It all started with a vision. One that I lost and then found again.
I had a hard time when it came time to decide which school my oldest son was going to attend kindergarten. There was a powerful feeling of unrest. At the time, I thought I could find peace by sending him to the "very best school." I set off to find such a school. Our public school we were zoned for was good, but was it the best?
Our research started. We visited private and public schools and spoke to many parents whose children attended those schools. We researched endlessly. It seems so obsessive now, and the reason for the unrest seems so apparent, but hindsight is 20/20.
We decided that the school we wanted our kids to go to was across town. So now all we needed to do was sell our house and move to that school zone, which we did.
Did the unrest end there? Nope! God had a plan, and I was searching everywhere except the one place that I should have been the whole time. God sent a little help to make things clear.
But before I met this person, my husband, Aaron, and I had a heart to heart.
Me: "What is going on? What is wrong with me?"
Aaron: "There must be more going on."
Me: a lot of silence…. then… "I mean, how is it all going to work? The kids will go to school, go to aftercare, pick them up, do homework, eat dinner, and go to bed. What about afterschool activities, sports teams, art classes? How is that all going to fit in the schedule?"
Me: "It's not how I envisioned my life with my kids."
This is me finding that vision I had lost:
"I always envisioned doing life with the kids. The kids being around me in my day-to-day. Learning from me. Are we living in the vision you have for our family?"
Aaron: "No, I always envisioned something else."
Me: "Ok, so are we moving in the direction of our vision, or are we moving away? Are we moving off-course?"
A few weeks later, I met a lady who was an engineer who retired to homeschool her four children. All four of them were professionals now, a doctor, a lawyer, a CPA, and a nurse. She painted me a picture of her homeschooling years, and as she spoke, the image of the life I once imagined came to life. She told me of her days around the kitchen table, reading great books. Traveling to places they read about in history books. She told me about the field trips she would arrange for her kids and their friends. She talked about brain science and how all the research is pointing away from standard schooling practices. She spoke about how she was able to cater to her children's education to each of her children's learning styles. She talked about how she was able to spot her children's God-given gifts at an early age. She had the opportunity to feed their natural talents, so when they chose a career, it wasn't a lost sea of majors and the "finding yourself" experience that college is for so many of us.
She also talked about how homeschool kids statistically have higher SAT scores and how a great deal of them graduate high school and college early. She told me how colleges look for homeschooled kids because they are more well-rounded and are natural leaders. Most importantly, she talked about the time she got with her kids, in the grind of learning. She taught them to read and write, to do math, and to discover and do life together.
There is no better teacher for your kids than you, she said.
That night I came home and told my husband that I wanted to homeschool. I told him all the things the lady said.
Before I could finish, he said, "yes, that's what we are going to do."
It took us about eight months to get our finances and other things in order for me to quit my job to homeschool our kids.
I get asked a lot why we homeschool. I could answer in so many different ways:
The disillusionment with the current education system
How I was a child who didn't learn well until I learned to teach myself
Homeschool kids tend to do better in GPA and SAT scores
But the real answer is because homeschooling is what God wanted us to do. Somehow life tried to get in the way of those plans.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11
When faced with unrest, the best advice I can give is to search for the peace of God. Make decisions that bring you peace. The turmoil will keep you up at night, make it impossible to make a decision, and ultimately make you unhappy.
Homeschooling is not all rainbows and butterflies. It is hard work. But isn't everything worth anything hard? If it were easy, everyone would do it. And what's the point of doing easy things?
Until next time,
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