I've been going through the "I hope I'm not ruining my kids by homeschooling" phase this week. Seems like I went through it last year as well. It's really tough to watch all the "end of the year" stuff happening around us with their friends who are in traditional school settings. We've cried a little...okay, a lot this week, knowing we can't ever get back some of those opportunities. It's hard. Homeschooling is a sacrifice in so many ways. I've given up so much of my time, and sometimes my sanity, to teach my kids from a biblical perspective and to keep their hearts and minds from being exposed to so much junk in the world. No, I don't believe in "sheltering" them forever and ever. We deal with and talk about real issues in our home, but are able to monitor how much is coming at them.
But it is also a sacrifice for them to give up the little things that we don't ever get a do over on....the last day of school parties, the field trips with the whole class, the kindergarten performance on the last day of the year, the fifth grade graduation and tea! I've told my kids this week that one day, I hope they can look back and not just remember the moments lost, but all the moments gained. The times they got to play outside on a beautiful spring day ALL afternoon, rather than be stuck inside doing homework, or taking the day off from school on their birthday to go to the park or hang out on the boat, or the extra curricular activities they did because we actually had time for them, or the family walks in the evenings or game nights, or the science lesson about the awesome sea creatures God created and then getting to see them in an aquarium or on the beach (on a school day), or getting to laugh and learn with their siblings in ways that they never would have otherwise. I hope they will be grateful for those moments and feel like they gained so much more, rather than feeling like they've missed something. The choices we make as parents are hard. Sometimes we make the right decisions, and sometimes not. I just keep praying God will lead and guide and direct us as we walk this road of parenting....and maybe my kids won't be on a therapists couch one day lamenting about missing a Valentine's party in the fourth grade!
The ballons in this post are in honor of the ones my oldest daughter did not get to release yesterday with her fellow fifth grade classmates at the public school she once attended. I love you sweetie and am so proud of you!