Throughout the past year our family has had some big changes. To start off with my husband ( a United States Marine) arrived home safely after 10 months overseas. This reunion was shortly followed by our move back to our hometown in Central Florida. My husband and I grew up in our small quaint hometown and moved away on our wedding day 12 years ago last September. It has been beyond blissful being back where we were both raised. We are currently residing on the same street as my parents, my brother and his family, and both of my sisters and their families. I really have no words for how thankful I am for this time.
The last big change was we decided to home school our children this year. This change was something that had been on our hearts for the past few years. Our oldest daughter is 7, in second grade; our son is 5 in pre-k; and our baby is 2. After much prayer we decided this was the calling for our family.
I remember at the start of the year having many days where I wondered if we made the right choice. I felt inadequate and questioned myself daily. I would compare our days to what I knew my daughter had done in the DOD schools she had attended on the military base we had lived on. I would compare our days to other home schooling families I knew. I would stress out wondering if I was meeting the state standards and if my children would succeed. I worried because we seemed to thrive on a unique schedule, that was foreign to most families I knew. I recognized we did things to our “own beat” so to speak. I remember distinctly the day I was in tears and emailed another home schooling friend and was comforted tremendously by her response. The words she wrote were big and something I want to share with anyone going through the same feelings I had. She said to RELAX and remember why we started this in the first place. It made me dig deep within my soul and pray. And then something changed that day….
I started to relax and I can now say that I am enjoying my days with my children so much. And wasn’t this the main reason we decided to home school in the first place–to savor this precious time with them while they are young. I began to see if we don’t finish all of our work today, it’s okay because there is always tomorrow. If the kids are up until 10:00 with Daddy after he gets home late from his 1 ½ hour daily commute; it’s okay, because they can sleep tomorrow until 9:00 (or whenever their little bodies decide to wake up). And with my husband’s crazy busy deploying schedule, every moment with Daddy is precious! If we do school one day in the morning and one day in the afternoon—it’s okay, because there isn’t a right or wrong. Days are spent enjoying each other, living life, and learning in our own way. I have been so happy to see my kids excelling. My daughter’s math has taken off, my son has learned to read, and they both have this nurturing love for their baby sister that I will forever remember. But more importantly than all of the learning, is the quality time we are sharing (morning walks, lunch outside, afternoons in the backyard on the lake, late movie nights…). These are the moments I had hoped for and am cherishing so much. This isn’t to say that every day is blissfully perfect, but I am not seeking perfect. I have learned its so much more of a way of life versus a way of school. It took me some time to realize but our school is done our way, and that way is just right for US. So, no matter what it may be for you and your life; do what works best for your family, and don’t worry about anyone else. Because when you do that…you will find all kinds of happy!
Guest post by Ginger Unzueta
I am first and foremost a mother to three wonderful children and a wife to a man who has been my best friend as long as I can remember. We are a Marine family that follows the Lord, striving to live an abundant life in whatever circumstances we are in. I have a passion for photography and all things creative. I long to capture pictures that will tell the story of the moments spent with the ones closest to my heart. We are currently residing in our hometown in Central Florida.