Before Music Man and I began pumping out small children like a candy dispenser, we talked about what we saw for the future for our family. I, being the wall flower that I am, emphatically told my husband a couple of what for’s….
I will NEVER drive a mini van!
I will NEVER EVER homeschool!
Does this sound like you? Because after I have been homeschooling for just a couple of years, I have discovered that I was not alone in immediately rejecting the idea of homeschooling. Also, with driving a mini van. But seriously, have you driven in one? They are AWESOME. The automatic doors alone are worth it.
See, God can change hearts and minds!
We are a bit more unusual than the average homeschooling couple because it was my husband who challenged me to reconsider and pray about the idea of homeschooling. I took this as a challenge. PLPLPLPLPL….like I was ever going to change my mind! I mean have you seen those homeschooling weirdos?!
But that’s the amazing thing about PRAYER. When you seek God’s will, He will show you HIS WAYS and they are infinitely better than your own. This is not to say that I had an overnight epiphany and shot out of bed with butterflies and rainbows shooting out of my angelic head and exclaimed “YES I want to homeschool all of our gaggle of children!”. I prayed and prayed for direction and opened my mind and heart to the possibility of homeschooling. When we did have children who became preschool age, I dipped my toes in that world by joining a local co-op [group of other homeschoolers] as well as a simple group of mommies looking to enrich their youngin’s little lives.
I discovered that I actually began to *gulp* enjoy it. I loved being their when their little eyes would light up at a circle time song or experienced a new craft or dipped their brains in the science project pool. I began to feel melancholy at the idea of watching all of these moments happen without me.
Then I began to read voraciously on all things homeschooling. Why are people choosing to keep their kids home? Why are people so excited to send their kids through “the system”? And I couldn’t help but agree with nearly every point to KEEP KIDS AT HOME FOR SCHOOL. I could tell you numerous stories about how both Music Man and I both had issues with
- Bullies —for both of us, it was usually teachers who were the bullies and not fellow classmates.
- Boredom —Music Man was bored to tears because he was far ahead of his classmates and I was so distracted by my fellow classmates that I hardly cared about the curriculum and only about making friends. Actually not much has changed in that department… lol.
- Freedom — This was the gateway into discussing homeschooling. With Music Man’s job being so unscheduled, we thought that our kids should know who daddy is more than their teacher, so we had to create room for that in our lives.
- Religious freedom — it might not be a shock to know that this is on our hearts and minds when it comes to teaching our children. We take this verse very seriously
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” — Proverbs 22:6
and also this one
“Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” — Deuteronomy 11:19
This is not to say that you can’t do these things if you are choosing to send your kids through other modes of education. However, I do think that it makes it a lot more difficult.
And now that we are headed into my first born’s 1st grade year, I’m already enjoying these perks….
- Peer pressure — many of my friends who have sent their young children into public school have already seen a major change in their kids attitudes and disobedience. For a few of these sweet kids, the change has been shocking and sad. So far we have been able to minimize this impact in our family.
- Sibling rivalry is (practically) non existent. My kids don’t have a choice on just choosing another friend on the play ground. They need to reconcile their relationships in order to maintain harmony and peace in our house. This is not to say that we have a perfect home where everyone is a stepford child. HA! But, there is a helpfulness and a genuine friendship that they are building which warms up my mommy heart like no other.
- They are learning life skills. Because we have more time together, we have more time for them to
be my house cleanerslearn life skills. Morning chores must be done, learning how to cook their own breakfasts or lunches, helping daddy grow his garden and even changing the baby’s diaper are all useful skills for their learning and to help mom and dad. Win win!
- I get to enjoy sleeping in. Yup. This one is totally selfish. But seriously it is so nice to have most of our mornings not run by someone else’s external clock. My baby’s and toddlers naps aren’t ruined by running my oldest to and from school. This might be one of my favorite things so far!
Now some of you might be concerned about the dreaded “S” word. Socialization. Don’t worry folks, there are plenty of opportunities to get my kids out of the house to see other people besides their mommies tired face. Here are a few of the things that we are currently doing…
- My oldest is in a one day a week drop off homeschooling co-op
- Field trips (with above mentioned group) where I usually am able to take at least most of my kids.
- Gymnastics class
- Art class with fellow homeschool friends
- Play dates
- Extra time with family nearby (like their uncle and aunt, grandma and grandpa)
- Occupational Therapy for Little Rascal (not really socialization for the others, but it is something that we are doing and its been great for him)
And these are the things we are doing this year. I’m sure its just going to get busier and busier, so I want to be careful of not over doing it either.
So these are just a few reasons why we decided to take the plunge and follow God’s direction for our family and homeschool.
What are your reasons?