Homeschooling and Life
I think it is odd that I am a homeschooler and such a strong advocate of it no less. Why you ask? Well, I was one of those anti-homeschooling people who thought that it was the height of arrogance to think that anybody could give her child a better education than someone with a four-year university degree. How unbelievable!
And then I had kids. Still anti-homeschooling. Then my kids went to school, and suddenly this slippery slope started to occur. Before I knew it, we were moving out of the town we were living in and pulling our kids from school and bringing them home.
There were many things that I needed to learn from homeschooling, and the first lesson was to relax and breathe. I needed to adopt the mentality of ‘home schooling,’ not bringing school home, because there is a big difference.
Homeschooling, at least for me, was not just about curriculum. It was about relationship. Relationship with my husband, relationship with my children, relationship with God, and relationship to life. What do I mean? I needed to learn that homeschooling could take on the form of just being part of this life, the everyday stuff and the not-so-everyday stuff.
School was not just about reading and writing and arithmetic. It was about being a good citizen, a good friend, or a good son or daughter. It was about how to live in this world and thrive. About getting along in a world where some days it is darn hard to do just that.
That being said, is homeschooling perfect? Far from it as a matter of fact. Some days it is difficult and frustrating, and I wonder what ever possessed me to think this was a good idea! Nothing would be better than to just make them a lunch every morning, kiss them, and put them on the bus as I sip a cup of tea and wave them off.
But the truth is that homeschooling, as I mentioned earlier, is about bringing learning home–not bringing school home. There is a lesson and learning in everything we do, and that was a hard shift for me to make. I was caught up in the trap of curriculum and in being sure it was aligned with the province. I wondered if I was doing a good job and if my children were getting a good education. And then one day it hit me like a ton of bricks that learning can happen in everything we do, not just from a textbook! Sometimes the better lesson comes from life.
In 2009, my husband had a near-fatal heart attack, and it derailed our world; he was young and very healthy, and I myself was a cookbook author and educator on healthy food. I knew he did not have a lifestyle that would cause a heart attack. How could God do this to us? How did this happen, and more importantly, WHY?
As is so often the case, there were so many lessons in that crisis! My husband was home for six months. I went to the library and got all the nerdy science books and stuff on flying and all the stuff that bores me silly. Then my husband and my boys went through them all and spent all this quality time together 24 hours a day. Who gets that opportunity, ever? What a blessing that time was. And there was learning in that, just not from a curriculum. Homeschooling allowed us to do that.
In 2011, we welcomed a little girl into our lives through adoption. She came in October, and for a month we did no formal schoolwork; we just got to know our new little girl. She was 10 months old and had been in a different home for her whole life, so we needed to learn about her and she needed to learn about us. The boys wanted to learn about changing diapers, bathing a baby, and all of the things that they had never experienced before, and there were many lessons in that. Homeschooling allowed us to do that, but no textbooks were present.
For me this has been a fantastic, frustrating, tear-inducing, laughter-filled, memory creating experience that I would not change for the world. But easy or obvious were not part of the equation. I know God put all those experiences in our path so that we could learn and laugh and cry and experience life from a completely different perspective all in the comfort of our own home.J
And through it all we got to know Him better and ourselves better. Homeschooling allowed us to do that. So if you ask me, would I change anything? Nope, not one thing would be different. God has His plan, and who am I to question that? And because of all of this, homeschooling allowed me to learn that.
Sally J. King is an author, educator and an avid homeschooling Mum. She currently is homeschooling 2 boys, Brady 15, Tyson 12, and Serenity 2, who is more of a homeschooling deterrent than participant at this point.
I would have never had thought both before having kids and even up until my first started preschool that I would later become a homeschooling mom. I am still new to homeschooling but I am excited of learning and experiencing with my sons.
I can totally relate to your story. Mine is much the same. Homeschooling was such a perfect decision for our family…I can’t believe I ever fought the idea. All my kids have flown the coop and are doing wonderfully in college, they thank me often for our decision to homeschool. So rewarding!!
Great post! I was also a great believer in public schools, our first 3 daughters all graduated from one! I now wish that I had pulled our youngest daughter out during her Junior year… but that is water under the bridge, We are now in year 3 of homeschooling our son, adopted from China when he was 4. Two years of public school (both kindergarten) proved to be exactly what he DIDN’T need. Now, we’re thrilled to be a homeschool family!!!! Blessings!
I said I’d never homeschool and I meant it! But now my heart literally aches at the thought of what I would be missing if I didn’t have these four little people home with me every day, all of us experiencing and growing and learning together. Slowly I became willing to teach my children, but never did I dream in the beginning all the things God wanted to teach ME!
Enjoyed your post so much!
Great post! I am on the fence. I am still a working mom but strongly considering home school. I am just really feeling called to it. I know it would benefit my little ones in everyway. It is just making the commitment. It is scary, self doubting, step. Your post was very inspiring. Thank You.
I was very inspired by this post! Thank you for this! Praise the Lord!