Summer break has just begun for most families, but it will be over in the blink of an eye. Then you’ll need to decide whether or not your children will return to school in a few months or if your family will choose a new path.
In 2003, we chose the much criticized path of homeschooling. It is a narrow road, but paved with many rewards. In many homeschools, the school day is 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The “classroom” is actually an entire home overflowing with class projects, maps hanging from kitchen walls, craft supplies, and books, family and love.
A homeschool teacher’s days are filled with teaching not only academics, but also arts, socialization, discipline, and character followed by field trips, activities, sports and life skills. The “free time” of a homeschool teacher is spent preparing themselves, the home and family for the next day’s schedule.
When a homeschool parent/teacher and her children/students leave their home, they are hit with many questions like: “I see you have your children with you. Is school out today or are they home sick from school?” Once they announce them homeschool, they are hit with that dreaded question: “Aren’t you worried about socialization?” Then they have to take a moment to explain the true meaning of socialization: to make social, to fit or train for a social environment.
Enlightening their new acquaintance, they elaborate on their belief that it is the responsibility of the parent to teach children social skills. Fellow children in a classroom are not equipped to teach socialization as this is something they too need to learn. The responsibility to socialize our children should not be laid upon a public school teacher as it is not their responsibility to raise or train a child, only to educate them academically. Homeschooled children have ample opportunity to practice being social at church, club meetings, field trips, grocery stores, restaurants, movies, bowling, dance class, sporting events, and other public places.
Our choice began long before I was a parent. When I was a child, I knew I wanted to be a mommy who invested in the lives of her children. I pictured myself being home with my children and teaching them about God’s creation in what would one day be my family’s backyard, but I had never heard of homeschooling.
Over the years that calling remained. When The Lord again laid homeschooling upon our hearts back in 2002 while my oldest daughter was in public kindergarten. He kept giving me an overwhelming yearning upon my heart, but I was pregnant with twins, chasing my toddler, and working from home. I didn’t have time for that. I just chalked it up to the typical emotions every parent goes through when their child starts school.
Her loving kindergarten teachers went above and beyond to keep her from being bored. Throughout the school year, we prayed knowing we may not have the blessing of these same types of teachers the next year. We prayed for wisdom and God reminded us of the many things He revealed to us throughout the school year that would lead us to homeschooling. Specifically, He reminded us that we had already been successful teaching her as we prepared her for kindergarten. He also reminded me how overwhelmed my schedule was with hours spent in carpool lines, packing school lunches, preparing to volunteer, volunteering, working part-time at home, all with a 3-year-old and newborn twins in tow.
Our budget was also inundated with the expense of convenient non-perishable food for lunches, donating supplies and funds for the classroom, school fees, new school clothes, doctor bills from catching every virus that made its way around the classroom. Of course homeschooling does come with it’s own set of expenses, but at the end of the day the money spent on homeschooling feels like an investment rather than an unnecessary and sometimes preventable expense.
We had no excuses left as to why we couldn’t homeschool, and so we surrendered our will for His. Each year we make that same commitment. We try our very best to remember to give our schedule to Him each day for direction and leading. We have the freedom to teach each other and learn from each other. Homeschooling can seem like an overwhelming responsibility, but God is faithful. He will generously equip you with the strength, knowledge, and power you need when you make that choice.
As if all of these homeschool blessings weren’t enough, He has rewarded us with a closer relationship with Him and each other. When I think of the rat race He rescued us from, I am so grateful! I can’t imagine my life without homeschooling and the relationships it has developed inside and outside of our home.
I’m here for you with encouragement, answers to questions, survival tips, and more. In fact, over the summer I’ll be sharing some free resources to help you as you choose to homeschool. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions about homeschooling.
Choosing whether or not to homeschool is a monumental decision. It is not one to rush into or take lightly. God’s will and direction definitely needs to be sought. Feel free to enter your information below so we can deliver your free tools to your email. They will help you with your decision-making process. We created a printable to list pros and cons specific to the life of your family as well as scripture and prayer prompts. I’m always glad to help in any way I can! Be sure to keep stopping by. We will have many more freebies and helpful information not only for homeschooling but also for your motherhood journey.