Back To School!

I’m back!  I had intended for this first post to be an explanation for my absence but something came up today that I had to write about.  I will explain my absence later.

Today was the first official day of school in our county.  As homeschoolers we don’t have an official first day of school in our house, mainly because we school most of the year.  I’ve found that the kids retain much more, and it’s easier to stay on top of things if we just keep going year round.  Also, my kids hardly ever finish all of their books at the same time.  Schooling this way allows them to move on to the next book when they’re ready, continuing in an area they may be strong in and spending more time in an area of weakness if needed.

I’ve always known our family is different; we do most things counter culture.  We’ve accepted it and don’t think much about it.  We feel that a single income family, with a stay-at-home, homeschooling parent is the best thing for our children and our family.  We feel that it not only provides for an excellent education, but also allows us to tailor the education for the individual student and allow them to mature at their own rate.  We also believe that spending time as a family creates for bonding and life-long healthy relationships amongst siblings.  We also truly believe that we are called as parents to be the primary educators of our children.  After all God entrusted them to us, to raise for His kingdom.  We don’t feel that we can adequately do that, if the kids are away from home for most of their waking hours.  Do we believe this way of life is for everyone?  Absolutely not!  We are all individuals and have different personalities.  We believe homeschooling is a calling.  Traditional schooling definitely has its place and is needed.  We do not judge anyone for choosing to homeschool or not to homeschool.  I’m simply saying this is a way of life that we have chosen for our family.

But anyway, back to the first day of school.  Knowing we are different is one thing, but there are some moments that just scream out how different we are.  On my way to the doctors this morning I changed the station from our traditional Christian radio station (one of my not so favorite songs was on) to a secular station.  The DJ said “So I’ve had my first back to school complaint.”  He proceeded to go on with a discussion involving, I’m assuming a teenager.  The caller was commenting on all the calls from parents, excited that the kids are back in school so they can have their lives back.  But, what about the kids who are excited to be back in school and finally away from their parents?  The DJ then proceeded to play a dialog between two parents saying.

Woman - “Love you, have fun on your first day at school.”
Man – “Thank God!  We finally have our marriage and time to ourselves!  I guess we should remember to pick him up after school.”
Woman - “Who?”
Man – “Uh, you know what’s his name.”

I was appalled to hear this!  I was sad that the caller felt that way about her parents.  Worse yet that parents feel that way about their kids.

I switched back to the Christian radio station and they were a bit better.  They were at least acknowledging parents that were sad about children going back to school or starting for the first time.  But, they also talked about all the parents who were having a “woo hoo” breakfast, celebrating the end of summer.  They did say that they were praying for all the families and kidos who were going back to school.  But, somehow all I could focus on was the parents that were woo hoooing the beginning of school.

Hearing all of it this morning was like a cold bucket of water thrown in my face.  It made me realize just how different we are.  I CAN’T imagine spending my day with any other people!  I absolutely, desire to spend my days with my five children!  And, my kids don’t understand being away from their siblings.  I had someone in a medical profession tell me that my problem was I need to put my kids in school and put my feet up.  Someone else in the medical profession told me that I needed to put my three year old in day care so he can learn how to be independent.  REALLY!!!  Independent at three!  Should I type up his resume so he can get a job too!  All he knows is to be with his siblings and doesn’t understand not being with at least one of them.  You know what, he has no attachment issues with me or his father at all.  And you know what else his older siblings are very independent and do lots of things by themselves now that they are older.  They also are very confident about themselves and who they are.  Does that mean our days are perfect and everybody always gets along?  NO WAY!  There are days I’d love a day off, and I know there are days my kids would love being an only child for a day or two.  But overall none of us would have it any other way.

This morning made me feel like someone from another planet.  I’m sure there are other families that feel the same way we do, but we sure weren’t represented on the radio this morning.

As a side note, my kids hate the Christmas Carol It’s Beginning to look a like Christmas because of the line “And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again. ...” they don’t understand it, and thank me every year for homeschooling them.  That makes up for all the bad days and not being represented on the radio.

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