“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
If you’re a parent, it’s the time of year when your social feeds are flooded with school buses, shiny new backpacks, and carefully curated wardrobes and lunch boxes. We’re inundated with emotional posts – from bittersweet tears and separation anxiety, to more relaxed and joyful (?) send-offs as the years pass. We have yet to join these ranks. This will be our fourth year watching from the sidelines, and we’re still feeling uneasy about getting in the game. We don’t have all the answers yet, and most likely never will. What we do know is that we’re in a season of life that goes by all too quickly, and we’re holding onto it with all our might. I’ve avoided discussing this topic here for so long, because it’s a highly charged and personal one. Every family has different needs and goals…I’m sharing our journey, with respect for your choices.
The gravity of parenthood has never been more evident to me than when making decisions about our children’s education. Those decisions and questions began years ago, when Henry and Marie were still in utero. What educational path would we choose? Public, private, homeschool, charter? Where are the best school districts? What type of learners will they be? Which environment will suit them best? The questions are endless – it’s dizzying and overwhelming. Add the societal pressures, and it’s enough to make me want to crawl under a rock. We’ve received advice (both solicited and not) from family and friends, and have toured a myriad of schools. The cost of a (secular) preschool education has left us in a state of shock, and we haven’t felt right about any of the options we’ve explored. We’re waiting for something to feel right.
Until that happens, we’ve decided that we’re not going to decide (yet). We are giving ourselves (and the kids) another year to get our bearings, find a more permanent home, and choose an educational path. Of course, we’ll continue our quest and research in the meantime. If we choose the traditional route, we wouldn’t enroll them in kindergarten until they are six (two years from now). So, while the kids will remain “in the nest” for a bit longer, we’ve already started providing a bit more structure to their learning (more on that soon). I’m so thankful to have the luxury (and choice) of being at home with my children, and letting them learn at their own pace, for now. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. What path did you choose, and what has worked best for your child? Would you change anything, if you could? Please share!