I never thought my kids would attend public school. I deeply believed in the benefits of homeschooling. I loved teaching my kids, and I truly couldn’t have imagined sending my kids off to be taught by another person all day long.
And don’t even get me started on all of the horror stories I had heard about the terrors happening in the halls of the dreaded public schools. Bullying, student/teacher ratios, and bad influences topped the list of my strongest public school fears.
Homeschool was my passion…
Until it wasn’t.
While there are so many benefits to homeschooling, there is no denying that homeschooling is hard. We had many good days and fun times, however, there were equally as many days when I felt pressured and stressed.
I have a background in education which gave me an advantage during our homeschooling period. I knew where to find all of the skills that each grade needed to master, and I had many innovative and fun ways to help my kids learn those skills. However, a lot of the days felt long and were very draining. Trying to make sure my daughter memorized her sight words all while doing ABC’s with my wild child four-year-old and ensuring learning happened while chasing a busy toddler left me EXHAUSTED.
Homeschooling was no longer my passion, it consumed me. And I was stressed.
To top it all off I eventually found my homeschool support system dwindling. I had a falling out with one of my good friends and my other best friend moved even farther away. The ladies at our local co-op weren’t exactly the most friendly and welcoming group and I felt slightly alone and overwhelmed.
The final straw for homeschooling was that we had just moved into a new town and into a new school district. Something about our new stomping grounds made me feel much more open and comfortable with the idea of public school.
Finally, my husband and I toured the school and were met with friendly familiar faces, many of whom we knew from church and play dates. The halls were covered with beautiful art work and the classes were happy. The teachers were friendly and the kids had manners and were kind.
We were Blown. Away.
I enrolled my children and never looked back.
When I met my daughter’s second grade teacher, I knew she was an amazing person. You know when you just know about someone? That’s how I felt about her. When my husband and I got in the car, I looked at him and said that I knew in my heart of hearts that she was in good hands.
And I was right.
My children had an amazing year. I saw them grow as people both academically and socially.
Deciding homeschooling wasn’t the best for our family was really an interesting turning point for us. I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.
One of the best parts is that we have met so many wonderful new people that we wouldn’t have met if we were still homeschooling. The community that I had been lacking before was found and we quickly embraced our new lifestyle. My kids started playing sports and I started volunteering at the school. A couple of the ladies that I would now consider my closest friends I wouldn’t have met or developed such a great relationship with if I hadn’t enrolled my kids in public school.
For us, deciding that homeschooling wasn’t the best for our family was life changing. All the fears I had about sending my children to public school didn’t happen.
My children still love Jesus. They still don’t cuss or steal or cheat or lie. They didn’t turn into little bullies over night. Despite my initial reservations about public school, my children are the same loving and kind kids that they have always been.
Just because their school changed doesn’t mean their home has changed. My friend who transitioned into public school around the same time as we did told me this one afternoon, “Just because our kids go to public school now doesn’t mean they are less Christian because they are still being raised in a Christian family and in a Christian HOME.” Boom. Exactly.
My children are now three years into public school, and I am so appreciative of the amazing school district that we are a part of. Every year my children have had the most excellent teachers in their lives. The public schools that I critiqued too harshly ended up becoming one of the biggest blessings to my children. I am proud to be in a community that is packed to the brim with educators who have full hearts and who are beyond skilled at teaching.
I do feel like my children had a great start to life because of our homeschooling, and if I had a time machine I probably wouldn’t change a thing. The moments we spent together were priceless, and my kids got a great and fun start in life.
However, I couldn’t be happier with our choice to send our kids to public school. For our family, it has been an amazing blessing.