Saturday, July 24, 2010

A long shot...

    I have a friend who loves to shop.  She used to call me regularly from one store or another to tell me about the amazing sales she had come across.  She would always offer to pick things up for me so I would not miss out on the bargains.  I, inevitably, would thank her but decline, telling her that though it was a good deal, I didn’t happen to need whatever item it was, right now.   Though I did not share in it, her excitement over the sales was always kind of cute to me.  She would buy things she didn’t really need just because they were marked down so much and then, after spending sometimes hundreds of dollars, she would come home and tell her husband how much money she had saved him.
    It may seem a bit of a stretch but when I started home schooling I felt a little like my shopper friend.  We came to our decision to home school primarily based on finances.  We knew we could not afford to put (then) four children through expensive Catholic schools but we wanted them to have a Catholic education.  Home schooling was really our only option.  Once I started, though, I came to see so many unexpected blessings.  I got to be like my friend, wanting to share the great news with everyone I knew.  I was so excited about all the benefits that home schooling presented to my family that I wanted everyone to join in, so they too could be blessed.
      Over the years, my friend caught on to the fact that I was not the shopper she is.  She stopped calling me about the bargains, maybe she found someone else to call from the store.  Someone who could really appreciate the sales, like she did.  Over the years, I, too, have stopped feeling like I want to share the news of home schooling with everyone.  The blessings are still there but I stopped appreciating them, somewhere in the midst of whiny kids, mounting papers to grade, disappointing workbooks, and the exhaustion of being all things to all people.  If you have read my blog before, you know last year was a rough year of home schooling for us.  Summer has been a welcome break from the strain of teaching and juggling school and home all at once.  I keep noticing the calendar though.  Time is ticking and we need to start our lessons up again very soon.  Last week, I was overwhelmed with worry about how I might handle school again this year and, in a moment, of desperation I ask Tim to call the Catholic school and see if there was anyway to get at least two of the kids in for the year.   The first day of school is only weeks away and we would need full scholarships.  It was long shot but I thought it was worth a try.  I guess what I was looking for more than anything was confirmation from God.  Was I doing what He wanted in home schooling, or did He have other plans for us now?   Tim got in touch with the school and then we waited.
    As we waited, a million thoughts went through my brain.  Did I really want to send the kids to school?  Would it really be easier having two of them in school and three of them at home?  I would have to juggle home schooling all day and home work in the evening, could I handle that any better?   I pictured my seven year old and five year old in little plaid uniforms setting off to a classroom on the first day of school and was not sure if I thought it was adorable or heart-breaking.  Would I miss them?  Or would I feel an incredible sense of peace and relief knowing they were being educated and not having to worry about messing it up.  Would they love being with other children their age, having recess and buying their lunch in the cafeteria, or would they miss me and their siblings?  Would I like the relative quiet of having only the two oldest and the baby home with me, or would I feel guilty sending the other two away for school?  Would sending two of my children to school make me a failure in God’s eyes? ….Or my own?
    It was only a week.  After not hearing from the school, Tim called to follow up and was told that though there was financial aid available they could not offer full scholarships.  The decision was made- we cannot afford the cost of tuition.  I will have all five children home with me once again.  Amazingly, I am at peace.  I am still concerned about how I will do it all, but really feel like God has given me the confirmation I needed.  He clearly wants me to keep at it, and has the confidence I can do it.  I know that He will be with me helping me through each and every day…each and every minute.   And, there is actually a little part of me that is excited to tackle the challenge of home schooling once again….but not for a few more weeks.


  1. Kari,

    I have felt the same as you have, frustration and blessings with our home school experience. But, it has been the greatest joy for myself and my children. This will be our last year of homeschooling and I feel both relief and sadness. Gabe goes off to high school where I know he will succeed. Homeschooling has cemented his Catholic identity and I know like his sister he will not be swayed. You give your children a gift by educating them at home, and they will forever reap the rewards. You, Tim, and the kids are in our prayers.

    P.S. When Gabe is done with eighth grade, I will have a microscope and other science tools for you!

    God Bless,

  2. We're in the crux of decision making regrading the education of our small ones, and it's so frustrating with the ebb and flow, the flipping and the flopping.

    Your post is a reminder to me to take this decision to God, and leave it there, asking guidance to do his will. I feel homeschooling is the best choice, but how to 'get it done' escapes me.

    So glad to happen across your site :)



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