I’ve heard it a million times: “I don’t know how you do it. I don’t have enough patience. I could never homeschool my children!”. This is what I said back in 2002 when God began to whisper this “crazy” idea of homeschooling into my ears. I had a kindergartner in public school, a 3 year old, and I was pregnant with twins. I was working full time hours from home as a medical transcriptionist. I was also spending a lot of time volunteering and donating a lot of money to my oldest daughter’s kindergarten class. I was determined to be involved in my child’s education. Why? Because that is why God gives us our children. It is our responsibility to be involved in every aspect of their growth including their education. Children are only ours on loan from their Heavenly Father, and we have to answer to Him for the way we raise His children.
Back to the story…
During her kindergarten year, God periodically and quietly whispered “homeschooling” to me. I thought once our babies are born, I’ll be so busy that those crazy thoughts will disappear or perhaps God would change our situation. Well, in December of that year our precious twins, children number 3 and 4, entered this world. We quickly became parents of 4 instead of two, a family of 6 instead of 4. My life became twice as busy as it had before. Our situation had not changed. It just became even more hectic.
God continued to whisper homeschooling to me, only this time His whispers were louder. I continued to become even more involved at my daughter’s school while trying to balance work, home and family. Frequently, I lugged two baby carriers or sometimes a double baby stroller into the office at the elementary school, signed in, and then proceeded to carry my bundles down a long hallway, outside, and up into a portable.
By the end of the school year I was exhausted physically, but spiritually I was renewed. God had spoken louder with each passing day, reminding me of all of the leaps of faith I had taken in the past. He reminded me of His faithfulness and I was finally ready to obey Him.
It took a lot of courage to tell her teachers on the last day of school that we were going to homeschool. It took even more courage to tell our friends and family, some of whom were public educators.
Most people didn’t understand our choice to homeschool. They expected us to just be like the world, like everyone else, to do our best to fit in socially by putting our children in public school, joining all of the mainstream clubs, sporting events, and extra curricular activities after school. Living just like everyone else.
We got that dreaded “what about socialization” question every.single.time. They didn’t understand our need to be set apart from the world, our need to protect our children from worldly influence, our desire to give them the best, most well-rounded education possible, most of all they were perplexed by our need to live in obedience to what we knew God wanted.
How did we expect others to understand? We were taking a leap into uncharted territory for our family, and didn’t really understand everything about it either?
We realized it didn’t matter if other people understood us. It doesn’t matter if we understand God’s will either. God calls us to be a peculiar people. Many times throughout history His people have had to choose to live in obedience to Him without understanding why. We also knew from past experience that God would give us the knowledge and wisdom we needed in His time for our homeschooling journey. We knew we were seeking Him first and as God promised, He took care of the rest. We sought information from our accountability group, our support group, and fellow homeschoolers. He was faithful to reassure us of our decision time and time again.
It’s been sixteen years and now our oldest and second daughters have both graduated homeschool high school in the top third of their senior classes of our homeschool accountability association. They were both accepted to some wonderful colleges and received merit scholarships. Our oldest is now a senior and our second daughter is a sophomore, both in Bible college, one pursuing youth ministry and the other music education and ministry.
I just want to encourage you that you CAN homeschool, and there is a large community for support. We are certainly dedicated to helping you on your journey!
You do need to understand what homeschooling is. It’s not virtual school at home. It’s more than just sitting at a desk with a textbook at home. It is a daily commitment to take charge of your child’s education and play an active role in their growth and development. It’s about teaching them from your value system, not that of the government and what they deem is appropriate for children.
Quality time learning from each other and from God–that is homeschooling. It’s about life lessons that can’t be taught in a classroom. It’s about allowing children to learn with their different learning styles to their full potential instead of being put into a box and molded into what the world says is acceptable.
These are things that simply cannot be done from a confined desk in a classroom full of 20+ students in an environment that encourages them to separate themselves from their faith and to compartmentalize their morals and values.
As long as you seek God and live for Him, He will help you on your homeschool journey. He is secret to homeschooling. He is all you need. There is absolutely nothing in me that makes our homeschooling journey work. I am far from patient. My Heavenly Father is the only reason I am able to homeschool my children. Hang in there and don’t give up! You CAN do this! He is all you need, and if you have Him you CAN homeschool!
Several months ago I had this sense that I really desired to create something that would give direct help parents begin their homeschool journey. I began praying about it and God led me to write “You Can Homeschool: A Step-by-Step Guide for Your Journey”. It takes parents through each step from helping you make the decision whether or not to homeschool all the way through teaching tips.
I’m also creating some free homeschool resources to help parents, and I am always available to answer any questions or help coach you in your homeschool journey. Feel free to contact me any time. Be encouraged!