Some Background on our Choice to Homeschool
We live in a medium sized two bedroom apartment. The bedrooms are upstairs and there is a fair sized, very open, kitchen/dinning/living area downstairs. The “school room” is my dining/living room, and after 7 months of schooling I have finally given up on decor for adults. A painting on the wall? Why would I want to hang a painting when I have this super nifty pocket chart filled with a rhyming Letter A Poem?! Needless to say, when we rented this apartment we had no intention or desire to homeschool. In fact, I was basically of an anti-homeschool philosophy.
Admittedly, it was a hole-filled and emotionally driven “philosophy” based on the biased experiences of my upper teenage years: I happened to date a homeschooled boy who broke my heart at the tender age of 18 (when of course I knew everything and therefore homeschooler = the evil lying spawns of Satan, hahaha!). I eventually became amazingly thankful for this teen heartache – because God had saved for me a much more amazing man, who would become my husband (but that’s another story).
After paying for a year of Private (2-days a week, for 3 year olds) Preschool it was becoming increasingly hard to figure out where the tuition would come from the following year. Honestly, even though I never desired to homeschool, I also never planned on sending my kids to Preschool. I have always viewed it as a waste of money for stay-at-home-moms. But we sent Thing One because I felt pressured from several places to do so, and I caved.
But because we have chosen to be a one-income family, preschool was one unnecessary budget item that we couldn’t see the sense in hanging on to…as the medical bills kept piling up last year (thing One was born with a Bilateral Cleft Lip & Palate and surgeries 5, 6, and 7 were in 2010-11).
He loved school so much that I couldn’t take him out and then do nothing “schoolish” for him at home. It would be confusing to start and stop and then start again for Kindergarten, right?
That is when I cried.
And then, I laughed (maniacally?!) at the irony that I was going to homeschool my kid…but only for Preschool (hahaha, now that is worth a laugh too cause here we are getting on to K level work with no plans for public school anywhere in sight!).
As the summer months went on and I read, and read, and researched, and read some more and researched some more and even more…I cried and laughed again.
Because I was beginning to feel like this was a choice God had intended us to make all along. And I was excited. Wait – I was excited to homeschool? What the…?! Friends, God has a REALLY BIG sense of humor. And He sweetly served me a nice big slice of Humble Pie on the whole homeschooling hatred issue. After all, what did a 19 year old girl really know about homeschooling based on her bad boyfriend? NOT MUCH!
So I took the plunge. Or rather –We took the plunge.– The Geek offers his full support, as he was never anti homeschool to begin with. For the record, we are both public school kids who went on to graduate college (where we met) and as for The Geek, he went on further for a Masters as well. So we’re strong advocates of a solid education (not that BA or MA or PhD makes you well educated…but don’t let me start on that issue, because I’m bound to offended someone).
At the risk of furthering what is quickly becoming a novel, I’ll simply say God showed us that we would give our children a solid education…only we would literally be giving it ourselves…and giving it at home.
It’s a big leap from “only preschool” to “all the way, unless God leads us otherwise.” But big leaps –of faith!- are what God is all about, isn’t He?
Do I question this path? EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
But not because the boys aren’t learning or because I am not enjoying teaching them. I question and I fear because of my own lacking trust in God’s bigger picture of my life. It is hard to realize that as some of my friends “get their life back” as they send their kids into elementary school…I won’t be “getting my life back” – because God’s called me, and I’ve accepted His call to give my life wholly over to my children’s educational needs. It sounds daunting when I write it out like that, but it is such a blessing at the same time. I question God’s calling out of the feelings of inadequacy to “teach them the right way” that my fears let into my heart.
Thing One has finished up his PreK curriculum and is more that ready (and willling) to step up to K work. (Did I mention I’m a fan of year-round schooling? Well I am, even in the public setting.) So, now we begin our venture into “real” school grades – it really “counts” now! And oh, do I find the fear overwhelming me at some moments (or days)!
But God (and The Geek) are quick to remind me that teaching them “the right way” is a myth. The important things are that they learn. And that they learn at the pace best for them and in the learning style most personalized to their needs. Some thing no public or private school could ever offer them.
So I pray. I stress. I hope. I worry. And I am trying to trust wholly in God’s plans for our little family.
And that’s really all any of us can do, right? God knows best and He will provide the tools for His plan.