Big Changes Ahead

It was field day and I’d rarely seen her smile so big. Her white-blonde hair was tied back in a ponytail and she proudly sported a shirt borrowed from her younger sister—red because her team was called the Red Rockets. She had practiced her dash all week. I arrived at the school just in time to watch her little legs pump wildly as she raced down the track. She’s a fast one.

In the standing long jump, she jumped the farthest, too, out of her whole group and I was proud of her.

She was flourishing.

Later, the children gathered under the shade of a large tree. First, they gave God a round of applause for such a beautiful, wonderful morning. Then the kids quieted and there was nothing but the peaceful stillness of the breeze and a single voice leading prayer.

The playground became sacred ground and I could feel the Holy Spirit thick in that place.

When we prayed about where to send our children to school, we felt strong direction—this one—even though tuition was high and funds were low. Even though almost everyone else was doing something else. As I stood under that big, old tree in the schoolyard that morning, I knew again that we were doing what was right.

Not what was right for other families. What was right for us. Because we each have a different calling and we each have a different journey to take.

But then summer came and with it a feeling of restlessness. Even as I told people that we still had peace, I was painfully aware of a pinched feeling, like shoes too tight.

We’re headed into the hardest few months yet. My husband is finishing his last semester of school and I’m home with the younger two girls. Although we prepared in advance for this year, something still needed to give. But none of our ideas were working out.

So we asked God for direction and He spoke. Not with an audible voice, but with a whispered thought that brought sweet release.

A thought that gave us room to breathe again.  

With only a few weeks left until the school year begins, we’ve made some big changes. We had already chosen not to enroll our almost-four-year old in the school’s part-time JK program. We’re keeping her home instead. But now we’ve officially taken it a step further. We’re keeping our five-year old home as well.

We’re becoming full-fledged homeschoolers.

It’s just for one year. But for just this one year, it feels so right. In the future, there will be plenty of long jumps and dashes. There will be classrooms and teachers and assemblies and school choirs. There is time for all of that … later.

Right now, we need to do the thing that fits.

We’re already somewhat involved with a local homeschooling group that provides amazing support (and has incredible field trips planned too).

I already own a lot of the curriculum we need. The language arts, science, social studies and geography that I had planned to do with my almost-four-year old are kindergarten level. The daily lessons for the year have long been scheduled. All we were missing was kindergarten math and phonics. Those missing pieces arrived on the doorstep yesterday, in a big cardboard box.

Truth is, it’s not much of a stretch at all to add my five-year old into the mix.

The best part? There is still a guaranteed spot for her at her school next year.

Both of my older girls are over the moon with excitement. Although I’ve read enough homeschooling blogs to know that this year will be a challenge, I’m over the moon too. I’m looking forward to teaching my daughters. Mostly, I’m excited about the extra time we get to spend together. They are only this young once. What a privilege to be able to pour into their lives.

What a blessing to be able to savour these years.


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