Our homeschool journey began back in March 2017. What started out as a temporary solution has now turned into a permanent choice & we are very excited for the future. Here we go; Sometime mid 2016 we found out my father in law was battling what was now his second round of cancer. If you’ve witnessed a loved one fight the good fight against this monster then you can probably visualize what that was like. He was given the option to go for round 2 of radiation along with chemo as he was beyond operating at this point, which he refused.
Sometime around August 2016 my mother in law was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, another low blow to the family in such a short period of time. Sadly, 2 months after her diagnosis, in October 2016 we lost my father in law to pancreatic cancer and my mother in law began her chemo treatments. As a mother, wife and woman, many things came to mind throughout this time. Mainly, that my children were going to experience loss at such a young age. I lost my maternal grandparents around my teen years, we lived in a different country so there was a distance there that didn’t allow me to really feel the pain of loosing them, that didn’t allow me to see them daily as they wasted away. I can honestly say that I miss them and hurt over their loss more now than I did when it first happened. I of course wanted to shield my children from any pain but how? Do they just stop visiting? What will I say to them when they ask about him? When he passed, I feel like we didn’t get a chance to mourn his passing adequately. I don’t know what the mourning time should be, if there is such a thing, but surely it can’t be a few days. We couldn’t really focus on that loss, not because we didn’t love him, but because his wife, my mother in law, my husband’s mother and the grandmother of my children was just beginning her battle with cancer. We had to help her emotionally, physically, distract her, keep her company and everything in between.
The boys started to notice the hair loss and other similarities between both grandparents. We definitely had to honestly and openly talk to them about the situation. They understood, they cried their little hearts out some night and others they would be the happiest on earth, kids comprehend things their way so we weren’t obsessive with the topic. We talked about it when they wanted and didn’t mention it when they didn’t. I’m not sure if we did the right thing but isn’t parenthood a big-o-learning lesson? Anyway, in January 2017 my husband was temporarily transferred to Tennessee to work on a project for an unknown amount of time. They kept telling us it could be 2 months or 10. As parents sometimes do, we had a difficult decision to make. It was one of those things that he wouldn’t get fired if he refused, but it would definitely hurt him career wise. Not to mention the pay increase that came along with this sacrifice would allow us a perfect opportunity to add a great deal to our 401k. So off to Tennessee he went. Just shy of 4 months after his dad passed, his mom’s diagnosis, he was being transferred in what seemed like such an abrupt and inconsiderate way. The boys were fine when Dad left, but about a week in the water works began, every night they’d cry themselves to sleep. Their concern for daddy was very evident as they were always asking for him, asking if he was for sure okay, was he coming back? I began to notice some of their anxiety manifest in the weirdest ways. My oldest was biting through his clothes EVERYDAY, unconsciously, I would later find out that every time he thought of Dad, grandpa or grandma, or when he saw his little brother, who was in second grade and attended his same school, crying at lunch line, or recess, he’d begin to bite his sleeve ( it was winter time) at his wrist or the neckline of his shirt. My middle one, the second grader, he’d cry all over again every night and every morning and begged to stay home. A week before Spring Break, I received concern emails from their teachers, asking if family life was stable and that sort of thing. They were showing extreme signs of anxiety and stress, the teachers saw it, I saw it…We visited dad during Spring Break and talked about everything.
By this point I had started doing research on homeschool and I was well prepared to discuss this with the hubs. We made the decision as a family to pull them out of school & homeschool them the remainder of the year. This would allow us to temporarily move to Tennessee with Dad, regroup as a family and give our boys some much needed reassurance ad family support and all the loving you can imagine. You can read about some of our Tennessee learning opportunities here. Our priority was their emotional well being & spending much needed family time together, to strengthen our ties, our relationships, our faith and each other. Best decision I’ve made since deciding to be a stay at home mom 11 years ago. Funny thing is that I always felt like I was meant to homeschool. There were definite signs, at the time, which I ignored partly because I was a scared and insecure mom and partly because I was afraid of what everyone around me would think. At the time, my faith was non existent…but God’s timing is perfect. The past 3 years have been very emotionally charged for sure, and yes, those circumstances were the last straw that broke the camel’s back when it came to our decision to homeschool, but for me, in my mom heart I know that this was God’s way of validating my mom instincts & intuition from all those years ago. That’s all the peace I need in my heart to know that we made the right decision. They say the first year of marriage is the hardest, I believe this to be true of homeschooling as well and pretty much anything that’s new & scary. It’s gotten way easier as we approach the end of our first full homeschool year but it hasn’t been without a few overwhelming break downs in the process. I don’t foresee us going back to public school anytime soon, I trust God will see us through our journey everyday, no matter where life takes us.