Some have been huge and hard and seemingly never ending.
Some have been normal things like…
adjusting to a new baby…
life of farming…
and so on.
The decision we made is actually a result of many of the
challenges we have come through.
(Well… maybe not potty training!)
We made the choice to homeschool our kids.
Everyone has their reason for why they do what they do.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while,
and a sweet note that came in the mail today prompted me to share.
So... from the beginning.
When Skyler was just a little guy,
the thought of homeschooling crossed my mind.
I loved to plan learning activities, read books, and create things with him.
When Rystin was old enough to join us,
we had fun doing projects and games together.
When Vayah came along, I began to get overwhelmed.
I did less projects and planning, and just felt like my energy
was stretched with three kids.
I wasn’t sure how homeschooling would work with little ones around,
and we thought that it was likely
our family would grow beyond three kids, as time passed.
I also have always valued many of the benefits that public school gave,
and (in my lack of understanding) felt like keeping my
kids at home would be stifling them in many ways.
We decided to pursue public school, even registering Skyler in the school we hoped to be in, before we moved to the district. They offered M-W-F Kindergarten, and I knew that was the only way I could send him to start off. We thought that we would try it out, and if we felt like it wasn’t the best choice, we would pull him out and finish the year at home,
or start in 1st grade.
He was SO excited.
That was another reason we had decided to let him go to public school.
He absolutely LOVED to learn. He would beg to ‘do school’ with me.
He had talked about going to school since he was about 3 years old,
waiting on the steps for the school bus, backpack ready to go.
I remember him asking me to call the bus to come get him,
because it was taking too long!
So an afternoon with just mommy, where he got to go to his school,
take a ride on the bus, see his classroom,
and meet his new teacher was the greatest thing ever!
He was so sad when it was time to leave.
I was also very happy with the teacher he was going to have.
I had heard many good reports about her, and after watching the way she interacted with the kids, especially Skyler,
I felt like we had made a good decision.
Skyler even had a sweet moment with her when
he gave her a little card that he had made for her.
That same teacher, a few weeks later, came with tears to Skyler’s visitation, to show her support and grieve with us. And, back to the note we got today, she is still thinking and praying for us. Knowing there is a teacher like that at our local school made the decision hard too!
Well like I said, it has always been on my heart to do.
I have a sweet friend who really encouraged me to look into it back a couple of years ago already. When Skyler died, it was a thought in my head that came VERY soon after.
There was no way I could send my kids to school.
I lost one already.
Time is too short.
I want every moment I can get with these sweet kids!
At first I thought it was probably just a first response type of thought.
But as time passed, I began to become more interested.
Rystin began to get more and more into learning, and to our surprise,
loved to ‘do school’ even more than his brother had!
One of his first thoughts after Skyler died was that Skyler wouldn’t get to go on the school bus now.
He knew how excited Skyler had been about it.
But he figured he would get to go on the bus when he was 5 like Skyler.
The thought of him getting on that bus and leaving every day was hard.
I watched the it drive by many days this year without stopping at our house.
(Now his class is finishing Kindergarten without him)
I began to talk with other moms who taught their kids at home.
I attended a homeschool conference where I was able to hear speakers,
see curriculum, and learn a little more about
what homeschooling actually involves.
I spent the next couple months (almost literally!) researching options, reading books, perusing blogs, and visiting with people who have done it.
After learning so many amazing things, I knew I wanted to do it!
I found a curriculum that seems perfect for our family.
Our excitement and passion has been lit.
We want our #1 focus to be Christ.
We want to fill our kids with His Word and
teach them about His truth and love.
Public school can’t do that.
Our second focus is our family.
We have been through so much this past year.
We have grown closer together, and we want to continue to do that.
The thought of being apart for the majority of the time
just doesn’t sound right for us.
It fits into our life style.
Farming is a very different life with a very different type of ‘schedule’.
We will be able to include our kids in our lives every day, teaching them things that they couldn’t learn about in a classroom setting.
Going along with number 1,
we want to prepare our kids to face this world with a firm foundation.
We want to instill in them Biblical principles and help them to develop the tools to go into the world and preach the gospel. The world is such a backwards place, and the more that I hear (especially about the school system), the more I feel like what we teach our kids ourselves is the most important.
Education is not the answer to every problem.
Education without Christ is flawed.
It is the person that we learn to be, and why we are that person,
that makes the true difference.
I’m pretty sure I can give my kids an education that is close to equal that a public school can.If not, I’m ok with that, as long as we do our best, learn continuously, and become better people through it.
We are able to live by our own rules. We can school all year if we need to, or we can take a month of in October if that is what works best for us at the time. We can get school done early in the morning and be free the rest of the day, or we can do it in the evening after doing whatever we need to do before.
But in all reality, my list doesn’t matter to you.
Each of us make the decisions that we feel is best for our family.
Can all of our goals be more or less accomplished by going to public school?
I am not at all against public school.
Both myself and my husband went to public school.
I, personally, enjoyed my school experience, and wouldn’t change it much.
The school I went to was small, but I have a lot of good memories, and I know that my kids will miss out on a lot by staying home. But I think it’s worth it.
Also, I have no idea what the future holds.
As I saw a year ago, we can plan our lives all day long,
but we have no control over what happens.
We will take one year at a time.
If we feel like we are being called to a different schooling option,
we are open to that.
Will homeschooling be easy?
I DOUBT it!
But I’m not convinced that easier always equals better.
So that’s they story behind our decision to teach our kids at home.
We’re excited to get started, and our Kindergarten curriculum is ready and waiting to get started!
I’ll give you more details on that later if you are at all interested.
Pray that God will guide us each day.