We did it! Grace and I finished our first year of school together. It was a great learning experience for us both.
I look at her today, and I am amazed at how much she's grown, and how well she's matured over the past nine months. She started out "wishing" she had playmates. Now, she runs to greet them as she arrives at school. She began the year clinging to my ankles as I walked across the hall to teach a class. Now she hugs me and goes straight to her classroom.
She is growing in her autonomy and independence, and it's beautiful to watch. And while it could be said that much of this would have happened anyway as part of the developmental process, I believe the structure of attending school has aided in the process -- both for her, and for me. Heaven knows, I'm very much a free spirit when it comes to time management. Having a schedule and the necessity of establishing and following regular lesson plans seemed to weigh me down at first, but ultimately provided a much needed anchor to the rhythms of my day. And even the "break" of leaving my child in one room to accept responsibility for a half dozen others was a relief.
As we wrapped up the school year with a picnic, I was so impressed by what God has done for us through this experience in such a short time. He has given me the encouragement and support of other homeschooling moms like myself, and He's made it possible for Grace to learn more about His love through friendships I hope will last a good, long time.