This is our 10th year of homeschooling and I could NOT be happier (although my 16-year-old is frustrating me at this VERY moment with a smile on his face). But it wasn’t always this way. There were several times when I felt ill-equipped, and worn out…and when I simply did not want to do this. I mean seriously, couldn’t somebody else raise them for most of the day and I just fill in the blanks? Couldn’t someone else be responsible for shaping their worldview for 6-8 hours a day, and I do a devotional Bible reading before they go to bed??? For those of you who may be reading this and your kids are attending school, I am in no way saying that these are your thoughts, but I am saying that they were mine… unconsciously all mine. My thinking was sooo backwards and selfish. Even after the events that led to us finally removing them from public school and obeying the leading of the Lord, I still couldn’t figure out how they could be educated at home, by me, and I could still have time to myself, and time to do all the things I wanted to do.
When we began homeschooling, Ukali and I both understood that I would be the primary instructor,of course, since he worked outside of the home full-time. The first couple of years I had no idea what I was doing…and I was not connected with anyone else who homeschooled…But even with that, my kids learned and developed…the next 1.5 years we chose, at my insistence and suggestion. to do distance learning online. It appealed to me because it was completely FREE and each of the kids were provided with their own computer, their own teacher, and we created them their own workspace! It was waaaayyyy more structured than my scattered brain, and it allowed me some time to do things I wanted to do during the days. But something was wrong… the creativity, the freedom of expression, the happiness I would see on my kids faces, were all gone after a while. Their lives were now spent in front of a computer and with school work all day… and they had homework…but there was NO freedom… My beautiful girl had gone from all a’s and b’s to very poor grades…and my brilliant boys had virtually dropped out!!! My little princess had learned how to cheat the computer so that she could finish earlier and have time to spend with us and do some things that she enjoyed…. But those were not the reasons we returned to a more mature and informed type of ‘traditional homeschooling’. Our biggest reason centered around the realization that, though we were homeschooling, we were actually just allowing the public school system to be duplicated in our home… my kids were still being indoctrinated with the worldview of the enemy of our souls, but now, they didn’t have to leave home for it. There was no time for Bible study in the mornings because the work, especially as they got older was more intense and the schedules more rigorous!! And the material became more anti-God the 2nd year. My youngest was practicing Muslim prayers and reading books on praying towards the East as part of an assignment when I entered her room one day. Through this all, God had been convicting my heart to just trust Him with the education of HIS children. He created them, He knows them by name, and He has a plan for each of them. He knows what it will take…what tools they need in their arsenal…to get them to where he planned for them to be. So we withdrew for ‘public’ homeschool and have not regretted it for one minute. As a matter of fact, the kids have blossomed and grown more than I imagined. Even with all my failings and shortcomings…all of our pajama days…all of my restarts and curriculum changes, one thing has remained the anchor for our family life and our education; The Word of God. Homeschooling has allowed us to teach our children the Word of God in a way and on a level that I am sure they would not have received had we not homeschooled. Our oldest has matured to be a graceful, beautiful young lady, who loves the Lord and lives for Him by choice. She loves music, and reading, and writing. She is very creative and is good with her hands like her mama. Our oldest son is a joy, and a laugh a minute. He loves the Lord, as well as taking apart ANYTHING in the house that sits idle for too long. He’s been reading a book on ancient cryptology and lost languages for 2-3 years and I pray he finishes it soon…he loves to learn, but needs the freedom to pursue his interests and passions, as well as the discipline of following a schedule with moderate flexibility. He is a self-taught drummer, and plays the piano by ear. He LOVES music and family! Our youngest son is driven and intense, he reads just for the love of reading, and his most read book is Gods Word… He’s the one who never has to be reminded to complete and assignment, and can often be found on the weekends reading something from Dr. R.J. Rushdoony, or writing a gospel rap! He writes and tries to sing, and entered highschool this year with 5 credits and has plans to graduate early…Our youngest daughter HATES HATES HATES school, but she loves to learn!… it took me a long time to figure that one out…her great passion at the age of 12 is cooking, and she will join me in the kitchen over studying at the dining room table any day! She is sensitive and caring, and loves helping and serving others. She plans to bring me 22 grandkids through birth and adoption! Along with their fathers (Heavenly and earthly) they are my greatest joys!!! And every day when I wake up I pray and believe that the Holy Spirit leads me and guides me on this journey… We watched a DVD by Pastor Voddie Baucham, called ‘Children of Ceasar’, and realized that pulling our kids out of government education, but then allowing government education into our home was not the answer. God is able to lead and guide us in the education of our kids…There is soooo much more at stake then we realize… There is a war going on, and our kids hearts are the prize. Kingdom of God inspired homeschooling is one of the weapons we have, and a way to prepare our kids hearts for the onslaught of the fallen world. If you are considering homeschooling, or are in need of some encouragement, I encourage you to truly seek the Lord, remain humble, and trust the God in you.
This is a question that troubles many parents. The biggest concern a lot of times is the cost. A couple of things to think about; Homeschooling is not cheap, but it can be affordable. I purchase 1 of everything, and each of the kids use the same material. I have a master, and I make copies. I print free supplemental work from educational sites and have even compiled entire unit studies paying nothing but the cost of paper and ink. Sites like Visionforum.com and Answersingenesis.com, which are the two primary ones we use, have frequent sales and specials and I capitalize on them when they have them. The blessing with these two sites is that their material is used for family discipling as well as formal education. There are other sites where families resell used homeschool material as well for next to nothing. 😀 There are ways.
The things that ‘gets me through’ is the heart behind our decision to homeschool our children. If you have chosen to homeschool and the idea to ‘just put them back in school’ keeps coming to mind, reevaluate your motive…check your heart. Homeschooling is no different than the other areas of our lives where submission is a struggle. We knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord had led us to homeschool. We resisted for a couple of years, and there are things our kids suffered as a result. When we submitted in this area, our submission didn’t mean that the struggle was over. NO ONE in our family was supportive. We were on our own. And school seemed easier. But we remembered our motive…we checked our hearts…Discipleship is the reason we educate our own kids. We want them to grow up and look like, and sound like and think like their Father in Heaven. We want to raise them in such a way that their lives bring Him glory. The world has convinced us that the only people qualified to truly educate our children are the ones with degrees…but look at how well they are doing nationwide!
We know our kids and we love them. They may have similarities, but they are definitely individual, and benefit greatly from an individualized education,meaning an education that recognizes their strengths and talents, and will provide opportunities for them to grow and flourish in these areas as God intended, while also recognizing their weaknesses or propensities for excuses, but that will not allow them to become less than who God created them to be. With your husband giving you the green light in this area, one great way to stand against and resist the desire for control is to sit and discuss things along the way. When choosing curriculum, pray together first, then sit and share with him the options and why you feel this is what the Lord would have you to teach the kids. Seek his counsel, and let him know that you trust that the Lord leads Him. Establish accountability and walk in submission before him and God will honor you and your family will be blessed as a result… We have come to realize that homeschooling is not some ‘thing’ that we do in extension or in addition to our parenting, but educating our children is a part of our parenting. We have chosen to parent them every hour of the day, and looking back over the past ten years, I can honestly say that there is NO OTHER WAY we would have it. How quickly this time has flown by, and how precious each moment with them has been! REMEMBER, we are not called to compete with the world and their ways of doing things, nor are we called to compete with each other. We are called to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Whether we homeschool or not, let’s pray for each other!!! Let’s pray for our children!!!! And let’s pray for the Bride of Christ!!! 😀 Feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have questions about homeschooling, are struggling on your families journey with homeschooling and need some encouragement, or just want to connect! I would love to hear from you 😀