Friday was Tariku's first day of school! Before he came home we thought we might try homeschooling him for a year and then enroll him in Kindergarten next year or continue homeschooling...... but a couple months home we knew that would not work for him or for me, at least at this time.
A lot of my friends homeschool and when we started to look at different options I sort of felt like I had failed them, failed my kids, and failed my husband. I see blog posts all the time on why homeschooling is best, how they are not supermoms but pray for patience, and why learning with a family is great. I understand their reasoning and I see that they lean on the Lord, but after praying about what to do we saw clearly that homeschooling is not for me or for our family right now.
Throughout this spring and summer I did "school time" with all our children to get Tariku prepared on letters and numbers, just basics. One of the reasons we decided to enroll him in school was because of what we saw result from our family "school time". He started great, his coloring was always inside the lines, he was excelling and learning. As time went on he recognized his sister & brothers level of work and he started reverting to their level. He didn't want to be the only one to color inside the line & to write. He wanted to be like his brother and scribble with only one color crayon.
Another reason for enrolling him is his English. He also takes cues on how to talk from having younger siblings. This is fine, as he has learned English a lot from them but being around children his age every day will benefit him to speak at a more age appropriate level. Not in jumbled sentences like his 2 year old brother.
The school Tariku is going to is a public school right down the street. We chose this school because we have heard many great things about the program and the teachers. Many of our friends who send their children to school choose private schools. Another thing that made me seem like a failure for choosing a school. Honestly the program is great and we have heard nothing but good things, so at this time our public system will work for our family.
Tariku's first day went well. He was so excited to go and had been praying for weeks about it. Dropping him off I felt great, we walked past all the crying moms & kids said our goodbyes and he went in. I thought we Rocked It!
Picking him up was a much different story. As soon as he saw me he started bawling and we sat in a heap together for 5 minutes with my other kids running around the gym. He was afraid I wasn't going to pick him back up. He was afraid I would leave him there. His fears are not irrational at all, as his mother left him at an orphanage never to return. It is something that will be a struggle for him and it is something we will work through together. The more it happens the more Tariku will trust that I am coming back to get him.
Since the school is half day we are doing "school time" as a family in the morning. We are going to be focusing on Bible memory and Bible stories. My friend sent me to a great free curriculum site and it is what we are using for now. I am excited to help them grow in this area and see where it leads our family in the future. And I am glad Tariku will get to experience the best of both worlds, school at home and in a classroom environment. Here is to hoping the school year will be a great success!