Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tribulation...aka Stress

Accomplishing something great involves tribulation...otherwise the accomplishment would not be great.  Therefore, tribulation is a indication of good things to come. The trick is to remember this fact.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Happy Ending...or Beginning

We have decided to send Hannah to public school this year.  When we began homeschooling, my husband and I both felt that she would return to our little public school some day.  I thought it would be in the 9th grade, but it turns out she is returning in the 6th grade.  We home schooled her for three years, and I can honestly say it was the absolute hardest and most rewarding task I have ever accomplished.

For Hannah to reenter the public school system, she needed to take a test to determine her grade placement.  When I learned this fact, I immediately became nervous.  As a home school family, being judged by others becomes a way of life and you develop a thick skin.  When your children are in the store with you Christmas shopping during "school hours", or you take a week off in the middle of February because you can, or you schedule appointments anytime of the day because you have a flexible schedule, you inevitably get the question, "Are you out of school today?"

"No, we home school."

Sometimes the response to this statement is positive, but more often, in my experience, the response has been puzzlement or outright disdain.  So you try to learn to let the comments bounce off of you, you try to turn the other cheek, and you really try to not rip the condescending expression off of other's people face.  You develop a thick skin, or at least a thicker skin.

But this testing felt different to me.  It felt like I was going to be graded.  Though Hannah was the one being tested, I knew I would receive from the employees of the school the blame for failure or the credit for success.  And I was nervous.  I tried to have her tested at the end of our school year last year when everything was fresh in her mind.  No go.  She had to be tested in August before school started, specifically yesterday, and I was a bundle of nerves.

We have had a busy summer and have done almost no school work, she had a sleepover the night before and was tired, and she was nervous about the test because she wanted to be in the same class as her friends from the community and probably because she could sense my nerves.  I told her I knew she would do great, and that all would be well, but I was reassuring myself as much as I was her, and I am sure she knew this.  Long story short, she passed with beautifully flying colors.  In math she was at a grade equivalent level of 8.5 and in reading a grade equivalent level of 8.4.  The test administrator told me that they were excited Hannah was coming back, and that I had done an excellent job.  

That felt superb.  

To have validation from a source of skepticism (the school, not the test administrator) was such a blessing.  Hannah and I both felt triumphant.  Not only had we succeeded in the last three years, we had thrived.  I had not failed her.  All of her hard work was worth something.  Home schooling was an absolute success.  And while I can't say I won't miss it (every curriculum catalog I get in the mail twists my heart), I am excited to start on our new adventure in education.  It will be different.  It will be hard.  But with God's grace, it will be well.