First Day of School Thoughts

Well, it is official. We now have TWO kids in Elementary School as of this morning. Granted, Emerson went to Pre-K last year so I had two baby birds away from home, but something about her starting kindergarten makes it all feel so much more official.

Two days ago, I volunteered at their school to help move school supplies to the kids’ specific classrooms. Gone are the days of buying individual supplies, shopping around for the best deals, and then hauling them to school on the first day in heavy boxes. Their school had a program where you order the supplies direct from a company and they ship them to the school already labeled with individual names. Volunteers then move them to their classrooms and they are ready to go for the first day of school. While I was there, I looked at Kinsley’s classroom door and got to see that quite a few of her classmates she enjoyed from last year are in her class again this year.

Since finding that out, she has been super excited to start. Emerson, on the other hand, while super excited, was really, really nervous. She is nervous about making friends – which has never, ever been an issue for her. She makes a friend at the playground after 5 minutes of being there.

So how is mama doing? I am feeling very bittersweet this morning.

On one hand, I am excited for them to go back to school, learn, and socialize with kids their own ages. I know they have gotten bored in our apartment here lately and school will give them “fun” things to do. I also am excited to meet new kids and parents and see how the Lord allows us to be light for Him in a place that desperately needs Him.

On the other hand, I will miss them and I face lots of doubts about whether I am doing the right thing.

Doubts like should I be homeschooling? We did school books this summer so they wouldn’t “lose” all they had learned and by the end of the summer, we had gotten in a routine of doing it daily and it was fun to see them learn. This has, on top of schooling a little bit last year before we moved, given me confidence that I could indeed homeschool. If we could find a Christian co-op here, I would be even more interested. But, we also feel very led by the Lord to be light to people in the public schools who don’t know Him and to go where people are, which is the schools. For us, it is very much a mission field mindset that has led us to public school. Our schools are also really good here, they are getting to socialize with people and learn so much about different languages and cultures, and I feel they are getting so much more than they could get by being schooled by me at home. Ed and I are both products of public school and Kinsley has really thrived at school the last few years.

Doubts like “will they be okay?” Last year, we had some hard things happen that, while allowing us to have really good and needed convos with the kids, are not things I would have liked to expose them to yet. I just want to shelter them and protect them and keep them safe. I want to filter everything they hear and say and that happens to them. I know we can’t do this forever, but part of me wonders if I should do it while they are small. I also know I don’t agree with all that the public school is teaching them, and that they won’t be learning Scriptures, and hearing about God, so will this affect their chances of knowing Him and walking with Him?

Doubts like “am I taking the easy way”? While I hate to see them go off to school and I will miss them, part of me is like “YES!!!”. It is way easier to just have 2 kids most of the day, lets be honest.

I know all these doubts and thoughts swirling in my head aren’t new. I know from interacting with many, many other moms that they all ponder and flesh out all these things too. I have great respect for moms that homeschool, moms that don’t, and their decisions for which they chose. I think it all makes sense and their isn’t a formula for turning out great kids who love the Lord. Ultimately, I know it is about seeking God’s wisdom about what He wants most for our kids, about figuring out what is best for individual kids (there may be a time when I have to homeschool one and send one to public school just because of how they are doing and thriving or not thriving), about being involved in their lives and talking about what they are learning and hearing, about volunteering at their school and being heavily involved so I know what is going on instead of just checking out during that time, about just trusting and knowing that God is sovereign, He loves my kids more than I do, and He is the one who leads them to know Him and not a formula of homeschooling and saying x, y, or z.

So, I will let go, trust God to protect and care for my girls, and stay attuned to what He wants for our family. But man, is it so hard!!

In other news, this little one turned 7 months old yesterday. Today is one of those days where I am very, very aware of how fast time is flying by.

With this and this huge hurricane threatening many friends and family in FL and SC, my heart is a little heavy today. Please pray for me and all the mamas like me – doing the best we can to raise children to love Jesus. Thanks friends.

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