Hi friends! You may think I have been busy blogging since I have had a new blog post everyday for the past seven weeks. But, actually The Intentional Home series was written quite awhile back, so I've missed writing to you!
We've been quite busy adjusting to a new school year and our first year at a university model school. Of course, I had to share with you our experience so far. Many of you already know that my daughter began her education at our local public school, which we were certainly called to at that time. She attended her first two and a half years there and overall had a great experience. I wrote about our decision to attend that school here. After we made the decision to change schools for this school year, we decided to go ahead and pull Haley from the public school she was attending and homeschool full time for the spring. You can read about our homeschool experiences here.
Before I go any further, I want you to know that how you educate your children is a very personal choice and I firmly believe there is no wrong choice as long as you are in God's will. I do believe we have always been and are still right where He wants us to be as far as schooling is concerned (and every other part of our life, I pray).
Now, we are seven weeks into the new school year. My son, Harrison, is in kindergarten and my daughter, Haley, is in third grade. You may or may not be familiar with the university model school. My kids attend school Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the school campus much like they would at any other Christian school. Then, on Tuesdays and Thursdays they attend school in the "satellite classroom" aka our home with me as their teacher. The school does not specifically refer to these days as homeschool because we are doing the curriculum and assignments that they provide. If it were a true homeschool situation then I would be providing the assignments and curriculum.
I wondered if I would be somewhat sad to leave the freedom of the full-time homeschool situation that we enjoyed so much in the spring. But, I have found this model to be wonderful and a true blessing for our family for many reasons:
More time with my kids: Our kids grow up WAY too fast and with this program I get more time to be with them. This has been my heart's desire since Haley went off to kindergarten, so this is a big blessing. I can really spend time mentoring and discipling my kids while growing our relationship and pointing them to the Lord.
A Christian environment: Attending a school where not only God is honored but is the center of everything they do is such an answer to prayer. In the first weeks of school Harrison was memorizing scripture, Haley was giving a presentation for her biblical worldview and I had a one-on-one meeting with Haley's teacher that began with a prayer.
A less rushed lifestyle: Not having to be somewhere everyday of the week is huge and I'm finding that this in itself is stress relieving and just a more relaxed lifestyle. The kids get more time to play in the backyard and be creative. We can sit down to meals together more often and not be quite so strict on bedtimes every night of the week. Wearing pjs two days a week for school is not so bad either!
Being more involved in my kids' education: I admit that when Haley started school I was all about letting the teachers do their job and not being super involved with her education. But now, I am loving the extra involvement. We can chat about what we're learning as it comes up during the day, which happens quite often. I think it is going to be especially fun to watch Harrison learn to read and see the "light bulb" come on. Not to mention, I am amazed at how much I have learned in third grade already, it's great for my brain as well!
Like minded students and parents: I've already met several times for coffee with parents. It is so nice to gather with the like-minded parents, pray together and chat. I think community is so important. Of course, we have a great community with our church, but how wonderful to have that same feeling with the parents and students that my kids are in school with, brothers and sisters in Christ.
Uniforms: Seriously, I really like that they wear uniforms to school. It simplifies things in the mornings, and it is so nice to see all of the kids wearing modest and neat clothes. This school goes all the way through 12th grade and I can imagine how helpful it would be with teenagers to never have to worry about trends and clothing labels at least where school is concerned.
As you can tell, we are so thankful that God pointed us to this school and there is so much more I can say, but I look forward to updating you as we get further into the school year.