2022 Highlights: Week 25

  • Father’s Day

These girls have such a great dad. And I have such an amazing partner to parent them with. We kept things pretty simple with cinnamon buns for breakfast, church, some play in the little forest down the street, and (at Peter’s request) buffet dinner at the local Chinese-Canadian restaurant.

  • Flowers and food.

Rose and I had an at-home day that I basically spent baking and food prepping which I find very satisfying. Prepped some meals, made a big batch of granola, and made oatmeal cookies for school lunches. The sun is finally sticking around and the temperature is rising so after a very wet spring, things are starting to really grow around here. This week we also picked up our first Farm Box for the year.

  • Just…these girls. I love them.

I told Pearl I was going to sit outside and read and she asked if she could join me. Then Rose wanted to join too and so the three of us sat and read our books (for a few minutes at least). Pearl’s reading is really taking off and it’s so cool to see.

Speaking of education…this week marked the end of the school year for Pearl and Peter. Pearl is officially on to grade two in the fall! This also marks a bit of an “end of an era” as next school year we will have two kids in school. I’ll admit, I felt sentimental this past week, thinking about how the ordinary ways I fill my days with Rose will be changing. Running errands, going to the library, taking her to music class – it will all be a little different.

At the same time, I’m so thankful for these past two years that Pearl has had at school and how much she loves it. There is a lot she is looking forward to about summer holidays but she has been sad at the thought of not going to school. I reminded her that we can still get together with her friends and she told me that she will miss learning at school.

I can admit that I have sometimes felt lonely among Christians, as a parent who deliberately sends my kid to public school. Homeschooling is a popular choice for many Christian families I know and while I can see the ways that it fits their families, there can also be this idea that Christians need to “protect” their children from the “dangers” of the public school system. We don’t sound our kids to the local school simply because I have no desire to homeschool or because I long for time away from them. As a family, we are trying to be thoughtful about how we engage with and live with our community and our neighbours. I see public school as a simple but wonderful way to do so. My kids get to meet people and families from all walks of life, some of whom live very different lives than ours. Something as simple as waiting outside the school to pick Pearl up has helped me meet new friends. If we stay at this school, by the time both girls are finished elementary, we’ll have been there as a family for ten years. That’s a decade of my life! As a Christian, I don’t believe that we’re called to seclude ourselves from the rest of the world (and I’m not saying that this is what all homeschooling families are doing but I do see some of this too). Engaging with our neighbours by sending our kids to public school is one way our family chooses to be “in the world but not of it”.

As I was mulling some of these thoughts over, I read this article from Relevant magazine which expresses some of my own ideas too.

And the Dresses:

11 thoughts on “2022 Highlights: Week 25”

  1. Curious what you have been making with your farm box items? We’re also getting mostly greens in June-uary.

    1. They warned us ahead of time that there were going to be a lot of greens! For the mixed greens I have just been making big salads. I use the kale in smoothies since we also have kale from our garden so it’s really more than we can reasonably get through in a week! We got a lot of cauliflower so I think I’m going to roast then and I used the potatoes and green onions in a frittata. Not sure what to do with the multitude of garlic scapes! Have you made anything exciting?

    2. We made pesto with the garlic scapes, worked well! Lots of salads here too. And adding arugula to anything we can (sandwiches etc).

  2. Also really appreciate your insights on school – we’re quite aligned. In our church community it’s some homeschooling, and many going to private school (for the same reasons you’ve noted hearing from others). We have had a great experience being part of our neighborhood school this year.

    1. I’m so glad you’ve had a great first school year! And I’m glad that our families can share this, even at a distance. I think if we had private school options here there would be some families that opted for that. I get disheartened sometimes when I talk to parents who are thoughtful and engaged and opt completely out of the public school system because I think that we need more of those families. We have had such a great start to our family’s school journey and thus far it doesn’t feel terribly at odds with the values we want our kids to grow with.

  3. Girl, I’m just going to say it: that greenish stripey dress looks hot on you!

    In regards to public school: there is a well-respected educator in the U.S. named Jonathan Kozol who talks about how one of the best ways to help underserved communities is to send your children to public school. Get involved, serve on the PTA, volunteer for field trips, fundraise, etc. By sending your children to public school you are showing your government that you support and believe in public school, which is a right for all children. In the U.S. we have people moving more toward private schools and Christian schools, and the problem is they are getting their tax money back (taking it from public schools) and using it to fund private schools (that not every child can attend). It’s an atrocity, in my opinion.

    1. Aww, you’re making me blush!

      I truly believe that public schools are a great equalizer and as such should be protected and supported. I actually feel that, as a parent, I have a lot of say in how schools are run – attending meetings, voting for school board members, one-on-ones with my kids’ teachers – it takes work and some knowledge of the system but this idea that schools are actively trying to push parents out of them is infuriating. Schools want parents to be involved! It makes me really sad when I see involved, caring parents opt completely out of the system because they could have real power to change it from within. And I will happily keep supporting public schools long after my kids are finished with them because I want all children to have access to quality education. Just a couple of weeks ago I was attempting to explain to someone why I’m ok with my taxes going toward things I will never use myself. Like, I haven’t visited the hospital in 4+ years but I happily pay into it. I’ve never called the fire department here but I’m glad my money helps pay for them. There aren’t any private school options locally so many Christian families here homeschool and I sometimes feel like they assume public school is a default choice for us rather than a choice we would make even with more options available. To a certain extent, it’s probably something I need to let go of but it’s definitely isolated me in some church circles.

    2. I do know that Anne @ I’ve Read This, your fellow Canadian, sends her kids to private school because they have an extended program that allows her to work while her kids are looked after even when school is over, and it’s the only thing that works for her family. I believe she also said that she’s actually involved with the public school, too! I’m so glad I know both of you. You are two amazing people and friendly neighbors to the north!

    3. That’s interesting…most schools here seem to have built in after school programs. But schools are run provincially so I could see it being quite different in Alberta where Anne is. I went to a mix of private and public schools as a kid and there were pros and cons to both. Mostly, I’m surprised when people want to opt out completely or view public schools as a force trying to destroy children.

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