On the day that I dropped my eldest son off for his first day of high school, I signed and took to the Post Office a Letter of Intent for my youngest. Until a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t even know what a ‘Letter of Intent’ was. Basically, it said this:
I am homeschooling Charlie this year.
“Why would you do THAT?!”
“Is he okaaaaaay?”
…and this is the clincher: “R U crazy??”
Those are a few of the initial reactions I have received, and my reply is this…
Sometimes you have a gut feeling about things. Like, you just know when something feels like the right thing to do. Did I know it during his 5th grade year? No. Did I know it when he walked across that stage at 5th grade promotion, my last child to do so? No. Did I know it the first week of Summer? Maybe. And my husband independently knew it, too.
We had not even mentioned it to one another yet, but we both knew it deep down. You know that place, don’t you? The deep down in your bones feeling. It’s what my Mom says is the Holy Spirit speaking to us. Our gut feelings.
They are instinctual and make us uncomfortable for a reason.
They make us uncomfortable because they MAKE US MOVE out from our comfort zone.
Out from what is normal.
Out from what is routine.
Out from what is standardized.
Out from the place where we care what people think.
Out from the place that shelters us.
But into the place where we are being called.
Into the place where we are to tred.
Into the place where we experience growth.
Into the place where the light will shine a little more brightly.
Out on a limb? Absolutely.
But isn’t that the place where we find the good fruit?
I am not a Homeschool Mama. I have never felt equipped for that. Yes, I led Bible study for five or so years for homeschooled children, just never my own. I have always respected families who choose that. It is just something that never crossed my mind to do for any child in our family… until that deep down feeling hit me. And then all the puzzle pieces started falling into place. There was not one sign that I missed or ignored. And if you know me, you know that I am always looking for signs. And seeing them. And the signs have all pointed to Charlie learning from home this year.
This extra year? It is a gift.
And what more can we do for our children… than grant them the gift of our time.
There was only one difficult part of this decision. Out of all of it, just one. And it was walking into the Director’s office of Second Presbyterian Weekday School, where my heart has been for the past 13 years, just a week or so after renewing my contract. Last year was my first year of entering the classroom as Teacher, after having been Parent and Board Member for so many years. Even though I had to adjust to being in a ‘workplace’ again and being worn out from going back to the exhausting 2-and-3-year-old days, time spent in that Orange Room and with my co-workers was a blessing to me. All of it. And I was having to give it away…
But here is what I said that day to my dear friend and mentor in life, as tears streamed down my cheeks and my chest ached with the task of telling her:
“You know how we talk about the whole child? How that is our thing here? How we meet each and every child where he or she is? Well, that is what we will be doing with Charlie this year. Meeting him where he is…“.
And perhaps I am meeting myself where I am, as well. Who knows. What I do know is this: I look with expectancy for a year of learning ahead… a year of learning for both of us.
I’m sure there will be hard days. I’m sure there will be kinks. I am sure there will be days when I wonder what on earth I am doing, and I ask the same questions that people asked me when they first heard me say ‘homeschool’.
But something of which I am certain:
God equips us where He leads us.
And I can guarantee you this:
there will be plenty of Beauty In The Messy to share during our new adventure.