Maybe you want to know them.
But I thought I'd write them down just the same.
****I do NOT have an issue with people who choose to homeschool. This is not an attack against anyone. The following thoughts are purely my reflections on our public/Christian school experience thus far.****
For those who don't know, I live in Mayberry. Really. My neighborhood is like stepping back in time to when life was simpler. My girls (7, 5, and 3) are allowed to ride their bikes around the block without supervision. Our neighbors are lovely. We all look out for each other - we return errant children; help take each other's trash out; pick up packages if someone is out of town.
It is idyllic.
I've heard there may be a bit of Wisteria Lane thrown in to keep things interesting, but I've not experienced it!
Instead of investing in our community right next door,
I was driving all over the place to build community.
Why the distance before?
Partially, because I just didn't have time for this community - the one actually right outside my doorstep - I was too busy with all my other things and places and people. When we were home, I was homeschooling. Which meant, for me, I couldn't be out building friendships like I wanted - because I had too many other jobs to do.
My children were around others a'plenty last year - socialization was never a concern. However, being in classes with children who don't live in their house, has been a very good thing. They are learning about how other people do things. They are learning how to stand up for themselves - and others. They are not surrounded by only people from church.
Which is good. (For us)
String Bean and Jumping Bean pray each night they are living in a way that shows they are "God's girls." We've been able to talk about the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.") and what it looks like, lived out.
The traditional school setting has forced us to be on a schedule. Which I love and String Bean loves and Jumping Bean loves and Bitty Bean loves, and Boy Bean, well, he hasn't voiced an opinion. We have specific chores to accomplish at specific times of day. Could that have happened when we were homeschooling? Yep. It even did at times. But there's something about knowing if you don't accomplish your job in a timely fashion, you will miss the bus - that is a motivator. A good one.
The set routine is also forcing children who are not as inclined towards personal responsibility to learn good habits. I don't carry their backpacks. I don't put away their shoes. I don't check to be sure they have their homework. We have set routines in place - so they just have to remember the steps, and they will have everything they need. This is a very good thing.
Our house is calmer, more efficient, more welcoming, and actually, more relaxed, since this change up.
Each child is thriving with the space to develop away from their sibling's shadow.
They enjoy time together more - because they have time apart.
I am thankful every single day for where we live.
That String Bean can be in this district and Jumping Bean can attend her Christian school.
The teachers at both schools have been superb. When I look to the future and see deployment, I am thankful to have them on my team. I'm thankful for their knowledge in education, and in life.
Basically, here is my sum-up:
I do not think our decision is right (or wrong) for anybody else.
Educating your children is a multi-faceted thing, and I seek to support my friends as they follow the best path for their family.
For us, this year, this is our best path.