Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Homeschooling...The Journey

One never knows what paths life
will take when you are young.

As a teenager I watched my Aunt
and Uncle struggle through the
trials of being among the first
to homeschool. It was not popular...
it was weird.

Then I had my own children.
We tried the public school
route. I watched their
personalities change.
We saw the tears as they were
forced to get on a bus.

Things happened. We thought we would
just try a catch up year for our oldest.
Then I became "weird" just like my
Aunt and Uncle. I knew that homeschooling
was the way for us to go.

Our kids became "weird".

They had imaginations, creativity,
and the ability to think for themselves
that was in the process of being squashed
in the context of a room of twenty-plus
children and the need for conformity.

We did not need to spend a small fortune
on back to school clothes each year...leaving
more for fun curriculum. Some that worked...some
that got put back on the shelf or handed off to
others with different learning styles.

We were able to directly address specific
learning challenges and deal with behavior
issues in ways that we felt were Biblical
rather than politically correct.

We chose the friends that our children associated
with rather than having to explain why the lifestyles
of their friends parents were not right.
Been there...done that!

As they have grown older we have the opportunity to
discuss these issues. It was over the top in the
elementary ages to be forced in to these discussions.

We have children who truly adore each other.
Sure, they fight and get on each other's nerves
just like anywhere else...but how wonderful is it
that Warren and I can be sitting in a room sharing
time chatting over our day and one by one three
teenagers join us and such a pleasant spirit of
fellowship emerges.

It happened just last evening in the family room,
by the fire. So spontaneous...so pleasant.
These are the fruits of a homeschool family.
The rewards.
Individual lesson plans...
Spiritual Awareness...

We are fast approaching the end of the
boys' formal learning at home...but their
lifetime of learning is just beginning.

We are attempting to prepare them for
the future to make a living and raise a
family of their own doing something that
God has specifically gifted them to do.
Something that will bring them joy and
satisfaction at the end of the day.

We would be delighted if it were something
that paid well but will be just as proud if
that something that they are called to do
meets their needs and allows them to serve

Homeschooling...it is a journey.

It is a beautiful life!


Nicole said...

That was such an encouragement as mine are still little! I love homeschooling for all those same reasons. I love that my children's best friends are each other and that even though they fight like any siblings do, they love each other and look out for each other :) It is such a blessing to hear how well homeschooling works. Even if we are the "weird"ones :) Happy Schooling!

Anonymous said...

I'm new to your blog and really like the perspective of training your children I see in your blog here on March 3rd. Although we do not homeschool, we are connected to so many that do - church, cousins, and blogging world!

We have been fortunate to send our children to the local Christian school down the street for 12 years now. Our children are 3 boys, 1 girl, ages 18 to 5. With the coming "economic earthquake" that is being predicted, and only the Lord knows the future, we are asking ourselves what would we do instead of their school. Do you have many friends that started homeschooling from 9th grade on down? We have both athletic and scholar-type children who are so well adjusted to classroom life. We do have regular Bible reading/study times at home with my husband leading. I know they generally take my lead, but in all their subjects? I like the male leadership they have at their school (for my boys). Now just mom? You see how I'm thinking?

I'm interested in your thoughts.



Becky K. said...

Hi Shelley,

I am so glad you are thinking ahead...of the "what ifs".

As you can tell, I am very sold on homeschooling. The few times we have considered Christian school the money and loss of family time has kept us from taking that route.

I don't know your family so my opinions may not matter at all as it relates to you. Are any of your children interested in being homeschooled?

We have lots of friends who homeschool. Some have from the beginning...others are just beginning as their kids hit Jr. or High School and are struggling or for any other reason decide to take their kids out of school.

The most important thing I have learned over the years is that our home education cannot and should not look like a school at home. I put myself through so much stress in the beginning by attempting to create an artificial environment. It is very important to communicate with your children if you decide to homeschool them and let them have a say in what they are most interested in. Work their curriculum where possible around those interests.

Especially those children approaching high school...they may not know what they want to do for a living after they graduate...most likely they don't...but do they love art? Science? History? Math?

No one knows and loves your children as much as you and their father. You will make sure they succeed at Home Education if that is what you choose to do.

As for you being the primary teacher for your boys. It is not a hard thing if your husband supports you and makes it clear to the children that they will answer to him if they do not respect you. In effect you are standing in for him while you are teaching.

Oh my...you have asked some very good question. Makes me want to sit down and have coffee....and a good chat!

Hope you find answers to your questions. Hopefully there is someone in your life who homeschools and can give you support should you decide to make a change.