I was a single mom with Nathaniel for 5 1/2 years before I married Terry. When Terry and I married in 2004, Nathaniel was entering Kindergarten. I decided to home school him. When Nathaniel's Dad heard the news, he was not happy with it, and really put up a fight. (By the way, Nathaniel's dad isn't a Christian, and we have very different parenting styles) Well, since "legally" we share joint custody, we have to agree on school choices. Well, how do you agree on something you don't agree on? It wasn't something that we could come to an agreement on so we had to go to mediation...In the mean time, I just kept home educating Nathaniel. Kindergarten went great! Nathaniel really learned a lot. Him and I really both enjoyed learning together. I really enjoyed seeing him grow educationally. I taught him how to read and write! That was an amazing feeling knowing that I did that. I still don't know how I did that. The following fall (after he started first grade) his Dad and I went to mediation. The outcome of the mediation was, I made a lot of changes (in favor of his dad) so I can keep homeschooling until, at least, 6th grade. I home educated Nathaniel through Second grade. During Second grade, things changed. Nathaniel and I were constantly at each other. We really didn't get along very well. We ended our days in tears (both of us) many days. I was tired of home schooling him. I didn't like what our relationship was turning into. I wanted to enjoy him, and I really felt like I was starting to not like him so much. Don't get me wrong, I love my son...but I am sure you can relate with not really liking them at moments.
I had Madelyn during that school year...beginning of March. I am sure being pregnant during that time didn't help our situation. I was so very emotional with my pregnancy with Madelyn. I got lazy with schooling, too, but I could tell that it just wasn't working out. Nathaniel had a hard time with separating me as mom and teacher. He took what I was trying to teach as criticizing. I know I can be very critical at times, too...but that is another post in itself (stay tuned). So, with a lot of prayer, and a lot of talk with Terry and friends, Nathaniel entered the Public School this year (2007). He is really doing well, and he enjoys school. I think he does really well under another teacher's direction. He gets challenged by other peers, and he loves competition. He thrives well with structure, and he gets that at school. This isn't a defeat statement, but I don't have to fight with his Dad about school anymore, either. Nathaniel's state test results came back and he far exceeds the standards, he is at a 6th grade reading level, his spelling is a daily struggle....and that makes me want to take him out and keep home educating him. We will see how this year goes. We may end up taking him out and maybe do Christian online school down the road. Who knows. All I know is that I need to do it all in prayer.
I am still wanting to home educate Caleb, Madelyn and any other kids we may have, but I think that having Nathaniel go to the school was a good choice. It was prayed over, and God gave me peace about it. I would have preferred a Christian or Private school...but, finances won't stretch that far. I don't agree with some things with the school system, but I just have to keep bathing it in prayer.