Lots of changes going on in our home. So I thought it was time to update all 2 of you who read my blog on what is going on with us.
Back in March, our oldest son decided he would venture out on his own. He met someone online and moved to be with her. They plan to marry next year sometime. They live in Illinois. He has found a job and seems to be happy.
Our oldest daughter, Amanda, was honored to be chosen to attend the Crossroad program at Hellenic College in Boston. It was her first flight anywhere. And actually her first time being that far from home. She very much enjoyed it. She is also now thinking about what to do after she graduates in 2011.
We decided that after 14 years of home schooling, it was time to pack up the books and send the children to public school. This was by far one of the hardest decisions I have had to make. Our 14 year old expressed an interest in going to public school. I suggested to Jeff that it might be a good idea since we were seeing how many hoops we would need to jump through to get them to college. He said that if we were going to send her, we should just send them all. And there it was, my life/identity as a home school mom was gone. I cried a lot.
Although my heart was broken, I understood that this was best for all of us. We had fallen into some bad habits with our schooling and honestly my heart was not in it 100 percent any more. We were burnt out. I tried so hard to look like those home schoolers you see in magazines or on-line but I failed over and over again. I hated it. I hated that I couldn't live up to what everyone thought I should be. People told me that they admired me for home schooling my children, when inside I felt like a failure. Oh, we did school and my children were learning but it wasn't fun any more. Deep down, I knew that I was a flop. I knew that I probably should give it up but pride made me keep moving on. In the past, I had critics. I felt like I still needed to prove myself to them, even though most of them we hadn't seen in years. I felt like if I gave up home schooling, they would all cluck their tongues and say, "See we told you you couldn't do it!! We were right all along!!"
Then there are all those home schooling friends. The ones who to your face say, "You need to do what is best for your family..." but behind your back are saying, "Those poor Newport children, being throw to the wolves of the public school system....tsk tsk tsk..." Those people who preach to you the vileness of government schools, who say the would NEVER send their children there, instead of coming along side of you to say, "You know, I am sorry for the loss of your dream."
There are also those people who just don't understand. They don't get why your heart is breaking in two. They don't understand that deep down in your heart, you think you are a failure.
It is a tough spot to be in. Critics think they were right along and don't offer encouragement; home schoolers think you are a traitor and look at you with disgust or pity; and non-home schoolers just don't get it. So I am left with my own tears and thoughts of failure.
Don't get me wrong, I am excited to see how my children will do in the public school setting. I really think that they will thrive and blossom. But when you start home schooling, you often find yourself saying, "I will be home schooling until I am 60 years old!" not ever thinking that your plans can change quickly. One day I was a home schooler, the next I was looking at the school board website for registration forms. You feel like you are losing your identiy. Who will I be when I am not, "Rebecca, the lady with 8 kids who home schools them all?
The last few weeks we have been working on their CATs and getting those scores in. It has been a relief for me to see them all do "above average" on their tests. It helps me to see I am not a complete failure!
This past week, Moriah, our rising Freshman, has been attending a program called, Summer Bridge, at her high school. She has enjoyed it and has made a few friends.
I have been busy filling out paper work, looking for school supplies and uniforms. It is exciting and yet scary. I am sure that they will do fine and once we are into the school year, my Mother's heart will heal and I will be busy with activities and such.
On top of all of that, my husband, Jeff has decided, after MONTHS and MONTHS (maybe years!) of going back and forth, to apply to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He has met with both priests at our church who have given him the A-OK. He has been working on essays and getting references. We are trying to get his application in as soon as we can so we can know for sure what we will be doing. It is a big decision to make. He will be done with his BA in December and would (God willing) start seminary August 2011. Being ever the pessimist, he doesn't think he will get in or that he will get in but the money will not be there to do it. I just ignore him. We got the ball rolling and will see what happens next.
So lots of changes happening here. Lots of stuff to get done and take care of. But it is exciting. We look forward to seeing what God has next for our family!