Last night we walked through a brand new school. The hallways were like the inside of a honeybee hive, as middle schoolers unloaded school supplies in lockers, parents and families chatted, and random groups wandered from class to class, mapping out their schedules with the newness that comes from the anticipation of an upcoming year.
It was a scene I hadn’t expected to join. You see, for the past four years our first day to school has looked more like a leisurely Saturday morning than the typical back-to-school day. We’ve started the day with family time on the couch, reading the Bible and snippets of classic literature as we work our way through favorites like The Cricket in Times Square or The Little House on the Prairie series. Then we break apart for chores, until we’d head to the “classroom” (our downstairs basement) for individual studies punctuated by the normal interruptions of managing a household and parenting a rambunctious two-year-old.
And I’ve loved it.
But this past year was really difficult. Losing Solomon in the midst of the school year brought our entire school year to a crashing halt. Planning school work was the last thing on anyone’s mind. And while the book work suffered, I like to think that the children learned bigger lessons than those found in a workbook-things like resilience, courage and hope.
And yet through all that, my husband felt strongly that our daughter needed to return to public school.
That idea was really hard for me. To be honest, it still is.
As I introduced myself to her teachers and wandered through all the brightly-lit rooms, I prayed that she would be successful in this new chapter. That she would find new, welcoming friends and that she would be an influence for the better. And, most of all, that she would continue to follow Jesus.
Because whatever decision we make as parents, be it public school, private, homeschool or the millions of other decisions we must make, we all want the same thing: the best for our kid.