It’s been quiet here on the blog for a few months, but life has not. Part of me can’t believe we’re actually homeschooling because for months we were noncommittally “just looking into it,” researching different methods, curriculum, support groups, and on and on. Another part of me says, “It’s about time!” You see, homeschooling has always appealed to me, and now that I look back, I see how God planted the seeds over the years for it to come to fruition.
About four years ago, when my oldest two were three and one, and I was pregnant with baby #3, I remember praying a lot about work and our expanding family — because when you’re about to have three children three-years-old and under with a full-time job, all you can really do is pray! So one morning, I found a flyer in my son’s folder at preschool inviting parents to learn about a new homeschool group, and for a split second I remember thinking, What if this is God trying to tell me something? But I was busy preparing for a week-long work event in Brazil and dismissed the possibility of God answering my prayers. Plus, there’s no way we could ever survive on one income. Still, I signed up for the email list and for the next two and a half years received almost daily messages about co-ops, spelling bees, curriculum sales, yearbooks, annual conventions and everything in between. I don’t know why I took so long to unsubscribe from the list, but I like to think it helped paint a picture of what homeschooling could be like.
Then, about two years ago I traded in my full-time position at my job for a part-time one because I couldn’t adjust to my son being in Kindergarten, in this big new school without me being able to know and talk to his teacher, his classmates, and the staff. It just seemed so… unnatural. And how would we find time to spend together as a family, between work and homework? So I became a Room Mom and PTA volunteer extraordinaire with my newly acquired free time.
Then, there was the summer I bought a set of homeschool books off eBay to see if I could “do” school with my son. To be honest, I never had a chance to use them, but I got my first taste of how addictive the buying of curriculum can be.
Finally, at the end of last year, while I was on maternity leave with baby número 4, the boys started randomly asking when I was going to homeschool them. Seriously? What kid comes out of nowhere asking to be homeschooled? Well, turns out Daddy told my oldest, in a moment of frustration after spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out his 1st grade math homework (tens frames, anyone?), not to worry because I would be homeschooling him. My son took him at his word, and announced the news to his brothers. And so began the constant requests from my boys to homeschool them.
“You know homeschooling means you ‘learn’ at home, not you ‘play all day long with your toys’ at home?” They said they understood. “And I would be your teacher.” They were fine with that. “And you won’t go back to school again, or be in a class with your friends.” They were okay with that also.
I tried to ignore them for a while, but they continued to ask with that unrelenting persistence only children have. Then, it finally dawned on me, What if this is God trying to tell me something? So after four years, I finally decided to seriously consider the possibility of homeschooling. Since January I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on. But most of all, I love looking back on the past few years and seeing how God was working in ways I didn’t even know at the time. Reminds me of Ephesians 3:20.
We started our homeschool adventure over the summer to slowly transition into this new lifestyle, and for that I’m grateful. Whenever we tell people, the first question is usually a perplexed “Why?”, but it’s a long answer for another post. For now, enjoy some pics of our home learning adventure.
Have you ever thought about homeschooling or an alternative to traditional schooling? Make sure to leave a comment below!