Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back to School

I've been having a difficult time writing this post.  My heart is heavy and I am sad and, at the moment, completely overwhelmed.

It's that time of year again.  Time for the kids to go back to school.  Usually I'm kind of dreading sending the kids off and spending a quiet, but wonderful day at home.  I miss my kids when they're at school.  However, after the first week, I love my 7 1/2 hrs with my little kids.  I love nap time and the much needed time to get things done...or to have some quiet time.

This year is different.  We have decided to school all of our kids at home.  Alex and Morgun will be taking on-line classes, with Saskatchewan accredited teachers and Saskatchewan Curriculum.  Malia will be home schooled.
I have mixed emotions.  On the one hand, I'm sad to see my kids miss out on all the wonderful things public school offers...Christmas concerts, musicals, extra curricular things, friends, etc.  On the other hand I'm so thankful that we will no longer have the rushed mornings, crazy after school rush with moods flaring, running to Taekwon Do and other activities, and then hurrying to get to bed on time.  Most of all I'm so thankful we will not be dealing with the bullying.  I suppose that is what makes my heart so heavy and sad.  Sad that bullying has played a huge part in our decision to keep our kids at home.

As you know, we home schooled Alex last year due to bullying issues and the plan was to send him back to school after Christmas.  When that didn't work, the plan was for him to go back this fall.  After many meetings, and numerous non-school professionals giving their recommendations, we have decided schooling, at home is the best option.  I can not give too many details.  I want to be respectful and professional.

For the past couple of years I have wondered why our "Anti Bullying" campaign isn't working well.  I have come to the conclusion, that in part, we as a society have failed our children by classifying levels of bullying.  There is no such thing as "minor" bullying.  Ridiculing a child for what he/she wears, does, and is interested in is not "minor".  When a child is wearing his/her best clothes and is ridiculed...it's major bullying to that child...especially if it happens numerous times a day, and every day.  Those "little" things are what make our children who they are.  Allowing "minor" bullying is literally tearing apart the essence of who our child is.  I believe we need to be very conscientious in teaching our kids the basics of being a "good citizen"...kindness, gentleness, loyalty, etc. within our schools.

As for why we have chosen to home school Morgun and Malia...

Morgun has wanted to be at home for a few years and is totally pumped about this new opportunity.

Malia on the other hand, is ticked off!  She loves school.  And I love it that she loves school.  However, in the past few months it has become increasingly evident that some of her behaviors need to be dealt with now...not when she's 13.  Our hope is that homeschooling will give us a greater opportunity to fill Malia's "love bank", which in turn will increase her level of trust and decrease her need to manipulate, lie and be in control at all times.

I know in my heart of hearts that this is the right decision for us, and for our kids.  But knowing that doesn't make it any easier.  It just gives me the energy to put one foot in front of the other.

I had hoped to post a few "back to school" pictures of our wonderfully organized day, but that didn't happen.  Our morning was rushed (oh the irony!  lol) with some school work for Malia and orientation for the boys.  Then we headed to the Minor Emergency to have Jackson's ear checked.  His ear began to ooze yesterday.  The only sign that he had an infection.  I feel horrible!  I knew he was susceptible to ear infections due to his cleft palate and had been on the look out for any possible symptoms.  Apparently, our little man has a very high pain tolerance.

Hopefully the next few days will bring some routine and organization to our daily routine...and then I can post some pictures!  ;)


Paige said...

I know you are doing what is best for your family! I hope your year will go well and that Malia will thrive from this!

Kathy said...

I think every homeschooling mom goes through the CRAZINESS as we try to get into a new routine...it will happen. Just hang in there. We'll be praying that all your kids will love homeschooling.

Denise said...

I'm sorry to hear the WHY of your homeschooling - especially the bullying part. I'm so impressed with you though. Many parents just brush it off and say "they have to learn to deal with bullying at some point" - which makes no sense to me because as adults we have ways of legally dealing with people who are abusive to us. Children only have us as their defence. If we don't help them, no one will.

Many times when families switch their children from school to homeschool, it is often recommended that the child has one month home with little to no school for every year they were in school. So if your child was in school for 2 years, you can expect about 2 months of them maybe "rebelling" against school at home. It is actually just time for their brains to unwind and rewire for learning again. Since you have had the summer off, most of your kids are probably ready to go. But if you find they are fighting you... just try to relax and not worry about it too much. For a long time, my son only did Math and Science - every thing else was such a fight. Now we have worked our way up to other subjects as he is becoming interested in more and more. Anyway, all that to say - if it takes you a few weeks to find your rhythm, don't stress about it. We often don't start school until at least the middle of Sept - and still manage to finish by the end of May ;)

And in the end - if you family is closer, more bonded... if your children can have confident, intelligent conversations with adults, have a good work ethic and apply the morals your family is teaching them - you children are way ahead of many of the kids who might be getting A's in school. They have an emotional intelligence that is rare in our society today. I know you know this, or you wouldn't have chosen this path. But sometimes it is good to be reminded of it ;)

Please feel free to message me anytime you have questions or feel like you are going to loose it. After 7 years of homeschooling, I'm sure there isn't much you can say that I wouldn't relate to, lol.

Marie said...

Thanks for your support ladies! Funny how I'm confident in teaching 25+ kids, but feel like I'll fail at teaching my own kids. Guess that's cause our goal includes so much more than academics and the basic social skills we as teachers teach...come to think of it...having said that, I guess I'm more afraid of all the "other" stuff than the actually teaching. Kinda puts things into perspective. I'm sure I'll have many questions for you ladies. :)

Chantel Klassen said...

I'm sad that you weren't able to work something out for Alex but I'm also glad that you didn't push it and put him back in when things don't look encouraging.

I'll definitely be praying for you, I can't imagine it would be easy to homeschool 3 and still have 2 little ones running around.

Patrick and Christina said...

Good for you for doing what you know is right!

I have a great friend from church that is very connected with other homeschooling families. She would be a wealth of information in how to provide those "other things" that happen naturally in public school (gym, field trips, social time) but with the freedom of home schooling. Just email if you are interested in talking with her. She is a farm girl too!

Thinking of you and praying for you and the kids.