Back to Homeschool 2017

August remains a strange month for me to think about going back to homeschool. I grew up in a country where school always started on September 15. August – all of August – was a part of the time we called “summer holidays.”

Boy and girl going back to homeschool

The last year I have both of them in primary school

In fact, the summer holidays lasted for exactly three months: from June the 15th through September the 15th. When you do this for thirteen years during your most impressionable life stage, it is rather hard to think of August as the month when school starts and May as the month when school ends. But, I live in the US now and have to get over myself.

Back to homeschool we go, and August has barely started. Oh well. It will clear May for some traveling before most people start their summer travels. We like traveling in May and September, when most people are in school.

Boy starts fourth grade

My oldest is in fourth grade. We started homeschooling five years ago. What?

We took some fun pictures in our yard to mark the occasion. Do we dress up for school like this every day? Nope. In fact, I remember when I used to buy them school uniforms and I smile. It was fun at the time. But then I realized they do not wear them but three times before they outgrow them.

When we went on field trips, people assumed we were from some private school because the kids were wearing school uniforms. As cute as these uniforms are, I realized I had to give them up. Sigh.

Girl holds sign for back to school

My youngest is in second grade. I have no idea how that happened. She used to be in preschool.

A shout out to all the bloggers who share beautiful back-to-school signs with us as free printables. It is a pleasure to go on a hunt for the latest signs on the web. Design is not my cup of tea, so I am thankful for creative, artsy people. I would give credit to the blogger who shared these signs, but I can’t find her anymore. I have just been through so many.

One special thing that happened in church the week before school started: the pastor asked all educators to come up front so they can have a special prayer for the upcoming school year. At first, he mentioned the teachers from the church school affiliated with our local congregation. Then, he extended it to church members who teach in public schools, universities, or any other programs for children. “If you are an educator at any level, in any school, please come up front so you can be recognized and so we can pray for your ministry to children. Education is a ministry.”

Mom and children

My husband prefers to stay behind the camera and take pictures of us.

I realized he meant homeschool educators as well, so I went upfront. It was very special. Come to think of it, I can’t recall a previous pastor doing this for all the educators in our congregation. It feels good to know that a spiritual leader recognizes the ministry of homeschooling parents.

The pastor said a few encouraging words about the importance of preparing the next generation and shared how teachers do not receive remuneration commensurate with their efforts. If it was well-paid, a lot of people would be doing it. But it isn’t. As such, teaching is a calling. And, as such, all educators are missionaries in their own right. Even in public school, a Christian teacher can be such a great influence for good through kindness and positive interactions. How much more then in a Christian homeschool.

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