Thursday, June 6, 2013

Homeschooling (Part One)

January 15 will stand in my memory as the day that things started to change.

I have friends who “homeschool” their kids and I've always applauded and respected their decision to do so. I've also maintained that it's not something I could ever see my family doing.

And then, on January 15th, a friend challenged me: “Are you doing what's best for your kids? If you're not doing what's best for your kids, what's stopping you?” (This is my paraphrase, the words that have rolled around in my head for months now.)

When I actually allowed myself to think about what's best for my kids, I realized a few things:
1) I was selling God short. He set me in place, with my husband, to guide and direct these hearts.
2) God is bigger than my perceived incompetence.
3) Other than standing in line, there wasn't a whole lot that they couldn't learn at home, in less time.

Still January 15th, I mentioned it to my husband.

We'd had this conversation before, kind of a “what if...” discussion. He's always been staunchly opposed to the idea, for many reasons, most of which were steeped in assumptions that we later learned were totally unfounded. So I broached the subject once again. I told him of the exchange with the aforementioned friend and asked what he thought. 

 “No.” As expected.

I knew I wasn't going to win him over with my clever
nonesixtent debating skills, so I did all there was left to do. I started praying about it.

As I prayed about it, I read more about the idea and chatted with friends who are deep in the thick of teaching their children at home. And I got more excited.

Clue #1 that this time was different – I was actually excited at the thought of it!

I prayed and read and prayed and chatted and prayed and watched my kids and prayed and dreamed.

About a week later, I found myself sitting in a van, alone with my husband. We had dropped the kids off and were heading out to see a James Bond flick at the theatre. As we drove away from the house, I felt this urge to bring up the homeschooling discussion once more. I fought it down, as I had since that first conversation on January 15. The urge came right back. I pushed it down. It would not go away. So, I figured now was the time to talk about it.

I tentatively brought it up, laying out the reasons that I couldn't let go of the idea that this was right for our family. He listened. He had questions. I had some answers. He had more questions. I didn't have answers. But we were talking about it, actually considering it as an option.

Clue #2 that this time was different – We were actually talking about it beyond “Well?” “No.”

A month passed. We continued to consider the idea, researching answers to questions, talking with friends who have first-hand experience, talking with friends who knew us but had no experience with homeschooling. We were both intrigued by the idea, but still hesitant. While my husband went into long-term research/planning mode, I started day-dreaming, which led to actual dreaming, at night.

Clue #3 that this time was different – I literally could not stop dreaming about it!

Suddenly everything became an opportunity to teach my children. I had

so much fun thinking of ways to incorporate learning into our every day lives. We already tried to do that, but when I considered the possibility of homeschooling I realized that our learning opportunities were endless!

As I type this, without having done one day of homeschooling, my heart is racing, just thinking about all the fun I've got stored up in my little brain. As I shared my ideas with the kids, they got really excited. The more we talked about it, the more they hoped that our “if” would turn into a “when.” Because we were saying “If we homeschool in the fall...”

Read the next chapters here:
Homeschooling (Part Two)
Homeschooling (Part Three)


  1. Replies
    1. Nah, just winging this thing called "life."

      I do have some amazing friends, though, who have been very helpful/encouraging as we navigate this new adventure.

  2. God is so good :) You are doing "The best" for your family and they are going to flourish under your teaching.

  3. I think you'd be a fabulous teacher!

  4. Sounds like the conversations we have had in our home over the past couple years. We too are home schooling this coming year. We are going to a convention the end of this month and I am excited to learn even more. There is a good group near us that gets together and have been a wealth of information! Best wishes to you and your family! - Laura

  5. As you know Colleen has homeschooled for years, and I always thought I was way I could never do that Mom. One day however God called me out of my comfort zone, he told me it was time to homeschool Aiden. I was terrified, and like..... WHAT! No way. But as you've said, as time grew and I prayed more and more about it, God made it clear the path he wanted our family to take next year. Noah still wants to go to school and is very successful there. AT this point he is not interested in being taught anything more by (my words not his), in time though that may change. I am terrified in one way to homeschool Aiden but excited in another. It's true, once you consider doing it, the world opens up and you see all the amazing ways they can learn outside of traditional school. I am excited to see your journey, whether you choose to or not. As long as it's God's plan, its a good one. xoxoxo
    Love: Jenn K

  6. There is a part 2, right? This is AWESOME!!!

  7. !!!!! Looking forward to an AMAZING year spent along side with you guys next school year!!!