After one school year, our eldest child, Jacob, completed seventh grade in a transition school. He was homeschooled for six years together with his younger sister. Too many times I wanted to give up on home education for varied reasons. Ask any homeschooler and they will all say, it’s not an easy journey but it was all worth it. We praise God for what He has done in and through Jacob, myself and our entire family.
Taking him out of our homeschool was not a simple, “Okay, let’s do it” decision. My heart was torn because I knew God has put me in charge of nurturing, caring and even teaching our kids at home. But this same God is also wise and sovereign. He knows the condition of my heart and that of our son’s. He knew what was best for us. I struggled letting go of control but after months of praying and discussing the matter as a family, it was decided it was time for him to move on.
He learned how to multiply and divide, composed paragraphs and book reports. conducted Science experiments all in the comforts of home and in his pyjamas! As the school year began, he was faced with a new set of teachers, learning set up and environment. Adjustments and changes are to be expected, of course both for him and for our family.
Getting ready for school. It takes a while for him to warm up in the morning (who doesn’t). He has to wake up at 7AM to make it in school by 8:30AM. He welcomed this change and was always excited to go to school. I guess the adjustment was on me haha because I had to prepare his snacks and lunch and prepare myself as I take him to school. One of things he missed a lot was not having hot, steaming, home-cooked meals. He complains that his food is cold already by the time he takes his lunch break.
As much as I want to bring him lunch all the time, it would take so much of my time in preparing and traveling to school. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to reach his school and the same amount of time to go home. The reality is I still have another homeschooler at home who demands my attention, a small business to manage and chores to do. For now, he has to adapt to the new set up and he’ll get used to it eventually.
Social adaptability. Jacob is so different from his younger sister. His sister is shy at the onset but will eventually be chatting with new friends after a few minutes. He, on the other hand, has a unique personality. He is not a social butterfly and usually keeps to himself. He is perceived as a “snob” by others but he is just shy. My husband and I encourage him to get out of that “loner” attitude and mingle with others.
He shares that he loves to be in a group, whether it be in school, in Sunday school or with his cousins. He is satisfied just “being” with them. He doesn’t feel the need to speak all the time because he enjoys listening to their stories and laughing at their jokes.
I guess it was not easy for him to transition in his new school with his personality. He felt awkward, nervous, and insecure. He wanted to feel accepted yet puts his guard up all the time because he didn’t want to feel rejected or hurt. Oh, and add to that, are the hormonal changes he is going through as a teenager. All these made him respond negatively to one of his classmates in school.
When the teachers called me in for a meeting, I was very disappointed. On the way home, the Lord just kept my mouth shut. I didn’t nag nor got angry with him. I knew he already felt bad about what happened so I didn’t want to burden him some more. I just asked a few questions and continued the discussion at home.
He was sorry for what he did and apologized to the teachers and his school mates the following meeting. He knew what he did was wrong and was willing to change. He really felt bad and carried this “mistake” wherever he goes. Sometimes he feels that his classmates don’t talk to him that much because of the incident. I can’t answer for them. I don’t even know if that’s true. But whatever it is, we told him to forgive himself and ask God to help him be a better person, a better classmate. It’s a process the Lord has allowed him to go through to make him better and to change his heart.
Independence. In the last two years of our homeschool, he was not as excited to do school. He was bored and lacked motivation. I had to remind him all the time to do his work. When he moved to Brainy Bunch Study Center, his attitude changed. He was eager to finish his work and never sought my help even if I was dying to assist him. He probably felt “mature” and realized he didn’t need me anymore. He also took his studies seriously.
Most of the time, I would see him with his earphones plugged in while doing his homework. There was one time, he spent the whole day doing his Filipino work and catching up on “Ibong Adarna”. His Papa and I reminded him to take a break but he won’t and wanted to get his work done. He was growing up, slowly being his own person. I also attribute the positive changes to the support of his new teachers at the center. They were like moms to him too. They kept encouraging him, pushing him to do more and be the best he can be.
He learned how to make big and small decisions. One morning we routinely brought him to school not knowing that there were no classes. He waited for a few minutes and realized that nobody is going to show up. Having no cellphone load to text or call me, he decided to go home by himself. Imagine how shocked we all were when we saw him walking through the gate of the house. He explained he still had money in his wallet so he decided to take public transportation and go home. It may sound OA to some, but this boy never took public transport on his own. It was his first time and he did awesome! Proud moment there 🙂
As the school ended this Monday, he was surprised to receive the Most Improved Student award and Best in Arts awards. He never expected anything, he says but was happy with the outcome. He adds that he is looking forward to grade 8 and is excited to make more memories with is BBSC family!
One of the best decisions my husband and I made was sending him to this supposedly transition school. After personally experiencing life with the BBSC mentors, we decided the center will no longer be a transition school. Brainy Bunch Study Center will be Jacob’s new school and hopefully, Jianne’s too.