I had quite a few people ask while I was gone, how the kids back at home were doing. I must brag and say, Iris and Judah did an incredible job of holding things together (with the help of Enoch and Kalina). We had friends and church members out to the house to cover the hours between the kids getting home from school and bedtime. Iris and Judah were responsible to get the little kids ready for school and on the bus, however.
A few of the kids had some rough days. Hezekiah and Tucker each had to be picked up from school once for being sick. Enoch spent a total of two weeks with friends, doing his school work as they did theirs (and he finished his 7th-grade math and started Pre-Algebra. Go, Enoch!)
I arrived home at 11 pm Thursday night and had parent/teacher conferences for all five school kids the next day. I am happy to say that my two kids with IEPs are making measurable progress and the other three are all at the top of their classes. Tucker has already exceeded the reading goals for first grade. I will confess, the only areas my children have to “catch up” in are “homeschool deficits” such as handwriting (something I’ve never pushed). Despite that, they are all thriving.
And now, onto the blessing, yes, blessing of public school. I’m a die-hard homeschooler. The Plan was to homeschool from birth to high school. Plain and simple. Never did we waver or imagine sending our seven-year-olds off for a day of school. But with Apollo’s ongoing health issues Chuck and I felt led to enroll the five younger ones in our local public school. The decision was made only two weeks before the beginning of the school year. What I find so amazing is, we had no idea Apollo would be having a repeat heart surgery and we certainly had no idea it would take place out of state. Yet we followed what we believed to be the Lord’s prompting.
By the time we were making plans to head to Houston for heart surgery, the kids were well-established and comfortable in school. A day at school, teachers and new friends all offered exactly the structure they needed to take them through each day without worrying about their brother or Mama being gone.
Public school has been a blessing for Mordecai and Avi who have far more intensive learning needs than I can address. It has been a blessing to my children who had a safe, secure place to be while I traveled to Houston with Apollo. Public school has offered a variety of new friends for my school kids and Kalina as well. Kalina has met girls her age at school events, including a girl who lives just half a mile down the road from us. In our rural area it’s not easy to find friends who live close by.
It’s been a blessing to our whole family. Chuck and I have no idea how long the younger kids will continue to go to public school. They will certainly finish out this school year, and beyond that, we will re-evaluate for each child.