Encouragement from a Homeschool Kid
One day we were all gathered around the little coffee table in our home, my older sister, my toddler brother, and the bird.*cue pyscho theme song* The lorikeet’s name was Solomon, after the wise king, but spending time with him was far from regal. As we colored our pictures depicting biblical stories from the Picture This curriculum, “Solly” dug through our box of crayons with his spiny feet and began flinging crayons every which way. My little brother, who was two or three at the time began to giggle over my Mom’s voice as she read us Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It wasn’t long before the whole house was in an uproar as we all joined in the crayon fight. While some may read this story and think how frustrating days like that are, as a homeschool graduate, those are some of my favorite memories.
My name is Lilah Higgins, and I was homeschooled all the way through, from Preschool to High School.
Today, as a homeschool alumni, I want to reach out to the homeschool moms and dads out there. Before I get into the things I’ve benefitted from by being homeschooled, I really want you to understand, from your child’s perspective, how valuable you are as their parent.
Looking back on my life, at 20 years old, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness to my parents for giving up so much of their time, effort, and sleep to raise me in “the way [I] should go.” (Proverbs 22:6)
Yes, you feed them, wash them, clothe them, and discipline them. But it’s so much more than daily efforts. It’s a lifetime commitment to nurture a human life.
The one thing that was most crucial and life-changing in my homeschool career had to be the experience I gained from the freedom of being taught from home. The things I learned in the time that I would have otherwise spent at a desk, on the bus, or in between classes were life skills that I still practice today. As many of you probably experience, instead of having a set time for “school work” to happen, no matter if the books were opened or closed, in our house, we never stopped learning.
We were around to experience money issues and miscommunication issues between our parents and we learned that marriage isn’t easy. We learned that it takes grace and forgiveness to make it work. As girls, my sister and I had hands-on, 24/7 sight into what a real, functioning, stay-at-home mom dealt with. And even when my Mom began working for my Dad as her CFO for his architecture firm, we got to see what a career mom faced.
Most importantly, we got to see Christian faith in practice. We saw the process of sin and repentance. We saw our parents at the end of their rope, exhausted, frustrated, and confused, and we saw the work that God did through their weaknesses.
These pivotal moments would have been hindered by time spent out of the house. My mom always taught us that there is a time to “keep the four walls of your house up” and to protect and rebuild your family. Had I spent 8+ hours of my day at school and another 2-4 hours with my nose in textbooks doing homework, I would not have had time (in my childhood) to grow and develop in the ways I was meant to.
As I think back on the skills I have and, more importantly, the overall attitude I have towards life, I can undoubtedly say that I learned everything I needed to know before I left home.
Because of our teamwork in my academics, I was able to graduate at 16 and I was licensed and certified in my career choice before I was 18. God has continued to bless our marriage and our family. I believe it is in part because of our parents involvement and effort in our lives as children and continued involvement in our lives as adults.
As we await the birth of our first son, I look forward to allowing him the opportunity to grow, the discipline and encouragement of parents who care, and the blessings that come from a life focused around the most important things. I pray that you too, realize your importance as parents and embrace the decisions you make for your children with full confidence, trusting that you are exactly the parents they were meant to have.
Thank you to Hip Homeschool Moms for allowing me the opportunity to share my story! May God bless you.
Lilah Higgins is a stay-at-home mom-to-be. She has been writing since 2008 on her own personal blog and also contributes on the devotional blog Coffee with Christ every Wednesday. She and her husband live in the beautiful state of Wyoming and enjoy taking road trips and playing chess together. And of course, they plan on homeschooling their little one.
Just want to say I truly loved reading this article today. As a mother to a beautiful, big-hearted 9 year old young man, this gave me a opportunity to reflect over the past few months. We started homeschooling this year, and our son is in 3rd grade. As a mother you want to give your all, and spare nothing as this is the only opportunity you will ever get, one time. Thank YOU for sharing this message of encouragement for many mothers/dad’s that are wanting to give all they have and at no limits. Your story is much appreciated and many blessings to you.
You are so welcome ladies! I’m so blessed by your sweet comments and I’m so glad you could find encouragement and be uplifted by my story. Our journey as homeschooling parents has yet to begin, (4 more weeks!) but when it does I know that we’ll be able to find encouragement through this community! Thank you again. 🙂
Thank you! This is my first year homeschooling and I struggle almost every other week if this is the right choice. I grew up in public school so it’s really hard to change what I was brought up to know was the only way. Change is hard at times but your encouraging words help remind me why we are doing this. I bet your parents are so proud to raise such a beautiful well rounded daughter.
Thanks Lilah. As a first year homeschooling- often frustrated- mom to my two young boys(7 and 8), I really needed to hear that uplifting, long term perspective right now. On the really difficult days, it’s these views of the future that have really kept me going and convinced me to never give up! Thank you , thank you, thank you!!!
WOW! Lilah, thank you so much! I’ve only been homeschooling my girls (11 and 8) since January of this year, but I’m so glad we do it. It gives us all freedom from mainstream America. Some days are better than others (in school and out, right?), but I’m fortunate that I’ve had this opportunity. I hope my girls grow up to be as intelligent and well-rounded as you! Merry Christmas and, again, thanks for the encouragement.