The Freedom to Pivot


The Freedom to PivotI am the product of public schools and it could not have been a better experience. I taught in public schools just like my mom and her mom did. My husband also went to public schools and his daughters were in public schools when we got married. It was the only education route we knew and we never thought we would choose any other one. Then one day I realized we might need to make an educational pivot and I was so glad we had the freedom and ability to.   

What Made Us Decide to Pivot

The thought of making an educational pivot in our family started happening when I really started viewing the individual needs of our kids. My husband and I loved high school. We were both involved in sports and extra-curriculars, and school spirit-filled, activities. We couldn’t imagine our kids missing out on that. But our middle child (my youngest step-daughter) is extremely artistic and a dreamer. While she was doing ok in high school, she wasn’t thriving. As much as we wanted her to like school the way we did, that just wasn’t her personality. It was then that we started investigating options that would possibly cater more to her interests and talents. We wanted to find a place where she would not just survive, but thrive. She ended up staying where she was, but it really opened my eyes to different choices for education around the Knoxville area.  

How We School Now

Just before our son came home through adoption, I started thinking through education options for him. It was a little crazy on my part as he had just turned two! I just wanted to know what options were available in our area and what benefits they offered. Just before Kindergarten we moved a couple of counties away. We looked at the local public school and the private Christian school close to our house. After touring the private school, we knew it was the right educational choice for our son. We loved the Christian values, the classical style of teaching and the focus on the arts. It was the perfect fit for his first two years of school. But then second grade came and we decided to pivot again. I am now officially a homeschool mom. It’s what our son needs right now. As a lover of structure and routine I find myself in a crazy mixture of structure and unschooling with time for creating, exploring, traveling, music lessons and sports (and oh yeah, I also work from home). Our family is loving this new normal and our son is thriving with this decision to pivot!  

Your Pivot is Your Choice and No One Else’s Concern

Pivots cause lots of questions and concerns from well-meaning people. When we started telling others we were going to homeschool, I had a point by point explanation of all of the reasons why we made this decision. If we were asked why, I would talk for several minutes without taking a break in hopes they would understand. Sometimes, I even felt like I was offending people by choosing to homeschool. After explaining over and over again, I realized all I needed to say is that it is the best choice for our son this year and that’s it! I don’t have to make others feel good about our decision. We (our family) just have to feel good about our decision. We know we made the right change for right now and we also know that we have the freedom to pivot again in the future.  

Pivoting is a privilege. To find out that we don’t have to do something just because it’s the norm is pure freedom. How great it is as moms to be able to make choices that are best for our own family! Dolly Parton says, “If you don’t like the road you are walking, start paving another one.” She definitely believes in the freedom to pivot!


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