Most articles/posts I've read recently have been about why people love homeschooling, why the public school system is bad for your kids, and the like.
As a family with one child finishing Kindergarden this year and another finishing Pre-K, we are a rarity in the bold statement that we 'LOVE' the Public School system. If you scroll through old posts you'll see our near tragic beginning with the school system here in Santa Fe. We went in eyes fully open - our kids will not get the attention they would get at home, much time is wasted, they won't get a chance to explore subjects they love further, they will be exposed to all kinds of stuff, there are way too many kids in the classroom for a teacher and an aid....it's all true!
But maybe our eyes see something past these limits. After all, aren't we all limited in many ways? Yet we expect others to do what we ourselves can't. You know what I mean if you have more than one child at home - one wants to learn how to spell, the other's screams drown your letters out and you stop all to find a bandaid and kiss that scraped knee; you feed them lunch only to be asked for a snack; you start a 'fun' craft that causes arguments and exasperation. We've all been there - parenting is not a piece of cake. Teaching is not either, whether at home or in the schools. That has humbled us and we have learned how to give thanks and pray for all the people involved in our children's lives. As we wake in the morning, arms outstretched to receive grace for the day, we pray that we'll give it as freely as we've received it.
Here are some things that made us LOVE public schools this year:
1. They keep us humble - we're just as marred and challenges in the schools help us see our own messes.
2. They let us encounter all the wide variety of people God made in His image - it makes us Praise Him.
3. Our children have learned how to share their faith....tactfully and lovingly and prayerfully.
4. We have walked alongside people just like us - broken, with every day anxieties, with wonderful gifts - and we have prayed and loved as we walked.
5. We have walked alongside our children and got to teach them the ways of God. When they come home with attitudes, behaviors, words that we don't believe are pleasing to God we get to love them through it and help them walk as Children of God, forming strong identities secure in who they are in Christ.
6. We got to have lots of play dates and love on lots of 4 and 5 year olds, give hugs, make cookies, learn to clean up, laugh, sing, dance, provide safety and security, give out treats and treat them as our own - not projects to be converted, but souls to be nurtured and loved well, just as we are by our Father.
As the school year ends, we give thanks - we have been given wonderful gifts, opportunities to grow and learn and humble ourselves and pour out a bit of the kindness we drink from deeply and daily - the Living Water.