Sunday, May 23, 2010

the new chapter

My own life experience has taught me grand lessons about how I should respond to others when news is shared with me.

For example:

Someone says, "I'm pregnant!"

You DON'T say:  "Was it planned?" or "Again?" or "Do you know how that happens?" or "Boy, you'll really have your hands full!" or "Are you done after this one?"

You say, "Congratulations!  That is wonderful news and I am so happy for you and your family."

FYI, I'm not pregnant.  But hopefully, you can see my point.

We have been sharing some news that has been provoking some equally inappropriate responses though.

We have decided that this is the year that our children are going to give classroom learning a try.  We have been home schooling for the entirety of our parenting experience and fully believe that home schooling is a wonderful choice for education.

The Hunter is finishing third grade this week.  I've said before that it has been a tough year.  He is changing in several ways, but we saw that he was not thriving from learning at home.  We know that school options have benefits and drawbacks on both sides and we watched the weights shift on the scale.

He has reached a point that we feel he would really benefit from learning from someone other than Mom me, as well as facing the social pressure and consequences that will force him to work harder and press forward.

Additionally, I have always been quite open about the fact that I really felt that we would eventually get to this point.  I don't have anything fundamentally against the public school setting and at the right time, I think it will work well for our family.

Last month, we read this book and it has really pumped me up for the positive experience that public school can be as a whole.  The authors have eight children and have had a great public school experience.

They clearly say it is not without challenges or trials, but are very encouraging about how to navigate those challenges with faith and integrity.

One of the authors' key points is that it is crucial to be involved in your children's school.  I identified completely with that point because our sweet Rufus has attended a little co-op preschool for the last two years (and will be wearing his little graduation cap this Friday BOO!!).

I have spent this year as a part of the parent board that keeps the co-op running and I have loved it!  It has not been without hardship and sacrifice, but the time getting to know other parents and working hard to better this school that I have fallen in love with has all been well worth it.

It was so worth it that I signed up for another year on the board when my baby Squirt will start preschool this fall.

I have had a taste of what it feels like to be involved and make a difference in a school, as well as to have a presence there.  My son knows that I know what is happening at school, and therefore, with him.  Plus, I have watched Rufus thrive.

So, can you tell I'm excited about this decision?  Can you tell that we haven't made it easily or without thought and lots of prayer?

I have had an interesting experience collecting memorable responses from  people who obviously haven't learned the, "Congratulations!  That's great news and I'm so happy for you and your family," lesson.

"Do you just have too many kids?" or "Did you get overwhelmed?" or "Well, I'll pray for you." weren't really the responses I was looking for.  After hearing some of these, I almost kissed the friends (not coincidentally, my closest friends and family) who responded with excitement for ME and MY family and OUR decision.

And as of Wednesday, I'm going to start thoroughly enjoying our summer vacation.  Because come September, I'm diving in!


  1. You are such a great role model, mother and person! I learn such great and important things from you about life constantly. You inspire me always to be a better human being and to think before you speek! I hope I was one of the good guys as you spread your wonderful news for you and your family.

  2. You know where I stand, sweet friend! Are you sure you're not pregnant?

  3. I admire you, as a homeschooling mama or as a public/private school mama! You are so right that you just have to be really involved in your children's schooling in any way. (And public schools sure needs more Christian influence on the board, in the classrooms, etc...)

    You'll find out if you want to stay, or if more changes or adjustments are needed... a step at a time, and we'll be cheering you on each step!

  4. I'm excited for you and the boys! Can't wait to get feedback as the school year progresses.

    PS...I'm halfway through the book and LOVE it. I feel like they're just so thorough. Will post about it when I finish reading!

  5. woo-hoo...another new journey for the Sweeney clan! I'm thrilled for Hunter, Sauce, etc. (and you, of course) xo

  6. Congratulations! That's great news and I really am so happy for you and your family! :)

  7. What great parents you and Kenyon are. I applaud your decision!!!! After all is said and done, it is the parents' role to prepare the children for the real world in the best way possible. Prepare them to live in a world of both good and evil and know the difference. It won't be long before they are off to college - out of the nest and living on their own. The blink of an eye it seems. Prepare them well and they will flourish. They are well on their way.

  8. Oh Laurie, I am glad to hear that you are excited about your new chapter! Since I hadn't talked to you, I wasn't sure how you were feeling about this BIG change. You are such an example in all you do. I know that you put your whole heart and soul into homeschooling, and I hope that public school will be equally as wonderful as an experience for you. You are a great mom and I know that everything you do for those boys is only done with alot of prayer and thought! Enjoy your summer vacation with those cute boys!! Hopefully we can see you soon!!

  9. You always have me as a friend who could care less where your kids get their schooling. =)

  10. I think you are brave and I am proud of you for doing what's best for you and your family!

  11. I found this last year that it just feels good to do what is best for your kids and your family regardless of how it looks to others. At the end of it all, it's about you standing before our Savior and being able to say with confidence that you sought his face and moved forward in obedience. I know you and the boys will be blessed this next year. Jules

  12. Seriously you are amazing and I admire how you thought and prayed and do what is best for each kid and your family and listen when you prayed! Gotta follow that peace and joy God gives when he leads no matter what your head or other say!

  13. laurie - you and kenyon are great parents - i'm excited for you as you set out on this new adventure - and yes, being a part of your child's school is a huge thing! you'll love it - enjoy the last few days of school!

  14. I said it on FB and I'll say it again--you're going to love it and so will they!

  15. Blessings to you all on this new endeavor. Don't let the fact that I was public schooled scare you one bit. :o) They will do fantastic.

    You've done well mama.

    {Don't get me started on the lame comments people all different kinds of contexts}


About Me

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Messy and wonderful perfectly describes my life as a wife and mom of five. I'm passionate about advocating for orphans by telling their stories and encouraging adoption and orphan care. My schedule is messy and wonderful as I am charged with four sons and one daughter. We love living in our little mountain ski town. We do a little camping, a little skiing, a little hunting, and a lot of laughing and loving. Life is dirty and loud around here but we wouldn't want it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less dirty!

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