We did a thing! We decided as a family to transition to public school with the start of 2022, having my kids enter second and first grade mid-school-year even though we had originally planned to homeschool this entire school year.
I wanted to update you on our decision since I created this blog as a homeschool-based site. As of now, my plan is to keep all the current resources and posts available and hopefully continue to share nature-based and education-based content, with perhaps some new ideas thrown in the mix! I would like to share more specifics eventually about our public school experience and even some tips we learn along the way. I know when I searched online I had trouble finding much advice on transitioning homeschooled kids to public school. In the end, we honestly did not need a whole lot of outside guidance, though. Our kids have done beautifully with the transition, are thriving and engaged at school, making friends, and having a blast.
The balance to our family’s days is proving to be a nice change as well. I am able to work on my Etsy business full time while the kids are at school, instead of trying to do two full-time jobs at a time. Homeschooling is a full-time job, after all! With my kids at school, I am able to have a healthy boundary to my days now. When they are home, I can just be Mom. I can put aside my work, any educator-prep or all the other things that can distract me from just being their mom. It’s honestly been so nice and lovely to be able to spend time with them, play with them, talk to them … and I get my weekends back to spend quality family time. When we were homeschooling I often worked on my business on the weekends, missing out on adventures my husband would have with the kids. All that to say: this is just *one* reason of many that we decided to make the transition to public school. For my health and livelihood.
My kids also wanted to do public school! It is something we talked about since moving towns in January 2021. Since living in a town in a neighborhood it’s been fun to see my kids thrive in meeting other children and have their own independent experiences. School is an extension of that. They get to experience so much (and yes, some is good and some is not so good) at school. There is so much to their days that I could never give them.
If you have followed me on Instagram or here for any amount time, you’ll know that even as a homeschooler I never once felt that just because I homeschooled somehow my kids were better off. That their education was better. They were smarter. They were freer. Their lives were better. I was a better mom. Literally NONE of that is true or ever has been. There are homeschoolers that love to regularly praise the “better-ness” of homeschooling and I never have had the space for that kind of sentiment.
Yes, I loved homeschooling and will continue to celebrate it. But that celebration need not come by way of detriment to a different experience. Similarly, now that my kids are public schooled I need not say things like “well, my kids are more ___ than homeschooled kids.” Nor do I need to feel like my kids are having a less-worthy life and education compared to private-schooled kids in town. We don’t need to compare. This is the experience we have chosen as a family for now. It’s working and we are happy. I hope we can all find ways to celebrate when others are able to do as they wish.
And I never forget the privilege it is to even have a choice! We had a choice between two great options. I see and understand that privilege.
I also want to mention that I truly believe that our family values are something any family can foster and celebrate, no matter what educational circumstance your children are in. We aren’t losing anything about the core of our family just because we aren’t homeschooling anymore. We are an outdoorsy kind of family. We love puzzles and watching sports and playing games. We enjoy music and culture and much more. Obviously, all of those things will still be true of us even though we are not homeschoolers anymore! Every family is unique and I think it’s beautiful. We aim to give our children rich and challenging and beautiful childhoods. Right now the context for that is with them attending public school.
I want to close this post by saying a huge THANK YOU to all of you for following me for so many years! I started my Instagram journeying our homeschool experience back in April of 2017, started this blog later that year, and launched my Etsy shop after that! It has meant the world to me that literally even one person would care to read my blog or my posts. All the comments and questions and encouragement has just been so wonderful this whole time. I really love the homeschool community and it’s a neat thing to use social media to help parents out in such a crazy journey! Please feel free to continue to contact me with any questions–even homeschool related! I’m happy to chat any time.