Oh, how I wish this were a post about the weather! We could certainly use a change of seasons. We did have some rain Friday night. Praise God for that!
This post is one that has been on my mind for awhile. School is about to start for many, if it hasn't already. For some of you it means a new season in your life. Maybe your child is going to Kindergarten for the first time. Maybe your child just left for college. Maybe your kids are just going back to Middle School and you are secretly planning a "Hallelujah I get a few hours alone" party! LOL! For my niece-in-law it will be her first year to teach as a Mom. She'll be "mom" for several hours a day to a bunch of high school girls in dance class, but her REAL job will be waiting as soon as she gets home. Another friend just went back to the classroom after being out of it for several years.
Let me give you a quick look at my past so you will see why change is something that hits my heart. When I was growing up, before I'd even gone to Kindergarten, we moved several times. I attended 5 different elementary schools. Yes, 5. We stayed in one home during Junior High, but that was the time when my older brother died in a car accident, then the next year my oldest brother got married. Then in high school I went to 3 different schools. Needless to say, I experienced a LOT of change. I didn't like it. I hated moving. But I will say it prepared me for my adult life. Before having kids, we moved several times, including that one year in Africa. Since having kids, this is only our 3rd home. The first one they don't remember since they were so young.
For homeschoolers, there are changes, too, but usually different than those of public or privately schooled kids & their parents. We've been part of a homeschool co-op for the past six years. This will be our 7th year with this group, but it isn't the same group it has been for all these years. The first two years we met at one place. Some of us moved on to a different location, while others stayed behind. New families came to join us. Some families stayed while others moved on. After four years in the same location, the church who allowed us to rent their facility decided we are no longer part of their mission for the church, so the hunt was on for a new location. God has provided one on the far northwest side of town.
While we are very thankful for this place to meet, it also means changes. For some, the location is too far to drive. For others, the classes being offered just aren't what their kids need. There are also some who just need a different type of co-op that is more to their families' personality and learning styles. Let's face it, homeschoolers are a pretty determined bunch with a strong set of ideas. I mean, you don't just wake up one day and say, "I think I'll homeschool and use whatever curriculum my friend who is homeschooling uses." Generally, there is a lot of thought about WHY you are homeschooling. There is a LOT of attention paid to WHAT you will teach and HOW you will teach it. Even among Christian homeschoolers, or perhaps ESPECIALLY among Christian homeschoolers, parents generally are educating their children because they believe they know the best way and best material for their families. After all, that is WHY we homeschool. Needless to say, when you get a room full of these moms with different reasons and methods for homeschooling, you will have different ideas on how a co-op should work. That means, not everyone will be happy about every decision. It doesn't mean one mom is right and one is wrong, it just means we do things differnetly. Sometimes it means having to say good-bye to friends with whom we have shared the past several years. These are more like family members than just casual acquaintances. That's the hard part of homeschooling: saying goodbye.
For our family, there are changes even within this co-op. One of our kids loves going to co-op. She is actually going to get up early to ride with another family to be in all 4 hours of classes. She thrives on structure and social time. Our other child is the reason we were almost always late to co-op. She does not like going. She would prefer to stay home all day, unless the option is swimming or playing with a few friends. Since she is in middle school, the class offerings are more academic for her age. Her autistic mind cannot shift to taking spelling at co-op, or any other class where she would have "homework." The funny thing is she & I will spend the same amount of time at home doing spelling, but it is different somehow. She asks me to give her words to spell when we are driving in the car. It is her safe zone, I suppose. So, for this child, she and I are going only in the afternoon. She will help in one class I am co-teaching, then either help in the next class or take some art supplies and do her favorite thing: draw. She NEEDS the social interaction in that she needs practice interacting, so I am hoping to get to co-op in time for lunch so she can visit with friends. I'll need to make her eat on the way there so she finishes her food during the lunch time. Did I mention she does things in slow motion? LOL!
As I was thinking about these changes, a song came to mind that I first heard when I was in college. It's short and sweet. To all my friends, whether we are still in a season of spending time together, or whether the season has come for us to go different ways, this song is something I want to share with you.
Dear Friend by Degarmo & Key
Seasons changes days go by
People come and people go
Though our paths lead us apart
They will meet one day I know
For I owe you so much, dear friend
For all those tresured times
For you've made me a richer man
Having had you in my life
The only place online I found a recording of this is on this youtube video of a family saying goodbye to their dog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r60adurNfFw
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