Let me tell you a little (true) story.
It is February 19th of this year. It is unseasonably warm outside, with sunshine and a warm breeze. Inside our little house there’s an air of excitement. I am sitting on our couch snuggling a baby who is not yet 48 hours old. The adrenaline from receiving this beautiful gift from God is slowly ebbing away and being replaced with a deep, deep tired. I am looking with amazement at one of the three cutest babies ever born. In my head are swirling the questions that always fill my mind after having a baby: Will I be able to be the momma he deserves? Will he sleep for more than 1.5 hours tonight? Am I nursing properly? Will he love his LORD? Can I handle three kids while I only have two hands?
I am so thankful to have this little human out in the world. Worried about his future. Hopeful for sleep. Sore from labour. Tired. So very tired. Really really tired.
Down the stairs bounds Mark from grabbing a receiving blanket. He plops down on the couch, hands me the blanket, throws his arm on the back of the couch, looks over at me and our new baby, and breezily says, “So, I was thinking we should homeschool Peyton this year!”
Upon seeing my eyes fill with tears and hearing me stammer, “W-w-what? S-s-seriously? School Peyton at home? With THREE kids?”, he quickly adds, “Which we should totally talk about at another time.”
This is Mark. This is the man that I love. And this is how he does life. We didn’t talk about his great idea that night. We sat and started at our baby and gushed about how wonderful he was.
But the damage had been done. Now, swirling in my head along with all the “Dax” worries and thoughts was this niggling idea about keeping Peyton home for one more year and teaching her letters and numbers at home.
So, in typical Vicki style, I started researching: I read blog posts, searched articles, talked to homeschool moms that I knew, asked Danielle for curriculum recommendations, and prayed. Everything that I read, excited me. But then I would remember the life that I live – hanging out with friends who’s children are all in junior and senior kindergarten, my moms group and bible study that provide child care where the other children would be 1 or 2 years younger than Peyton, my desire for Peyton to be ‘socialized’, and the fact that often just keeping my house running properly was a lot for me.
So I kept praying.
And slowly I started realizing that all those worries weren’t really enough to decide against homeschooling (for our family). I knew my friends, they wouldn’t turn their backs on me just because I had a 5 year old at home. I knew my church family, they wouldn’t be annoyed about a 5 year old in the child care facilities (especially one that plays well on her own and with kids of all ages). I knew that the worry of ‘socialization’ wasn’t really an issue at this age, Peyton knew how to make friends, has good friends, and will always be around other people. And I knew myself, sure my house might not be perfect, but I am capable of running a household and spending an hour and a half sitting with Peyton doing school.
Then I found the My Fathers World Curriculum. And that really helped to solidify my desire to keep Peyton home. I loved the lay out of the curriculum. It gives a lot of direction so my involvement (planning) could be as much or as little as I wanted. It uses a combination of regular schooling (doing desk work) and the Charlotte Mason approach (teaching with living facts (narrative books, etc.) and a hands-on approach). It contains week long units that encompass all the subjects (For example: next week we will focus on the letter “s”, learn about the sun, doing some sun projects, read poetry about the sun, and talk about how Jesus is the light of the world). With the purchase of the curriculum I also received 26 renowned children’s books, which allowed me to justify the cost of the curriculum because even if homeschooling doesn’t work out, at least I have 26 great new books to add to our library (I’m a bit of a commitment-phobe).
And so we decided to keep Peyton home for one more year. We just decided when Dax was a couple of months old instead of only 2 days old ;).
We just finished our first two weeks of school. And it is hard. But, we are enjoying it. Peyton is excited about school each day and finds the weekends kind of long. We have been able to go on a field trip already and have done some cool projects. Peyton and I are both learning a lot about each other. I am so thankful that this is the route we have chosen to take. I am even more thankful for this “extra” time that I get with my precious Peyton.
I have a couple of homeschooling posts in the pipeline, so stay tuned!!
** Chase needed to have a first day of school picture too. Homeschooling plus: Chase and Peyton are truly becoming the best buds!