We’ve known for a while that we wouldn’t always homeschool.
Homeschooling isn’t legal where we live, and while we could probably manage to work it out through a loophole, because our children are American citizens, there are many reasons why we have decided to enroll our children in public school when the time comes.
Not the least of which is that in order for our children to enjoy fulfilling friendships with their peers, they need to be able to speak the Croatian language well. While I am fluent in Croatian, it is still not my 1st language, and therefore I can’t give them the foundation they need to be able to speak it as well as they’ll need to succeed here.
Because of our son’s language delay, we were not sure whether or not we should enroll him in Kindergarten now or wait a year. We have the option to enroll him in 1st grade at 7 instead of 6. And we are ready to take that option, but it would mean two years of Kindergarten if we were to enroll him this year.
So we opted to wait.
Bu last week, while speaking with someone at the administration office for our Kindergarten, we were advised to go ahead and submit the paperwork to enroll him – even though enrollment had ended a couple of months ago and Kindergarten had already started the beginning of this month.
I was certain they wouldn’t take him right away, so we went ahead and gathered the paperwork right away….and two days ago I submitted it.
The administrator looked at me and said, “Okay, you can take him to Kindergarten tomorrow at 8:00 A.M.”
I am sure my eyes popped wide open!
We walked out the door and a million emotions washed over me:
joy – because my son had been begging to “go” to school (as opposed to doing school at our kitchen table),
uncertainty – because this was all happening too fast! (this wasn’t even on the table a week ago!
sorrow – because my baby is growing up
A haircut and a trip to the store later, we arrived home and I quickly began to pack his backpack and prepare his clothes for the next morning.
It was with pride and a few tears that I walked out of the classroom the next morning.
Wasn’t it just yesterday that I held him in my arms for the first time???
I arrived home to a new challenge.
I shut the front door and my youngest ran to me with open arms yelling, “Mommy!!!” After a quick hug, he looked around with a very confused look on his face. He ran to the front door, opened it and yelled out, “Robi! Where are you?”
I carefully explained to him that Robi was at school, but would be home later.
While we knew he would need to adjust to this new development in our home, we were unprepared for how emotional he would become.
Frantically he ran around the house yelling for his brother. He cried and expressed his anger at the fact that his best friend wouldn’t be home all morning to play.
It was then that I realized that the biggest adjustment wouldnt’ be so much Robi going to school. That was a treat! The biggest adjustment was helping his brother cope with being alone all morning long.
Thankfully, Kindergarten is only two days a week; but it will be two days a week that his best friend wont be around.
And while we still plan to homeschool the remaining 3 days, over the next couple of weeks we’ll all need time to settle into a new normal.
Little brother needs more hugs and cuddles, more of mommy’s attention, and reassurance that while his little world has been turned on its head, that everything will still be alright.
Big brother needs space to adjust to the fact that in place of his leisurely mornings with chocolate milk and toys, two days a week he’ll need to rush out the door to school. He also needs time when he comes home to decompress, and shouldn’t be rushed into anything major.
Mommy needs time to adjust to the back and forth, homework, packing snacks, and adding a new event in her schedule. Some of my social media has taken a back burner to make room to help guide my children through this change of direction.
Most of all, we need grace for one another.
When life brings the unexpected, our response is crucial. Will we allow fear to overtake us? Will we hold on to former expectations of ourselves and others involved? Or will we allow God’s grace to make our hearts flexible enough to bend with the change of direction and tender enough to allow those around us space to adjust?
Unexpected situations arise all of the time, and our response to them will determine whether or not our homes will remain havens of peace and rest for our family, or a hornet’s nest of frenzied emotions and frazzled nerves.
During the month of October, I am joining Courtney from Women Living Well and hundreds of women all over the world in making my home a haven. I am lighting my lovely Yankee Candle (a treasured gift from a friend in the States) to remind myself to pray peace over my home each and every day.
I blogged through this challenge last year, too. You can read the posts here: Making My Home a Haven 2014 Fall Challenge
If you’d like to join us, you can go here to read about this week’s challenge.