I was ready to purchase Lillie-Mae’s kindergarten curriculum and Dallas’ fourth grade books for another year of homeschool when I sensed the Lord leading the Guess Tribe in a different direction. For three years, home was where I birthed two babies and played teacher.
It was the most growing and strengthening time as a woman. To be responsible for all areas of a child’s growth is huge. There is no principal to answer to, guidance counselor to send an emotionally needy child to, and no lunch lady to cook the meals.
Homeschool moms are everything.
Homeschool can get a bad rap with Mom’s believing the lie “I couldn’t do that, I just don’t have the patience.” You can do anything you’re called to do and are stronger than you think. Quit selling yourself and your Creator short. Who am I to tell you that? Well I was the Mom that said “I will NEVER homeschool my child.” But then I had a very wiggly, energetic, beyond smart for his age child that was put into a box of a school room and needed out. The three years he was at home taught him how to study, listen, and discover that learning is outside of a book. For me, the same things were taught. I studied my child to pay attention to cues that life wasn’t great and learned to listen, because his words mattered too. I learned that some of the best life lessons are taught at Aldi when your seven year old unloads groceries for a worn out Momma with a screaming newborn, without being prompted to show compassion.
To say it was a shock to feel peace that my kids would enter into public school is an understatement.
Ask Chris, I don’t lose sleep over many things. I lay down, close my eyes, sleep. But those nights feeling restless was a struggle. He felt it too. What’s faith like? It’s a consistent, close walk with the Lord on a path, and then one day He pulls your hand to go a new direction. You can either hold tight and move, stand still and think whether you want to go along, or let go and keep going the way you always were because it felt comfortable.
Faith is holding tight and moving. Continuously. Blindly.
Needless to say, I woke up one night and said the name of the school my kids now attend. Telling Chris about how we should check it out, he said it was where he knew they should be for a couple of months. Why didn’t he tell me that? Because I needed to hear it from God too.
My first worry turned prayer “Let my kids have nice, caring, better than their Momma teachers that give them love and patience and kind words and encouragement.” Mrs. Bussey was that for Dallas. He would have a hard day at school, be misunderstood by one of his many teachers, and I would tell him, “Find Mrs. Bussey, she will give you a hug.” Sometimes when a kid isn’t really wrong and there are a lot of students and opinions, their side can be shut out, and I get that. Coming from a school room of one to 25 was a shock for Dallas in that area. He always had a safe place though to feel comfortable and grounded.
Lillie-Mae is the kindest, most soft hearted child I have ever been around. She is made up of all the niceness of her Daddy and the little bit that I had to give, and that’s it. I was terrified her kindergarten teacher would be too energetic, the classroom too loud, and she would be looked over. Turning six on the first day of school meant she was starting at the bottom of the totem pole. Leaving her in that classroom the first day, I bawled my eyes out (still crying now thinking about it!). The superintendent, Mrs. Day, gave me a hug and said it will be alright Momma! Mrs. Stansell was the perfect teacher for her. Calm and quiet and always smiling. The type of personality I imagined Lillie-Mae to grow into as an adult! Every day was exciting for her to go to school. The first month she was tired and cried after school but was always ready to get up and go the next day!
And this year... Mrs. McBryar, I can’t say your name without thanking God right after. Lillie-Mae was worried no teacher could be as nice as Mrs. Stansell. Says right there in her card “I can’t believe how nice you are to me.” You were an answer to her prayers over many nights. And the first day of school, “I can’t believe she knew my name and she has two names too! She even gives hugs and I wanted to kiss her but didn’t know if I could.”
Dallas has all male teachers this year, and it’s teaching him to be more responsible and focused on goals. There might not be any hugs, but he admires every one of his teachers. They’re giving him something to model after as men.
Elementary teachers, you are like school Moms and Dads to our kids when they’re away, and I’m am so thankful for you!