If you had told me one year ago that I would be Homeschooling our little girl for her 1st grade year, I would have called you crazy. And laughed.
The reality is that Homeschooling kind of snuck up on me. I had plans for this year. Plans that didn’t have anything to do with the “H -word”. But God saw things differently.
Last year started out really well for Avery. She was enrolled in a great neighborhood school, had a precious teacher, and made sweet little friends right away. Things were looking good for her.
Initially, she was really excited about school…but unfortunately, that excitement was short-lived. After about a week, anxiety kicked in. As a former educator, I realized that tummy aches and tears were totally normal for her age. I had seen it all in my students many, many times. It would stop. She would adjust. Things would be fine.
When I would walk her to school in the morning, she would hold my hand right up until we finally had to say “good-bye” at the school door. It was painful to watch her stifle her tears as she walked down the hallway to her classroom by herself.
Avery worried every single night, whined every single morning, and even cried during the day while she was at school. She tried hard to be a “big girl” because she knew that going to school was something that she had to do, but every time the topic of school came up at home, the tears would start again.
Early in the school year, Avery told me that she didn’t want me to come and eat lunch with her because she knew that she would cry when I had to leave again – and crying in front of her friends embarrassed her. Her sweet teacher would send me texts to update me on really tough days and even let Avery call me a time or two in an effort to help calm her, but nothing seemed to help. I felt so completely powerless. There was nothing I could do to make things better for her.
September came and went, but the tears remained. In December when there were still tears, I held out hope that the next semester would be better. When the tears lasted all the way through February, I started to feel concerned.
David and I prayed all year for Avery. We were stumped. She was our kid. Our responsibility. Our little blessing. Something had to be done.
For a while, we thought that the solution was to send her to a different school. We prayed about sending her to a Christian school with smaller classes. We tried to crunch numbers and make it work, but the numbers weren’t there to crunch. Sending her to a private school just wasn’t an option.
In the Spring, as I was praying about our dilemma, God gave me the answer I’d been looking for. It just wasn’t the answer I expected.
The day that we told Avery that she would be homeschooled for first grade, the tears finally stopped. It was like a weight had been lifted off of her tiny shoulders. If I had any doubts that it was the right decision for us, they vanished when I saw her smile.
Why did we choose homeschool? For her: the sweetest little firecracker in the entire world. She needs me. She needs home.