Heraclitus was right when he said “The only thing that is constant is change.” Side note: the internet is amazing. I knew most of the words of that quote, but not the entire thing, and didn’t know the author. I just typed in what I knew and the internet found it! I think I giggled with glee. I’m easily entertained.
Back in September 2014, we made the decision to send our then nearly 4 year old to a local Christian preschool. He is our fourth child and we had never had a child in preschool before. It was a good change for our family.
In 2015, when our youngest child was old enough to begin preschool, we knew it was a good decision for him, too.
Our little guy is a handful, I’ll be honest. He is super active, has some challenges with impulse control and overall has some things to overcome that are side effects from the choices his birth mother made. I’m not going to label him and put him in a box, but it helps to understand a little of where he is coming from. Six months ago, when I had to decide about what to do with him in September, it was a no brainer. He would love going to preschool again and we would be able to use the time he is away from home to get lots of school work done with the other four.
Fast forward to the end of May, just a few weeks ago. I was thinking about our family’s ebb and flow and the plans we have for the coming year, which include a long road trip in the fall and an extended trip to New Zealand in the early spring. I thought about the time involved in transporting our little guy to preschool and picking him up. I analyzed his ability to deal with transitions. I thought about his heart condition and how he gets sick very easily from all the different germs that he is exposed to at school. I thought about how his daddy is frequently gone several days in a row for work and Peter cries when he has to go to school if daddy is home.
My husband and I talked about it and went over the pros and cons of keeping him home versus keeping him in preschool. After discussing it several times, Jeremy looked at me and commented “It seems to me like you’ve made a decision. Why don’t you tell the preschool we don’t need the place anymore?”
Because what if I’m wrong? What if this is the wrong decision? Change is bad!! I’m a bit of a Nervous Nellie right now. At this point I haven’t formally unenrolled him for the coming year, but I’m making our family’s homeschool plans to include him. His presence will definitely make things look a little different and will require a lot more planning on my part because he isn’t happy with doing workbook-type activities and he needs A LOT of physical activity. A LOT. SO MUCH ACTIVE PLAY. SO MUCH.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I know I’m not the only one facing change. And sometimes we need to hear the stories from other people to know that we aren’t the only one.
I am definitely a homeschooling advocate. I believe it is a marvelous way to educate and disciple our children. But I also know that not every child is the same and not every family is the same. Sometimes a family will be in a season of life that requires a change. THAT IS OKAY. If we were talking in person, I would be holding your shoulders and looking you right in the eye as I said that last sentence. Don’t think that just because you chose to homeschool in kindergarten means that you have to continue to homeschool them. Just because you public schooled them in kindergarten doesn’t mean you have to public school them the entire way through. And, another side note, we don’t have any right to judge another family’s educational choices. So, Judgey McJudgerson doesn’t have a place here.
In the next few weeks I hope to share with you some of the plans I have for our little Peter, which include almost no pencil holding or writing of any kind, except for very large, chunky crayons. We will be doing lots of activities that will strengthen his fine motor skills. If you happen to have an almost 5 year old that just isn’t ready to sit at a desk and do seatwork, you’re not alone! But that doesn’t mean the learning hasn’t started yet. Join me on Instagram to see some of the candid scenes I capture of our learning this summer.