school in Orlando, a hybrid between private school and homeschool. The kids have teachers who love teaching and do it creatively and wholeheartedly (hmm . . . I can't say that's how I would describe myself). The academics of this place are off the charts. The more I listened, the more I became convinced, "This offers my kids a better education than I can give them."

So I left that informational meeting with a mixture of hope, relief, and not a small measure of feeling unsettled and overwhelmed. The first two seem natural. It's like after years of pushing a large rock up a hill, someone is coming along to say, "Here, can we help you with that?" Yes, gladly!

But the other feelings are ones I don't necessarily want to own. That wonderful meeting about this great educational opportunity for our kids raised in me feelings of failure. I hated realizing that I wasn't doing as well as I could be with our kids. I hated feeling like I might put my kids in this school and people would see the gaps in their education, gaps I didn't cover because I wasn't a "good enough" teacher.

I know, I know. I can hear all the things people tell me when I say these things out loud. Things like how I've done the best I could, how our kids are doing well, how no one's perfect and there is grace for all our lack, how my value isn't about how "successful" I am. They are the things I told myself all that drive home.

You see, these aren't new feelings to me. What is new is trying to peacefully co-exist with them, to talk them down out of their trees, to befriend them and ask them what they really want. I am learning to sidle up next to those feelings and say, "So you like to do things well, huh? Yeah, I suppose a lot of people do. That's a good desire. Too bad we can't always do it as well as we'd like right?" It helps.

See? I told you I don't do simple. But feelings aside, we are moving forward with this. All my well-laid plans and curriculum for the year are being re-evaluated and partly set aside and I'm trying to figure out the balance between trying to make up for those gaps the kids have and the fact that we simply can't do it all in 2 months before they start. In the end, I think I'm really going to enjoy this school view.


  1. appreicate you putting your thoughts out there - i recognize some of them! it's awesome that you have such a great option - and amazing how God always provides!
    best wishes...
    melodie whitaker