The Sword & Banner

Homeschool Hesitations

Augustine School Blog

Homeschool Hesitations

I sat in the carpool line for the first time, straining to see if my kids would have their backpacks and know what line they were supposed to be in. Would they even be there? Maybe they had wandered off and no one knew where they were. Of course they would be there, but I still didn’t know if I trusted the teachers to watch my kids as closely as I always had. I had an unhealthy fear of something happening to my kids after homeschooling them for several years and spending every waking moment with them. I finally caught a glimpse of my boys in their ties and freshly ironed shirts not so neatly tucked in. The car doors opened and I breathed, unaware that I had been holding that breath in for at least a minute.

“Well?” I asked frantically. “How was it? Scale from 1-10. One, being the worst day of your life. Ten, being the best day of your life.” I stared into the rear view mirror trying to look at both of their faces without hitting the car in front of me as we rolled forward. 

“It was great!” said my youngest son. He’s eight and he’s never met a stranger. I wasn’t completely surprised by his response, but it was still more positive than I could’ve imagined.

“Blake?” I asked my oldest son, who was ten.

“It was good. I like it,” he said nonchalantly. 

“What number?” I asked again in a higher pitch. “1-10.”

“About an eight.” he said.

SATISFACTION AND HAPPINESS OUTSIDE OF HOME?

An eight? How in the world was it an eight? School should never register any higher than a five on the “worst to best day of your life” scale. Did they feed him sugar and let him watch TV all day? What in the world would make him feel so satisfied and happy? The whole way home, they both seemed at peace and eager to go back the next day.

This was hardly the scenario I had imagined when my husband and I had thought of sending our kids to school for the first time. We had been homeschooling since Pre-K and the decision to send our children to school was fraught with my own feelings of failure, guilt and trepidation.

This was hardly the scenario I had imagined when my husband and I had thought of sending our kids to school for the first time. We had been homeschooling since Pre-K and the decision to send our children to school was fraught with my own feelings of failure, guilt and trepidation. 

Over the next few months, I began to understand something I had completely underestimated in the first years of my children’s lives. It finally made sense when we were on our way to school several months later. 

“Mom?” 

“Yeah.”

“Thanks for sending us to school.”

This was too much.

“Why are you thanking me? I just can’t believe you guys like school this much.”

He thought about it for a second. “I don’t know. I like going. I like having something to do every day, and I like the people. And I also think that it makes me want to know more about God.”

THE SURPRISE OF SCHOOL LIFE AND COMMUNITY

The thing I had underestimated so severely in the early years of my son’s life was community. At Augustine School, he was part of something bigger than himself, and he knew where he fit in it. He knew the kind of person that he wanted to become when he saw seniors praying out loud and giving a high-five to a first grader in the hallway. He was beginning to understand more about who he was as a person as his grades got better and better. He didn’t tolerate Latin; he loved it. Every day wasn’t perfect but in the context of community, there was a way to handle bad grades, bullying, discouragement, tiredness, and loneliness. 

The teachers and administration were adamant about teaching kids not just the what, but also the why. Blake and Ethan came home excited about nature and how God had made each living thing. They were excited to make friends and sad when those friends moved. They were learning about life in the context of a godly community.

On the way home from school one day, my son called me “Ms. Chiim” by accident when he was trying to get my attention. I laughed and he confessed that sometimes he called Ms. Chiim, “mom” accidentally. While some moms might be mortified by this, I have found great comfort in knowing that my sons are cared for and trust the men and women that they are with for hours a day. The headmaster is a theologically sound pastoral type with a firm hand that instantly made my kids respect him without being afraid. The plethora of godly men at the school are faithful mentors to my boys who need to see how godly men act. Their teachers get excited when they see my son’s improve. My children’s time at Augustine hasn’t diminished their relationship with their father and me- it has enriched it. We are no longer the only voices speaking to them about the gospel and godly living.

My children’s time at Augustine hasn’t diminished their relationship with their father and me- it has enriched it. We are no longer the only voices speaking to them about the gospel and godly living.

WRESTLING WITH DOUBT AND DEUTERONOMY

Before we sent our kids to Augustine, I believed that sending them to school would be a great failure on my part. When we were still homeschooling I asked a friend: how could she send her kids to Augustine with no guilt? After all, didn’t the Bible say in Deuteronomy 6 that we should talk to our kids about God as we sit, walk and live? Deuteronomy 6 is the universal homeschool mantra of mothers…and it’s the Bible. I saw no way around that text. How could I possibly send my kids off for hours a day when the Bible so clearly said that I should be teaching them about God 24/7?

My friend replied, “My children’s education and spiritual upbringing is completely my responsibility… which is why I send them to Augustine School.”

She continued, “Augustine School undergirds what we are teaching at home. Augustine emphasizes the truths that we have already taught our kids. Augustine creates an atmosphere where children learn who our Creator is. Augustine is where my kids are memorizing scripture, unpacking theological truths, and living life amongst a community that upholds truth, goodness and beauty as ideals worth pursuing.” 

Finally, she reiterated my original concern saying that “My children’s education and spiritual upbringing is completely my responsibility, and I entrust my children to well-educated, godly men and women at Augustine School, who help me to do just that.”

I couldn’t agree more.

– By Ginger Williams

1Comment
  • Alyssa Marshall
    Posted at 14:04h, 26 June

    I loved reading this! Thanks, Ginger.