Navigating Education for us


Next year will mark the commencement of our educational journey. I'm feeling like this journey will be incredibly winding and confusing and possibly require multiple starts and stops.

I am trying to trust in the Lord to lead us, and trust in His ancient wisdom to be our principal educator. It is very difficult to do this. It's difficult because I see my own childhood scenario and all it's security and protection and loudly recall my own failures and shortcomings. My scenario of education in a wealthy suburban city in a high school of about 3 thousand students walking the halls of a 17 million dollar school - will look much different from my sons.

Today, my feeling is to follow the steps of the families with grown children whom I admire still living in the Rogers Park area. I would like to shadow them and their choice to home school through at least middle-school. A lot of them use Rod & Staff curriculum, though I'm seeing that bloggers recommend a blend of resources. This somewhat discourages me because I want a simple inclusive series. The family that most inspires me has kept their studies simple from what I can seen. You can read their incredible story of adopting their two youngest from Ethiopia and also learn more about their approach to life & family in the Chicago Tribune.

I'm also looking into Classical Conversations which is a home school community that meets at Moody once a week down town. The program includes a trained tutor who teaches them each subject of study on the day of 'class'. Essentially, I'm drawn this method of learning in an accountable community setting that includes someone else teaching my kids. There are significant fees involved, but it may be a good middle ground to start us. I've heard, of course on a blog testimonial, of a family that started with CC and then left to continue in a smaller community with different curriculum. This just encourages me to know that CC could be experienced on a trial basis.

I am also looking into public schools in our area and will be vigilant to see what other parents are doing as they navigate education for their families. I'm largely motivated to try homeschooling by the time and experiences I will gain with my guys. I really adored my mom and probably would have loved a home school education. My brother was the only one of us who asked to be taken out of public school because he did not click with many of his teachers or methods and preferred to take long afternoon naps - reportedly during math. Except he was actually really good at math.

This is how I am navigating education for us today. Tomorrow could be a different story. I recognize that what we do for our family will be somewhat or significantly different from even our best and closest friends. Believe me when I say, these differences really pull on my heart because I love shared experiences. I'll probably be always a bit (or hugely) insecure with the way I navigate our educational path, similar to the imperfect way I navigate training & discipline. Reconciling what's in my heart, our family scenario, and my desire to live in community with those around us will be a constant tension. I'm pretty sure there will be many 'I told you so' moments around this journey and I see an enormous need for grace. Hoping in return to be a conduit of grace to those who need to hear the same words, 'do what is best for your family.'

It's gonna be a long road.