I should start this post by saying how grateful I am for the option to homeschool. I was so scared when Lars and I started talking about it as an option when Bethany wasn’t even 4 years old. It was super frustrating at first as we tried to figure out how to do it. But we slowly started piecing together our curriculum from our favorite resources and we settled into a routine.
It turns out, homeschooling was one of the best experiences of my life. I loved it. And looking back, we realized that it really was the best thing for us, as we just made our eleventh move in twelve years. Our time in Logan would have meant 3 different elementary schools for Bethany – 6 schools total in all the moving around. I don’t even want to think about how messed up that would have been.
Right after Christmas, I started to feel a pull that I’ve never felt before. I knew exactly what it meant. And at first, I was in total denial. I think the kids felt the change, too, because things started to get hard. We had cut back on our regular schooling so that we could prepare to move. But even the little bit that we were doing was difficult to get through. The kids were antsy and restless and grumpy. Sure, we would go through phases and have a hard day or two during the school year, but this was different. For the next month, everything felt forced and unnatural. I finally sat them all down at the end of January and asked them how they would feel about trying public school once we get to Vernal.
They cried. For about a second.
After they spent a little time processing the information, Bethany started giggling. And then Liv started giggling. And then Max told me he was so excited. We were all a little nervous about the change – it’s a huge change, after all. None of them had ever been to public school before.
On the Monday morning after our move, we went as a family to get them registered for school. I had called ahead to make sure we didn’t need to have them tested or anything like that. It took a while to fill out all the paperwork for the three of them, but after we were done, the secretary took us around the school for a tour and to meet their teachers.
Later that evening, we all went school shopping! It was totally the wrong time of year, but we were able to find backpacks, lunch packs, pencils, and homework folders. I always see those back-to-school lists at the store – the ones that are grade and school specific – but the school out here says they provide everything for them. They just need a backpack, really.
Max and Olivia would start school the next day, but Bethany’s class was on a field trip all day Tuesday so she would start on Wednesday. I offered to drive them to school for their very first day, but once they found out that our house was on the bus route, they opted for that adventure instead. When it was time, I took them outside to wait. I did tear up a little when they stepped up and on the bus. The bus driver was super friendly. She knew exactly who they were and called them by name. The rest of the kids in the bus came forward to see who the new kids were. It was all very exciting!
waiting for the bus
Bethany and I spent the day at home with the babies, unpacking boxes and putting everything away. I was so nervous and excited for Max and Liv. I spent the day looking out the window or looking at the clock, waiting for them to come home and tell me all about their day.
When it was time for the bus to drop them off, I went outside to meet them. They were both grinning ear-to-ear. School was a hit. Max is actually in a class taught by two teachers. They both have young kids at home and so they each work half a day. One teaches the writing and language, the other teaches math. They go to other teachers during the week for science and art and gym. They have library days once per week – and I believe the librarian assigns them reports and projects and things.
Bethany’s first day was fantastic, too. She loves her teacher and she’s making friends really quickly.
There are some gaps in their education, but we were anticipating that. It would have been that way if they were coming from a different school, too. We’re currently trying to help close the gaps in math. Both Max and Bethany are going through the curriculum right now. We work on it a little each night, making sure they’re where they need to be.
We’re now done with week 2 of public school and we’ve got ourselves a routine. It feels good getting back to some normalcy.
So that’s our newest life change. It’s a biggie, but a good one so far.