My own life experience has taught me grand lessons about how I should respond to others when news is shared with me.
Someone says, "I'm pregnant!"
You DON'T say: "Was it planned?" or "Again?" or "Do you know how that happens?" or "Boy, you'll really have your hands full!" or "Are you done after this one?"
You say, "Congratulations! That is wonderful news and I am so happy for you and your family."
FYI, I'm not pregnant. But hopefully, you can see my point.
We have been sharing some news that has been provoking some equally inappropriate responses though.
We have decided that this is the year that our children are going to give classroom learning a try. We have been home schooling for the entirety of our parenting experience and fully believe that home schooling is a wonderful choice for education.
The Hunter is finishing third grade this week. I've said before that it has been a tough year. He is changing in several ways, but we saw that he was not thriving from learning at home. We know that school options have benefits and drawbacks on both sides and we watched the weights shift on the scale.
He has reached a point that we feel he would really benefit from learning from someone other than
Mom me, as well as facing the social pressure and consequences that will force him to work harder and press forward.
Additionally, I have always been quite open about the fact that I really felt that we would eventually get to this point. I don't have anything fundamentally against the public school setting and at the right time, I think it will work well for our family.
Last month, we read this book and it has really pumped me up for the positive experience that public school can be as a whole. The authors have eight children and have had a great public school experience.
They clearly say it is not without challenges or trials, but are very encouraging about how to navigate those challenges with faith and integrity.
One of the authors' key points is that it is crucial to be involved in your children's school. I identified completely with that point because our sweet Rufus has attended a little co-op preschool for the last two years (and will be wearing his little graduation cap this Friday BOO!!).
I have spent this year as a part of the parent board that keeps the co-op running and I have loved it! It has not been without hardship and sacrifice, but the time getting to know other parents and working hard to better this school that I have fallen in love with has all been well worth it.
It was so worth it that I signed up for another year on the board when
my baby Squirt will start preschool this fall.
I have had a taste of what it feels like to be involved and make a difference in a school, as well as to have a presence there. My son knows that I know what is happening at school, and therefore, with him. Plus, I have watched Rufus thrive.
So, can you tell I'm excited about this decision? Can you tell that we haven't made it easily or without thought and lots of prayer?
I have had an interesting experience collecting memorable responses from people who obviously haven't learned the, "Congratulations! That's great news and I'm so happy for you and your family," lesson.
"Do you just have too many kids?" or "Did you get overwhelmed?" or "Well, I'll pray for you." weren't really the responses I was looking for. After hearing some of these, I almost kissed the friends (not coincidentally, my closest friends and family) who responded with excitement for ME and MY family and OUR decision.
And as of Wednesday, I'm going to start thoroughly enjoying our summer vacation. Because come September, I'm diving in!