The Ending of An Era

Today is the first day of school for my 5 & 8 year old sons. I mean it. it’s the actual FIRST day. Until today, I’ve home schooled my kids. Four years ago we bought six acres of land in a town about 30 minutes from here and about 10 minutes from Hubsy’s job. I didn’t want to enroll my Kindergartner in one school system only to pull him out mid year. Home schooling is really trending around here, so I jumped on the bandwagon and decided I’d teach him until we got our home built and moved. Then, Hubsy was recruited to a company an hour away – in the OTHER direction from our current home. When I called the local school – I AM DEAD SERIOUS – they told me the school was full. LOL We live in a very rural area with a little country school and a whole lot of new housing developments, McMansions and condos going up where farm land was when we moved in. This means lots of new families and lots of full classrooms.

I shrugged it off and bought a first grade curriculum. I had a great time teaching my son. Then, I started writing. And it all changed fast. I started writing in the hopes of publication about 2 1/2 years ago, and I’d just had a baby. I wasn’t sleeping. Homeschooling got more tricky. No sleep and more time commitments made Mommy a grump girl. Then last year I added blogging to my list of to-dos, I signed some writing contracts AND my middle son started Kindergarten at home.

Three months ago, I called “uncle”. I threw in the towel. I was teaching a 2nd grader, AND a kindergartner (which is NOT as easy as it sounds. You need to teach those little guys how to read, and write letters and add and everything everything everything), plus I had a toddler interfering with everything everything everything, and a home and meals, and Hubsy, and writing, and blogging and crit groups and the list keeps going. I wasn’t doing anything to my best ability and I hated it. I am a crazy over achiever and “getting by” wasn’t cutting it. I called the school again and discovered the local system had moved 5th graders over to the middle school so there was room for both my sons this year.

And they are gone. A yellow bus carried them away. Only 1 mile away, but they’re gone and the house is quiet and my heart is both heavy, and proud, and guilty too. My daughter is looking doe eyed already from missing them.

Did I choose my writing over my kids? That’s what my guilt says. My pride says, this is good for them and I am proud they went off to do and try something new. I’m glad I was brave enough to show them you should chase dreams – like mine of being a writer. And you shouldn’t be afraid to do new and intimidating things – like go to school where you have no friends and no clue what to expect. I gave them the gift of independence and confidence when I waved goodbye. They understand I trust them to handle this. They can do it! I’ll be waiting in the middle of the road for that yellow bus in a few hours though.

So far, this the toughest decision I’ve had to make as a parent.

Letting go was hard.

Now I’m going to Starbucks.

8 comments to The Ending of An Era

  • Awww, I’m sure they’ll have a great day at school with all the other kids! You’re right: this is good for them and you should show them not to be afraid to follow your dream. You’re still there when they get home and can give them extra hugs :)

  • AWW! the are going to do great and YOU will be okay.. and you didn’t choose writing over your children, you choose what will work best for everyone, including you! you deserve to have your dream too, right? you are giving them an invaluable gift. Hope you will let us know what heir first day was like :)

  • Chin up my dear, when you look back on this (when its Summer), you’ll wish it was the start of school again. It’s amazing how fast they grow!

  • These decisions are so tough. However it works out, it sounds like you’ve made your best decision for now. Hope you can find a little chill time in between all the projects you’re probably planning to fill those empty-house hours with.

  • Home schooling is not popular here in Canada. I have a friend in SC that homeschools her 4 kids. Yes 4!!
    I think you have probably given your children an amazing start to school and I bet they are going to be leaps and bounds ahead of the other children. You should not feel guilty at all. You did well.

    Congrats on their first day and you deserve that Starbucks *grin*

    Take care, MichelleKCanada @AnotherLookBook
    Another Look Book Reviews

  • My second cousins will be just fine :) They will make tons of friends by the end of the day and come home with crazy stories. And Starbucks will always be there if you need to work through some guilt lol. HUGS!

  • There are positives and negatives to both public school and homeschooling. I think, given your situation, you did what was best. And since they’re so young, they’ll have no problem acclimating to the new environment and making new friends. I grew a lot going to public school, no matter how many times I wished my parents would pull me out. It’s definitely a positive, and it will be good for them to figure out some things for themselves.

    Best of luck with everything :)

  • Cynthia Watson

    Julie: You did the “write” thing!

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