Willow Oak Academy

Someone once suggested,that maybe I Homeschool my children. I laughed. I grew up loving school. The smell of the hallways, the squeak of the floors. I was always the teachers pet. Making good grades required little effort. There were rules to be followed. There was order. I loved it. And I couldn’t wait to have children that were in school. I could see myself chaperoning field trips, volunteering on the PTA. Being back in the place that I loved. 

Then I had my girls. I started to think about who I wanted them to be. Or I guess I should say, what kind of people I want them to be. And the traits that I want them to possess aren’t really the foundation of the mold, schools are pressing children in to. I look at Ainsley and I know that she would do exceptionally well in public school. And oddly enough, that is what makes me want to keep her out of it. 

She would make good grades. She would memorize facts and do well on tests. She would sit quietly and follow directions. She would be the teacher’s pet. She would be quiet and calm and float through the next thirteen+ years. 

But I want more for her. I want her to discover her fire. I want to explore so many different things with her, until we find something that excites her mind and heart. I want her to know how to follow the rules but to question them if it doesn’t feel right. I want her to be a kid as long as she can. I want her to run under the sun, feel the ground on her bare feet. I want her to enjoy the freedom of childhood for as long as she can. And I don’t want to squeeze it in between homework and bed time. 

 I want her to develop deep relationships. And not just with kids her own age. But with people of all ages. I want her to spend days helping her great-grandmother in the garden. Reading with her grandfather. I want her to socialize not just with 30 other kids her age but with children of all ages, adults, her family. Swimming, playing, cooking, reading, discovering, engaging, serving, learning. And so on. 

I want her to love to learn. To dig for answers. To understand why things work. I want her to truly know her worth and what she is capable of. That intelligence is more than a standardized test score. 

I don’t want this to come across as disrespect for teachers. I think teaching is one of the most noble professions. I do feel that teachers aren’t given enough freedom in the classroom though. They are told what to teach, how to teach it and then penalized when kids don’t do well. There are too many students; with too many ways of learning, for one teacher to address. Schools seem to be becoming more of a machine. And while I understand some of it is out of necessity, there has to be a trade off. And I think the things I love about the idea of school are being lost in the process. 

I often find myself hesitant to share my beliefs on a lot of things. I don’t want it to come across as though I think I am better. I do believe this is the best way… for MY family. And I believe most people are perfectly capable of choosing the best path for their family. What works for us could be a disaster for another family and vice versa. I think a lot of moms are shamed into sharing their “mom fails” versus their successes. We would rather relate to when they mess up rather than be happy for them when they get it right. Especially with social media. I find myself not wanting to post happy moments with my children because I don’t want people to think I’m being fake, assuming I have it all together. But I think if people looked to social media for inspiration and encouragement and push the comparison aside, it can be a great tool. If when we saw a mom sharing a moment with her precious little angel children in a perfectly lit little square, we chose to compliment them, encourage them, imagine what that would do for our own souls, as well as theirs. I believe we are capable of celebrating each other. Even if our first instinct is to roll our eyes and keep scrolling.😄 I mean I’m not going to post a video of me losing my patience, which happens daily. Life is filled with so many moments. Each moment has some type of emotion. And I choose to focus on the times I get it mostly right. And when I mess up, I apologize. I pray for patience. I take deep breaths and I try to do better. But this is turning into another blog post, so I’ll save the rest for later 😉

So, as much as I loved going to school, Hunter and I have decided that the current way of schooling children, is not what we want for ours. And that is the beauty of it all. We are allowed to choose to do what we feel is right for our family. I know how fortunate we are to be able follow the lead of our hearts. 

So we will be enrolling them in Willow Oak Academy. Headmasters/teachers/cafeteria workers/maintenance/etc- Hunter and Callie Beall. Support to all of that- family and community. 

I will explain the name choice in another post. Girls are waking up.

-Callie

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