The idea of homeschooling crossed my mind long before Bill and I decided to start. The thought skittered across my brain very quickly… probably because it was being chased by my scared but selfish ego which was screaming, “You cannot do this!!!”
First off, I did not think I was capable of homeschooling. I am a moody person. My mother says that I went to bed a sweet 12 year old girl and woke up a temperamental 13 year old. Well, the sassy, temperamental, moody side stuck around until I decided that I didn’t want to flux between hills and valleys on a constant basis and swallowed the little blue Zoloft pill that saved my family. If I am ever running low, Bill makes it his personal mission to get to the pharmacy as quickly as possible. So, how could I possibly homeschool?
Let me not forget that the checklist against homeschooling also included being time-crunched, a house full of children, the money for curriculum (because we live on a very tight budget), no patience what-so-ever, lack of space, and more.
Then, there was the selfish side that has looked longingly to the day when all of my children would be in school and I would have the house to myself. I could work if I wanted or clean or write or… SLEEP! So, I didn’t WANT to homeschool.
But, I believe that God had a very specific purpose for our family and He is using homeschooling to make us into the people – to make me into the person – He needs us to be to accomplish His plan. Some of you may struggle with this idea that God is in such control of our lives but let me assure you that I cannot live a day without Him in full control of mine because I make terrible messes on my own. So, I submitted to God and we homeschool.
Some people did not help. Even some family members would cast doubt on our decision which gave my selfish side ammunition but we had real reasons for deciding to homeschool and every time a doubt would creep in, I would remember my list of “why” ~
- We feel this is what God wants for our family.
- We cannot afford private school.
- We know that public school is a violent nightmare full of bullies, drugs, anger, etc.
- We want to provide Lira with the individualized attention she needs from someone who loves her.
- We don’t want our children buying into the subtle propaganda tucked into some curriculum.
- We want to filter the people around Lira. (Lira is a sponge and soaks up the attitudes and issues around her.)
- We wanted to have time for extra-curricular activities without over-structuring our week/calendar.
- We want our children to develop a well-rounded Christian worldview.
- We need peace in our mornings. (Forcing Lira out of bed to be at school early is so stressful that we would both be in tears when we finally made it to school.)
- We want a cohesive family.
While I am well aware of my limitations, I never made a list of why we should not homeschool. I just didn’t feel like it was necessary. God can provide everything I need and can make me into all I need to be. (For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13)
If you are struggling with this decision, I want to encourage you to sit down with your spouse and make a list of “why.” Why is this thought even rolling around in your head? How would your family benefit from homeschooling? What goals would you hope to accomplish by homeschooling?
There is one condition that I believe should supersede your decision. You MUST be on the same page with your spouse. I could not do this without Bill’s support. Being home all day with the children can be stressful. Being their teacher on days when they don’t want to be taught can be frustrating. I need him to walk in the door and give me 30 minutes of time by myself. I need to be able to call him and complain and have him encourage me. I need to know that he appreciates me and the effort I am making.
If your spouse does not agree, I think you should stop planning and just pray. I love to hear the stories of how God put couples on the same page about homeschooling. He can do that for you too.
What do you feel is holding you back from having clarity in your decision or how did you decide homeschooling was right for your family?
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