New Beginnings

Last week one of my children started high school and I started a new, part-time job. This week my other children, the oldest and youngest, started their homeschooling journey with me. We also joined a new church this week. In fact, I’m at church right now, writing as we wait for bible study to begin. Those of you who have been following me since I started this blog in May know a bit about the semi-organized moderate-level of chaos that I’ve been experiencing for about a year. For those who don’t know, I’ll here’s a quick recap.

My family and I have lived in New Orleans for many years. We moved to North Carolina in the summer of 2016 and returned to New Orleans in the summer of 2018. I started my dream job when the children started school. We were able to enroll our middle child into a school that we were happy with. Our oldest and youngest were enrolled in schools for which we had to settle. In January we began the public school application process, the OneApp, for our two younger children. In February I was fired from my dream job with no reasonable explanation. In the spring, after being disappointed with his results and applying to more schools, we learned that our youngest didn’t get into any of the schools we had chosen. We believed that instead of enrolling him at whatever school had openings, our best option – his best option – would be homeschooling. Our middle child was accepted at both of the high schools she wanted to attend, one of which is the top ranked high school in the state. Since our oldest daughter was a junior in high school, we planned for her to finish her school career where she was placed. Plans that we had agreed upon with the guidance counselor fell through. After a few discussions with the principal, we were not satisfied and chose to homeschool her as well.

Meanwhile… I’ve applied to dozens of jobs in varying fields, offering various salaries. I knew for certain that I did not want to run a nursing home. I was fairly sure that I did not want to work in any position at a nursing home. I was fried. I poured my heart and soul into that work for a decade. I uprooted my family, moving to another state for that work. I had given so much of myself to that work – the unending balance of providing individualized care for each resident, adequately scheduling and managing staff, ensuring adherence to all local, state, and federal regulations, and above all, remaining profitable. I wasn’t sure how but I knew that I had to find work that would allow me to benefit elders without sacrificing myself and my family.

February, March, April, May, June, July, no job. I decided to start a business but I hit a few roadblocks and began to doubt everything about myself. I threw myself into planning my son’s curriculum and writing, which is has been my life vest for nearly thirty years. I started running in February and quit in April. I created this blog in May and started thinking of businesses I could develop, all the while praying for what I wanted and thanking God for what I still had.

In August, just as we were preparing the children to return to school schedules, I started a new job! I couldn’t have created a better position for myself. The hours are flexible, the work is interesting, and there is room for growth. I enjoy what I’m doing, I’m meeting new people, and I’m using operations experience I gained as an Administrator in a way that will benefit many people in the community.

We’re on our third day of homeschooling. Much of the second day was spent on a field trip to the Amistad Research Center, located at Tulane University. We have a dry erase board where daily assignments are listed. We have library books, books that we own and books that we’re borrowing from friends. We’re using online courses as well as following the curriculum that I created. My senior is taking Advance Placement U.S. History. Her former principal told us, as she attempted to show us the benefits of enrollment at that school, that they could offer Advanced Placement courses online. I wonder if U.S. History is one of them. My sixth grader is learning ratios, rates and fractions. He likes the work but he is not a fan of the website we’re using so I’m looking into other options that are better suited for him.

Both of them are studying Pre-Colonial African Civilizations & Cultures, a course that I’ve designed after months of internet and library research. I’m still filling in gaps but the blessing of a home education is that it’s not set in stone. I’m able to share information that I have while researching to find out more. I’m also able to show them how to find information for themselves. In fact, part of their education includes seeking information, processing it, and teaching it to each other and to me.

After reviewing assignments and refining tomorrow’s lesson plans, I’m writing again, one night after I starting this post at church. My public-schooled child is working through her homework and my son is cleaning the kitchen, his daily chore. Our oldest went to bed about an hour ago. Although she only has to come downstairs to go to school, she’s still an early riser and she sticks to her school schedule. My husband, also an early riser, is getting ready for bed. I didn’t do my 30 minute walk today – the second day in a row that I’ve missed. I’m a little disappointed but I’m not going to be too hard on myself. I had to choose – write a blog post or go for a walk. I’m working on ways to be sure that I get my exercise without neglecting the other things that are important to me and I will definitely walk tomorrow. Like I said last week, I make sure to recenter myself, consistently balancing, so that I’m able to fully enjoy my life.

If this post feels a bit disjointed to you, welcome to my world! For the first time since starting this blog I have a job, I’m teaching two of my children, and I’ve started a basic exercise routine. Previous posts were written, edited, and published over three to five days, sometimes weeks in advance. I had the time. I’m sure I’ll figure out how to create the time again, but for now, this is the best I can do and I’m fine with that. I hope you are too.

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