Why did we decide to homeschool and an even better question, why do we decide to continue every year?
Well Ive gotta be honest, every year when February hits and then again during the summer time, I question my life decisions. For some reason February is a very stressful month for me. Schools and programs are sending out emails for you to re-register for the next year so they can get ahead of the game… but that just puts a load of pressure on me. I don’t want to commit to anything that far ahead, unless its going on a trip somewhere tropical… that I can commit to. Then upon finishing the school year while we are enjoying our summer, there is an entirely different kind of panic. The thought of staying home with my children ALL of the time, thats a scary thought and the lack of a schedule terrifies me. Not only that but the thought of starting another school year with 3 kids just sounds daunting and overwhelming.
These are all of my own fears and insecurities and they are lies. I know this, but when you feel like you are in the fire, its hard to see things clearly. Thankfully I have a gracious God who gently reminds me why I am homeschooling and keeps me on the right path.
Day one of school I immediately remember why we homeschool. YIPPEE! I love when I get this feeling back. Homeschooling allows me so many luxuries that I never even factored in when we started. Here are a few reasons for why we homeschool:
1. Waking with ease. There is no rushing. I GET to make breakfast for my family and drink ALL of my coffee, which is something I have grown to love! While I make breakfast the kids listen to some audible school work or play… or fight. It is just nice to have the time to make breakfast if I choose to and not have the rushed feeling to get out of the house. I can have quiet time with the kids and we can start the day when we want to.
2. Pjs all day baby. If you so choose to, you can!
3. Prayerful. Every year, every month, every night, I pray and ask God for wisdom and direction. I want to make sure that this is what He wants and that I am being obedient to whatever His plan is. So far, this is it.
4. You’re the teacher. This sounds like a bad point, but its actually a great one, most of the time. I can teach, guide, and direct my children in the ways that my husband and I choose. One struggle with this one is the line between mom and teacher can get fuzzy, so its good to lay those boundaries out before the school year starts and of course remind them often.
5. With being the teacher, you get to pick whatever curriculum you want. The great thing about this is that there are no limitations. You are the head master, the principle, the faculty, the teacher, therefor; you pick it all. Which means you get to cater to what works for your family and if you start on one thing and change your mind about it, thats ok! Another great aspect of this is choosing where and how you school, just the other day we had experienced a more stressful school day. Work load was hard and we just weren’t vibe-ing. So the next day the principle (me), declared an outdoors field trip. We took our learning minds to the beach and had a great day of teaching through life skills, singing songs and really just taking in Gods beauty. I LOVE that I have the ability to share those moments with my kids.
6. Socialization. Didn’t expect that one huh? There are so many activities and groups to be involved in, it can almost be overwhelming at times. From moms support groups, to charter schools, homeschool groups, extra curricular classes, sports.. I mean the list goes on. So not only are the kids able to socialize with other kids and adults, they are also getting more of an opportunity at home to build relationships with their siblings… and me!
7. My relationship with the kids. This has really been the hardest aspect of homeschooling and truly the best one. We really only grow if we’re being stretched. I believe it is harder when you have a child that is exactly like you, all the things that bug you about yourself, they have and it seems to be a cause for more tension. This is true with my oldest (Gabe) and myself, we are a lot a like and the thought of homeschooling him at first sounded like a horrible idea and something I didn’t even want to mess with. But God is faithful, and I am so thankful he knows what I need more than what I think I want. I have come to realize that the time I have spent with Gabe has been so fruitful for both of us. I would have missed out on so many teaching opportunities if he were to have been at school. And I don’t mean academically, Im talking growth for him and I with patience, communication, love and respect for others, and obedience… just to name a few.
*** Lastly, I want to make sure you get the full reality here. I love my own time just as much as the next mom (probably more). So for me, I really do feel it necessary to set time aside for myself. Whether its a solo grocery store run or having everyone go down for “quiet time” in the afternoon. Its a priority for me and my sanity that I recharge my batteries.
I hope I encouraged you and didn’t scare you away! I really do believe that anyone can homeschool. That doesn’t mean that everyone should. But if you feel called to it, don’t be afraid! If you have people around you that aren’t supportive, just know you have a support system out there you didn’t even know about. I know I only just skimmed the surface with this topic. If anyone has any questions, don’t hesitate to email me. I love talking about this and would be honored to guide you through it.