I'm thinking about this coming school year. We are just one month away from your first day of public school. I know you are apprehensive and a little worried about what it will be like, what will happen to you, who you will be in this new school setting… but I know you, and I know you will enjoy this experience.

Homeschooling has always given us the opportunity to customize your education based on where you are at. Because we're your teachers and your parents, we have learned well the patterns and flow of your learning curves. It's our job to know when you are approaching new territory or are ready to move up to the next step. Whenever you're on the brink of something in particular, we make sure to meet that need and provide the right things to help you grow in it.

This normally happens in the form on something so subtle you haven't even noticed it in the past. Like when you started to sound out the "mmmm" in the upside down "walmart" from your position in toddler spot of the cart- three year olds don't usually learn to read, but we slowly offered you the beginning of your reading lessons after that day, and you were a beginning reader within a couple of months. And when you started writing stories in your spare time - stories that we knew kids would love to read - then you scored at a 12th grade reading level in the second grade standardized state testing - we put you in the fifth grade entrance level of Institute for Excellence in Writing, to broaden an area that we could see you were hungry and ready for. And even when you struggled in math, with Math-U-See, and we bought the entire 1st through 3rd grade Miquon program, half way through your 3rd grade year. We started you in book one, first grade, so we could strengthen your math foundation before moving up. This is what we do. It's the biggest and best part of our privilege as homeschoolers, tailoring your educations to fit you.

I won't for one second pretend that God wasn't the reason we even looked at the idea of putting you in public school this year, because He's the only way we would have ever considered it. We are homeschoolers, through and through, and still consider ourselves to be so.

But in the second that God made it clear you would be in public school this year, I began to become filled with understanding and joy for this provision. Despite my own hopes, dreams, wants, and plans (I did have your entire 4th grade curriculums and schedules planned already) I could see our year in the public school begin to take shape.

I know that you have come a very long way in a short time this year. You have shed a lot of inhibition, insecurity, and uncertainties about yourself. Since you were healed and freed from the things that held you back, you have become very strong, solid, and powerful in your perspectives, character, and beliefs these past few months. 

With this, we realize that you are ready for things that can not happen in our home. You're ready to call the people who teach you, just "teacher", and not also mom and dad. You're ready to be responsible for yourself in a way that we're not capable of providing for our only child in the middle of the country, having no other kids in our neighborhood. You're ready to be in a safe place with a multitude of different but familiar faces, everyday. You're ready to learn the responsibilities of being in a subculture, becoming socially accountable for yourself, and how to represent you, your belief system, and our family.

We are expecting that this will be a one year change. As far as we are planning, we will return to homeschooling from home next year. But I do believe that this year will be a much needed, welcomed time of learning life and personal growth for you in a very special and intentional way.

Not to worry, God's got you in His hands and His plans, and you are going to shine! 

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