Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The First Day of School

First, here are Ella and Troy's first day of school interviews.

  1. What do you want to be when you grow up? Christian and a doctor, an eye doctor or a regular doctor that checks you
  2. What was your favorite thing you did during the summer? Go to Paraguay, meet new friends, and learn Spanish in Paraguay. You can just say: "Have fun in Paraguay!"
  3. What is your favorite thing to learn about in school? Putting name puzzles together
  4. What is your favorite color? Blue
  5. What is your favorite thing to play? Barbies and my princess dolls, and my Minnies and my baby dolls

  1. What do you want to be when you grow up? Pirate
  2. What was your favorite thing you did during the summer? Work with my tools
  3. What is your favorite thing to learn about in school? Reading lesson
  4. What is your favorite color? Orange
  5. What is your favorite thing to play? Everything in the house

And, I had to include this photo because Luke insisted on posing next to the sign just like Troy. :)

Ella's first day of first grade was very different from her first day of kindergarten. Although I homeschooled Ella last year, we decided to send her to public school for first grade.

We didn't choose to move Ella to public school because we were unhappy with how things were going as we homeschooled her; rather, we chose to move Ella to public school, for the most part, for her to have the experience as a student as well as for us to have the experience as parents. We've said all along that we are open to many different schooling options, and while the reasons we chose to homeschool Ella last year are still reasons we may homeschool her again in the future, it doesn't mean that homeschooling is the only way or that there aren't valid reasons to consider a different schooling option.


I will admit that I have very mixed emotions about Ella's schooling this year. Even though we are only one day into the school year, there are already things that I miss about homeschooling her like choosing her curriculum and knowing exactly what she'll be learning; seeing her excitement when she learns something new; and not having to be out the door at 7:30 in the morning. :) However, there are things that I know I will get to enjoy about her experiences in public school like when she came home yesterday chatting about the new friends she made, or that how her favorite things were exercising and doing name puzzles, or how the fifth graders helped her out during lunch.

I'll be teaching Troy pre-K at home, and we are going to start by focusing on learning to read. I'm excited and thankful for the time that I will have to focus on Troy's learning. I'm also excited for the opportunity for Troy to learn more responsibility without having Ella to rely on. He's never been the oldest child around the house, and this will give him an opportunity for growth (and an opportunity for me to challenge him more as well).



Although it isn't specifically related to my children, I'd like to end with a note of encouragement to all parents, particularly Christian parents, concerning others' choices when it comes to schooling. I'm in several homeschooling groups on Facebook, and those groups have, for the most part, been valuable resources for advice on educating children at home. However, over the past few days there have been numerous discouraging posts regarding those who would choose to educate their children outside the home. And, sadly, I've also heard many discouraging things from those who educate their children outside the home toward those who homeschool. I'm deeply saddened by the pressure and guilt that each side seems to place on the other. I think we all need to be very careful about judging each family's motives and remember that each schooling situation will present unique opportunities and situations (both good and bad) for our families. As Christian parents we ought to be looking at how we can use those opportunities to teach our children more about God and His Word and sharing the good news with others.