Missing the Hogwarts Express
“”I’ve been thinking about that all day. It left nearly six hours ago. Weird, not being on it, isn’t it?”
In his mind’s eye Harry seemed to see the scarlet steam engine as he and Ron had once followed it by air, shimmering between fields and hills, a rippling scarlet caterpillar. He was sure Ginny, Neville, and Luna were sitting together at this moment, perhaps wondering where he, Ron, and Hermione were . . . ”
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Today, my kids and I understand quite a bit how Harry, Ron, and Hermione felt on that first of September in 1997. (Minus the extreme danger and threats to our lives, of course. No one is out to get us, thank goodness!)
But school has started.
And we’re not in school.
unforseen circumstances— Who am I kidding? It simply takes about a month longer than we had planned on for the Hubs to get a visa interview. Without the Hubs and his visa, we can’t rent or buy a house. Without a valid address in our destination, we can’t send our kids to their new schools.
So, we’re homeschooling. For a few weeks only, God willing.
We’ve been in the US since the end of July, and plenty of people have asked questions about the immigration process. We’ve never been through it before, so we don’t have a ton of answers. However, I do have friends who have been through it, so I have some answers.
If anyone else has any questions about the US immigration system, I’ve complied a list of popular questions and answers here and here. There’s more to come, because this is a rabbit hole that goes very deep for plenty of cases! (Our case should not be that complicated. But if it is, I’ll have a LOT more so say!)
- Doesn’t your husband automatically get US citizenship?
- Doesn’t your husband automatically get a green card?
- Who is eligible for US residency?
- My ancestors entered the US legally, why doesn’t everyone else enter legally?
The One Answer to the Homeschooling Question
Our homeschooling adventure is for a very limited amount of time (God willing). We do have other options. We could go back home and send them to school for that first month. Or we could enroll them in a school near my parents’ house where we’re staying.
But we’re facing enough transitions already this year, so putting them in school and immediately yanking them out again seems like a terrible, terrible idea. (Besides not being good for my kids, it would be hugely disruptful for those teachers who would have them that one month and also for the other kids in their class. It IS an option, but a bad one, in my opinion.)
This is our reason for homeschooling, it’s a means of smoothing out transitions and bridging gaps. It’s a means of navigating those bumps in the road that we didn’t expect.
Lots of other people have lots of other reasons for homeschooling. Some tried regular school and it didn’t work for them. Some peoples’ kids face obscenely long bus rides. For some families, it just fits better in their schedules. Others simply prefer homeschooling. There’s really no wrong reason.
(Scratch that–there is one wrong reason, but that’s another post for another day!)
A friend of mine, who was partially homeschooled and who homeschools some of her children, has the simpliest, most concise, airtight answer in response to those who think her preference for homeschooling is backwards.
“It’s what works best for our family right now.”
There’s really no argument around that one.
No one else knows my family like my husband and I do. (The same thing is true of my friend’s family. They know their family best. Because–let’s face it–I sure don’t know what works best for them!)
But I do know what works best for my family.
At this point, we’ll be haning out, working really hard to catch up and hopefully be nearly proficient writing in English. (How ironic that my favorite hobby is writing in English, while my kids are very likely not writing at their given grade levels. But, in their defense, they both write in Spanish much better than I do.)
We’ll be learning about Native Americans and the US states and exploring county parks while keeping an eye open for any biology lessons that can be gleaned along the way. We’ll be diving into some excellent children’s literature.
And, God willing, in October they’ll be registered–and attending–the elementary school where they will finish their elementary education.
It will just continue to be a wild ride between then and now.
Featured Photo of Man Missing Train by Matt Winkleft on Unsplash.
Paperwork Photo by Christa Dodoo on Unsplash.