Homeschool? Say what?!?!?!!!
I NEVER thought I would homeschool. I never thought about it. I never heard about it. I didn’t know anyone who home schooled or was home schooled.
Homeschooling was a completely foreign idea that never entered my normal mind.
Like I said in my “stay at home journey” post we always had the plan that I would stay home with my kids until they were old enough to go to school and then I would start working again. This was a completely normal plan, very sane, totally realistic and exactly what we were going to do.
Or so I thought.
So what happened to my perfectly normal plan?
First, I had the heavy, burdensome, strong, loud and very real conviction that I needed to be at home with my kids, and that they needed to be at home with me.
Slowly God started sanctifying me through that process, and BELIEVE ME, He still is. “Me time” was diminishing and I was becoming okay with that, I was meeting new young moms who stayed home with their kids, I was walking with older, more seasoned moms who were a great encouragement to me. I was getting prepared for what was to come.
I met some Godly, older women through a summer bible study on the attributes of God when Jeremiah was 3 and Shiloh was a few months old. Unbeknownst to me (but not to God) the majority of these ladies were homeschool moms. Not only did I learn knowledge that will stay with me forever about God and His characteristics, but I learned a whole lot about these moms and how these godly characteristics flowed into their lives and, through them, into their kid’s lives.
I wanted what they had. As I learned more about their day to day lives I wanted more and more for that to be our life. The low stress level, the siblings who liked each other and got along well, the family togetherness, the availability to their kids, the close relationships, the ability to decide what they learn and when and how, the flexibility of schedules, and especially how they could talk to their kids at every moment about the God who created them and cares for them. The list goes on and on and it was a spectacular list.
I prayed about homeschooling. I talked to my husband about it. I talked to godly women about it. And then I prayed some more.
So what on earth did I hear? Well, it’s not what on earth I heard, but what I heard from God.
I heard, through His word, that I should be teaching my children. I should be teaching my children about God’s truth all day, every day, in all that we do, everywhere that we go, when I rise, when I lie down and every waking moment in between. I KNEW that homeschooling was exactly where God had me, that He would bless us in it, and that no matter what would arise from that moment forward, I would be obedient to Him and continue to do what He had called me to, no matter what.
I know, I know. We had to have had some concerns! Oh, we did!
My main concern? That I was going to ruin them and they would never learn a thing, never be able to get a job, they would live under a bridge somewhere and when asked why they would say because their mom home schooled them! For real.
Hubby’s main concern? The stereotypical word that always comes up in regards to homeschooling: socialization.
The socialization factor was quickly squelched as we joined a weekly p.e. class, started going on field trips and got to know other families. We later joined a couple co-ops, a speech class, and music lessons. Jeremiah and Shiloh made so many friends so quickly that Brandon would joke that we went overboard in the socialization category.
My concern was a slower process to overcome. Since Jeremiah was starting pre-k my mindset was: even if he doesn’t learn anything at least he’s only in pre-k and if we do horrible I can put him in school and he’ll be no worse for the wear. I reassured myself that it wasn’t “real” school yet anyways. I continued with that mindset through kindergarten as well.
By the time we hit 1st grade I had 2 years under my belt, hadn’t completely ruined my kids, had a lot of support from other moms, knew I was supposed to be in this place and continued on. We’ve been “continuing on” ever since. Jeremiah is now in 4th grade, Shiloh is in 1st and Levi is enjoying being the funny little brother. We’ve been going strong for 6 years.
It has been a learning process for all of us. We have switched curriculums around every year, we have joined and left co-ops, we have taken days off, we have had double-days, we have worked through summer and taken summers off. We are always learning what works best for our family and what doesn’t. Sometimes school makes me want to pull my hair out. Sometimes school makes my kids want to pull their hair out. Sometimes we learn something new and you can literally see their eyes open and joy fill their hearts.
Doing school with my kids, no matter how challenging or not, is always an adventure. It’s always a blessing. It always feels right. I am always completely confident that I am in God’s will.
Have we ever swayed? Well…. yes.
At one point Brandon thought it would be best to put the kids in school. ”We live by great schools and it is perfectly normal for kids to go to school.”
So what happened?
Well…. God happened.
In the middle of this tense, decision-filled time, the kids taekwon-do instructor, a man we highly respect, without knowing anything about where we were, felt led to tell us something important. He sat us down and said that the absolute best thing we could ever do for our kids is homeschool them. He said it again and again. He was very serious. He was very convinced. He was very compelled to tell us and felt led by God to share that with us. At that moment. For that time.
God met us where we needed Him and our decision was made. We have continued to homeschool ever since and we are both once again confident in where God has us.
I went from a mom who never placed a thought on homeschool, or staying home, or anything of the sort…. to a full-time stay-at-home mom who home schools her three kids with another one on the way, and couldn’t be happier about any of this.
Was I born to stay home? Was I cut out to homeschool? Is this the so-called “perfect” job for me? Do I have an extra dose of patience? Am I super creative? Are my kids angels? Do they listen perfectly? Are we a modern day replica of Little House on the Prairie?
NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.
The most common comment I get when I say I homeschool is: “Oh gosh, I could never do that!” Followed by “My kids and I would kill each other” or “I could never have the patience for that, you must have way more than I ever could” or “I could never be around my kids that much, I need time away” or “That would just be way too hard for me and let me tell you why”.
It hurts me to hear these comments.
I am not gifted to homeschool any more than the next parent. Yes, God gives me grace for each moment that I need it, but not more than He gives you. He blesses my obedience, like He blesses yours. He carries me when it’s hard, like He carries you. He disciplines me when I need it, like He disciplines all His children. He is taking me through a sanctification process as He takes all believers.
He has called me to do something hard and I am trusting that He will continually carry me through it- and not give me more than I can handle. I am not naturally patient, I wouldn’t mind going to a store (or the bathroom) on my own, growing up I didn’t even like school!
When I gave my desires over to the Lord and let Him have the wheel, plans changed, wants changed, and my selfishness took a backseat to my obedience.
That is not because of something extraordinary in me, it is because I serve an extraordinary God.
So, how did we get into this whole homeschooling thing?
Well… we didn’t. God did.
And we have been enjoying the ride ever since.