I absolutely love to talk about home schooling. Let me give you a little background on how it became near and dear to my heart. When our oldest daughter began Kindergarden, my thoughts were that I was going to home school because it made me look good. I wanted to hear the comments, "Oh, YOU home school? Wow! That is impressive..." Yeah, I know, it sounds terrible. I did like how I had seen home school children "turn out" though. They definitely were impressive.
That was one of the hardest years of my life and the following two years. Not because of my decision to home school, but because of relationships. The devil fought hard to destroy our family and to cause us to give up on God altogether. Thankfully he did not succeed!
I home schooled K for Kindergarten and part of 1st grade. I gave up and put her in the Christian school that was right down the road from us until the end of 2nd grade. Or second child, T, went to Kindergarten there, too.
Things had gotten significantly better in our home life and so I thought I was ready to "try" home schooling again! K was in 3rd grade and T in 1st. I tried to do preschool with our third child, P. That year was full of transitions for us. We move three times I think and I was overwhelmed. The last semester, I put the kids in our church school. I had crashed again and felt like a failure.
The next year, we tried a different Christian school and that was when the Lord and I took a drastic turn in my journey to home schooling. You see, my heart was headed in a different direction. I wanted to home school for different reasons now. I didn't like what the kids were bringing home, nor did I like how we had very little time in the evenings to be a family. We were rushing around getting homework done, baths taken and whatever else needed to be crammed in. There was no time to work on character issues, or developing good habits because it was always rush, rush, rush to be ready for the next day of school.
Then I began to realize that some things in their education were slipping through the cracks. One was struggling in Math, one in reading, and one in other areas. When was I going to find time to "mother" my children and teach them the things they were not getting at school and "unteach" the things we did not like?
Then God began to put people in my path to influence me in the direction He wanted me to go. I asked many questions, prayed and watched their lives. God had been working on me for longer than I realized. Go figure. :) I felt that if I ever home schooled again, I wanted it to be for good. No more bouncing from this school to that and again to home school. I prayed a lot, telling God all of these things. He worked on me gently. He was never pushy. I'm honored He didn't rush me and insist on His will earlier on in my journey.
Though I have not mentioned my husband's roll in all of this up to this point, he was such a dear. In the beginning, he wanted to home school to save money. Then the Lord changed his mind...much faster than mine for sure! He could have been pushy, too, but he wasn't. He knew that if I was to home school our children then it would have to come from my heart, not because he had insisted it be that way. Looking back, I am so grateful that he was as patient and gracious as he was. (Doesn't God know what He's doing when He puts two people together? Another post to write about...later!)
Before the school term was over we decided that next year we would home school and we would not look back! Whew! What a relief! I felt a huge burden lifted. Now all I had to do was choose what curriculum to use (that will have to be for another post, too).
That has been four years ago. We have made it so far. The part that is amazing to me is that not once have I been tempted to give up and send the kids back to school. Have there been hard days? Definitely! Did we get behind? Yes! Do we eventually get caught up? Probably. Is there time to "mother" my children the way God intended? Yes! Do we work on character issues? Yes! And guess what? God works on my character issues right along with the kids.
Home schooling is amazing! I'm so glad we made the decision to do it. Part of me wishes that we had always home schooled, but the other part wouldn't trade the journey to get here for anything! It is what has given me such determination and resolve to not look back! I love the closeness of our family, the spontaneous field trips, the life lessons learned together...side by side!
As Hannibal would say, "I love it when a plan comes together!" God's plan, that is!
Blessings on your journey,