Why I’m Homeschooling
I had decided NOT to homeschool. Over the years before Ahnna started school and during her kindergarten year there were things that I learned about public school that bothered me. However, not enough to do something crazy like take their education into my own hands. I had decided even though there were lots of things I didn’t agree with, there was nothing wrong with my personal experience and I was going to wait until there was something specific. Until then (if it ever happened) I was happy to send my kids off to school every day.
Then one morning it happened. The idea popped into my head and it wouldn’t go away. I told myself it isn’t happening. I was the wrong personality for it. I’d be all excited for a while and then get lazy. I needed the break. The kids need friends. All the normal reasons for not wanting to homeschool. But that stinking thought would NOT go away. I was pestered by it. “OK” I thought, “maybe I will just do some research on it.”
Then I started reading. I started with The Brainy Bunch which was very overwhelming and inspiring at the same time. They are a family of 10 who had their kids in college classes by the age of 12 and often sooner. Not that I expected my kids to do the same, but I thought if I was going to follow someones example, I might as well follow someone exceptional.
As I was reading that one, I saw they used what their kids were interested to inspire learning and their kids were able to enjoy it, grab on, and excel. It taught me about using love and support to let them take off in their life purpose(s) and how faith and character training are essential in this process. I LOVED the idea of teaching character and virtue to my kids as part of their every day curriculum. I LOVED that we can talk about how learning obedience to parents who are in front of them is good practice for learning obedience to the holy spirit in their hearts.
About a year ago I was listening to the Dave Ramsey show on the radio. Instead of the usual how to get out of debt talks, he was talking with someone about raising kids. The one being interviewed (I don’t remember who it was) said how usually the goal of a parent is to teach a child to be well rounded in all areas of their life. Then he said, really though, the goal should be to raise a child dependent on God in all things. One who is willing to live God’s way and take decisions to the Lord is truly trying to do what is right for him/herself and those around him/her.
That little exchange has stuck with me and I thought of it a lot while reading The Brainy Bunch. These were kids who were taught to depend on the Lord in all things and to not think highly of themselves, but to thank God for all they have and remember that pride comes before a fall. That is a huge win in my book.
The next book I read was No Regrets, How Homeschooling Earned me a Masters Degree at age Sixteen. This family of 10 used a completely different method of homeschooling. From both these books I understood better how close knit homeschool families can become. They LOVED being together and they loved their parents. The biggest thing I got out of this book however, was in the beginning, when the author’s mother was debating homeschooling in her mind (at a time when NO ONE homeschooled) and she had a dream that she was reading the bible and in words of fire, it read, “Do not send the children to school, lest they be corrupted…for My wisdom is sufficient.”
I don’t know for sure if corrupted means they were not going to become good people, or simply that they were not going to rise up to the potential within them. Either way, when I read that passage I got one of the STRONGEST feelings in my life. I even read it a few more times just to feel it again. I’ve read lots of things about peoples personal revelation before and I’ve never felt this kind of powerful “this is also for you” feeling like I had right then.
So I decided to experiment and try things out during the Summer. It went really well for the most part. I LOVED that I had something to do WITH my kids every day. I realized more than I was taking care of my kids needs and living in the same house, but my interaction WITH them was lacking. I felt a lot of my “Mommy guilt” melt away. It was a really great time.
Then “real school” was getting closer and closer to starting. I felt on the verge of panic often. Like I needed to throw them in too because that is just what you are suppose to do and that it all I have known. I started feeling fear, confusion, and LOTS of doubt. Realizing who uses those kinds of feelings as tools, I decided to pray. I said that I know I felt like I needed to do this but I’m feeling SO much doubt and confusion and I just need some peace if this is still what I was suppose to do. I usually don’t feel answers to prayer immediately, but in this case I did. Immediately I felt peace. Immediately I felt again that I needed to do this if my kids were going to become the people they needed to be.
The panic does come back. The feelings of inadequacy return and I know this is probably going to be a constant battle. Those feelings are also why I’m writing this. It is important to always remember the “why” when doubts come up.
There are lots of other reasons why I feel homeschool is the answer for us. Common core and government are among them but not what I want to focus on. The short answer would be because God told me to and I love the tight families and virtuous kids homeschool can produce.
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