David had his Kindergarten completion ceremony this morning. That is he in the picture receiving his certificate (yes, with his shirt hanging out. I swear it was tucked in at the start of the affair!). The ceremony was great. The kids sang songs and talked about their favorite memory during the year. David's was making paint. Their 8th grade big buddies also stood up with them and said something nice about their little buddy. I really thought I'd end up bawling like a baby, but I only teared up a little bit. It is bittersweet, though. One more milestone on the way to growing up.
This year has been so hard in so many ways, and yet, now that it is done, I feel like it was worth it. As many of you know, I have struggled with the whole homeschool vs. school decision. I think that I am really a homeschooler at heart, and I am so looking forward to the next three months to relax and learn with my boys. At the same time, I appreciate the structure of the Catholic school. David seems to really need that in his life to help him focus. While he learns many things with me, I think that he really needs someone else telling him he needs to do things like spelling and handwriting practice. Then, he is willing to come home and work with me on it. I also love the sense of community at the school. The parents of the children are friends. David has made some wonderful friends this year as well. I love the religious atmosphere - the fact that God and Catholic living are at the heart of all that they do. I value that from my own Catholic school experience and I am glad that my boys are getting that experience as well, reinforcing the faith that I teach them at home.
I guess I hope that I can combine the benefits of both traditional education and homeschooling, even if it is primarily during the summers. I want my children to know that sometimes they have to learn things that they don't want to and follow rules. At the same time, I want them to love learning. I want them to know that learning doesn't only take place in school - that the whole world is a classroom. I want them to be passionate about learning and follow their interests. I want them to question and search for the answers. I want them to have time to dream and imagine and play and discover who they are. So, that is what this summer, and hopefully, all the summers to come, will be about.