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I remember thinking people who homeschooled were crazy. One particularly stressful, toddler-rearing day, my friend, Reg, called me up to chat. (Our daily phone calls meant my survival in that stage of the parenting game.) Reg had five kids, all school age except the last.
“We’re thinking of homeschooling. What do you think about that?
To be frank, I’d never even heard of this concept, which Reg patiently explained to me. In the year 1991, homeschooling was just catching on nationwide.
Balancing a 5 month old on my hip and glancing at my two-year-old in the next room (repeatedly pounding her curly head with a red toy ball), I didn’t hesitate.
“Personally, the thought of homeschooling makes me want to throw up.”
Translated, “The clock is ticking ever so slowly until these munchkins go to school and I can get some peace UP IN THE HOUSE!”
No WAY on God’s green earth was I EVER doing that. Someone else could do that. Reg could do that, she was patient with kids.
I never forgot my answer.
Especially when I decided to homeschool.
Never say never, eh?
God has many surprises up His sleeve, and one of them is how He chooses to change us.
When we let Him.
I remember the excitement I felt the first morning I walked my last child (number four) into the hallowed halls of pre-school. I did Toyota jumps all the way to my car, thinking, “I’m free, I’m free, I’m FREEEEEEEE!!!”
But it wasn’t long until I realized we were all completely out of our minds. And by “completely out of our minds”, I mean busy.
Fast forward one year.
I began to feel God tugging on my heart to slow my family down.
I was tired of the rat race–taking turns in the lunch room, staying out day and night taxiing kids to and from school, running errands, teaching at the Christian school for a discount on tuition, only to return home with a tall mound of homework staring us all in the face.
This wasn’t fun anymore. And this wasn’t how I wanted to live. I wanted to savor these years with my kids, not squeeze the life out of them!
And so, I took the plunge. Second semester of the school year, I pulled my kids out of grades 8, 6, 3, and 1, and attempted to cram as much Algebra I and Earth Science down my throat as possible.
Did it run smoothly?
Let’s just say it was a learning experience for all of us.
I stuck it out one semester with my oldest (or maybe I should say she stuck it out with me) before sending her back the following semester.
My second oldest lasted another year.
The younger two hung in there a couple more years. And the longer it lasted, the sweeter it got.
I loved homeschooling.
However, due to special circumstances and considerations surrounding those circumstances, after much prayer and agonizing, my younger two returned to school.
But that wasn’t the end.
During the high school years, we decided to homeschool again.
I was thrilled beyond belief. I was getting a second chance at this, and I was wide open, even though the thoughts of teaching high schoolers scared me to death.
And God was in it.
Both of them completed high school from home. I never would have believed myself capable of teaching Biology or Geometry, but God had other plans–and programs in place to aid me.
Moms, allow yourselves to dream, will you?
Think outside the box. Don’t go along with the norm. If you have a dream for your family and no one else is doing it, don’t let that hold you back!
Sometimes the dream goes sideways. Sometimes it takes narrow twists and turns. And sometimes, it just plain goes belly up.
But you never know until you try!
When I began homeschooling, our homeschool groups were very small–very few did this sort of thing in our area.
Now, we have a very large number of homeschoolers, the list growing each year!
My dream was to develop a close-knit family and unique kids.
That dream came true.
This is Part II of my homeschooling story. If you’d like to know a little more about homeschooling, wonder if you could pull it off, or think most homeschoolers are weird and socially awkward (boy, is that a can of worms), I urge you to read my special guest post (Part I) over at Faith Along the Way called, “3 Proven family-friendly benefits of Homeschooling”.
It sums up our positive family experience–I think you’ll find it encouraging!
If you want a close family bond that lasts long after the kids are gone and want to develop well-rounded children who think outside the box, why not pray about homeschooling, and seek wise counsel from an older mom who’s done it?
You never know until you try!
Have you ever considered homeschooling? Are you wondering if you could do it, but are afraid to make the leap?
Are you interested in homeschooling your preschooler, but you’re not sure where to start?
Maybe you feel slightly overwhelmed…or completely overwhelmed! When my oldest turned two, I decided to venture into the world of Homeschool Preschool, and over the past few years, I have discovered loads of creative teaching strategies as well as life-changing time management tips and organizational ideas and have put all of them together in one e-book written with you in mind!