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The Blessing of Public School

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.



  1. Meg

    I’m generally a lurker and this is my first comment but I’d just like to say wow can I am so impressed with Adalia and Judah – I am 17 myself and find it hard enough to remember to cook dinner / do the washing / draw the curtains etc when my parents are away and I only have to look after myself!! Please give the older kids a big congrats from me cos I really don’t think that there are many 16 year olds that would have been able to have the emotional maturity to keep things running so smoothly for that long as well as presumably keeping on top of their own schoolwork. Also big well done to you – clearly this is testament to your excellent parenting skill! :P
    Glad you’re all home now though. :) xx

  2. Carmen

    Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now, and am so glad Apollo came through his 2nd surgery ok! Like you, we just sent our kids to public school this year after many years of homeschooling, due to my health issues. It has been very good for us in many ways as well- although I do miss the homeschooling lifestyle of having all the kids home all day. I don’t miss the teaching though!

  3. Melissa Knox-Raab

    I’ve been reading this with the avid interest of the how-does-she-do-it? Mom with only three kids to manage–my hat is off to you–I’m amazed, and cheering for Apollo all the time–he is so feisty! Love the photo with the phone cord especially. About homeschooling–always wanted to do it myself, but we’re living in Germany, and the kids have to learn German. I insist on their speaking English at home, read to them all the usual things from the moment I could hold them in my lap–all of Dr. Seuss, The Duchess Bakes a Cake, Rikki-Tikki-Tembo, and bought the outrageously expensive but good Calvert Home school for kindergarten and first grade, so they’d have the songs and the general culture of an American school, too. And then it dawned on me that even if they’re in public school all the real schooling happens at home. Reading, reading, reading–plus what we say and what we believe and how we say it (this is turning into a lecture). And the advantage of their own world at school–which, even though I’m not thrilled with the academics or much else at our local school, is a lot.

  4. Rachel

    Your older children deserve a hardly congratulations for being so awesome and so do you and Chuck for raising such amazing kids.

    Love the new photo on the top of the blog, it is great seeing the whole family.

  5. Michele P

    Know you are so proud of them all! Sounds like they did a great job holding down the fort!
    As far as public school, don’t you just love when The Lord provides just the right newer at just the right time?!!!!

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