Why We Chose to Homeschool

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My Background

Growing up I was a total nerd.  There was nothing I loved more than playing school.

Two of my cousins homeschooled, and I was kind of envious.  I had asked my parents if it was possible, and in late junior high we looked into it, but given that they both worked full time, we decided I would finish my school career in public school.

I don’t have anything against public school.  Yes it has its issues, but so does homeschooling.

But being the self motivated student that I was, I often felt like so much of what we did was busy work to fill time.  I wanted to be let loose to learn without being given so many assignments that took of up my time, but I didn’t get much out of.

After graduating from public school, I was able to look back and see that even in doing the busy work I was able to learn.  I was able to learn patience and following the authority of my teachers as they saw the assignments as important.

I was blessed with an opportunity in my public school career that was different than most though.  In my junior year of high school I was one of 20 students selected to participate in a class called Mentorship. In Mentorship we spent the first semester learning the ends and outs of being successful in the working world.  We had to research our field of choice, and interview many people working in that field.

The second semester we had to actually go into the field of our choice. We were required to complete a project under the mentorship of a professional.  My career choice was marine mammal trainer so I got to go to the Houston Zoo, and work under a sea lion trainer.  It was an amazing experience!

 

Working with a sea lion at the zoo

That experience alone made my public school career!  In my mind that was more like what school was meant to be.

The thought of one day homeschooling my kids was in the back of my mind with the idea that I would make their education more like what I experienced in Mentorship.

I went off to college, and had a great experience there as well.

As I was finishing up my last semester of college I decided that before stepping into the working world I wanted to go on a mission trip, and experience another culture.  I decided to go with Africa Inland Mission, and was assigned to six months in Rundu, Namibia.

I Didn’t Want To Do It

In Namibia I was assigned to help two missionary families as they homeschooled their children.  They each had four children, and I split my day between the two households teaching whatever subjects the mom wanted me to take over.

One of my students in Africa

While I worked with one to two students at a time the mom was teaching her other children.  It was an amazing experience, and I was blessed tremendously by it.

When I completed my six month term, and returned back to the states, my opinion on homeschooling was different than it had ever been though.

I had decided that I did not want to do it with my own children.

I was given an intimate look into homeschooling during my time there.  It wasn’t the amount of time that went into planning for just one child much less four that changed my mind.  It was the battle the moms had with getting their children to do their work.

You see the kids more often got right to it when I asked them to do it, but when it came from mom they would try to wiggle they way out of it.  The moms handled it beautifully and with grace, but it was still a struggle.

I walked away thinking I just wanted to be mom who made cookies and had them ready for my kids when they got home from school.  I wanted to kiss their booboos, and be there to give them a listening ear and advice, but I didn’t want the daily struggle of motivating them to do their work.

My husband and I got engaged the night I returned from my six months in Africa (I will have to share that story some time).  As we began preparing to become a family of our own we discussed homeschooling verses public school, and my husband wasn’t really for homeschooling.

So Why Are We Doing It

A couple of years into our  marriage we had Pumpkin Eater.  Quickly after him came Jumping Bean and Rootin Tooter. Before we knew it we were starting to consider our oldest beginning Kindergarten.

We decided to enroll him in a Mother’s Day Out preschool program a couple of days a week.  He was registered and all ready to go when we changed our minds.  We decided we were going to homeschool.

Before having our first little guy I taught in public school for two years.  I enjoyed it, but I had always dreamed of being a stay-at-home mommy.

As I watched my oldest grow and develop I observed that he was a completely auditory learner.  He could talk anything out, but sometimes struggled to get it down on paper.

When my friends’ kids his age were writing their names, he was not.  At age four, having never written his name,  one day in the car he tells me he knows how to write his name.  I followed his lead and just said, “Oh yeah?”  He then went on and described in perfect detail the strokes you would have to make to write his name out.

That moment was a little bit of an ah-ha moment for me.

My baby is an auditory learner.  He likes to talk it out.

He talked at a very early age, and he discusses everything with detail.  Knowing what I knew from my years teaching, and from the four years I had spend with my little man, I began to question if school would be the right fit for him.

He is a boy, which in my opinion already put him at a disadvantage for school in a lot of ways.  He learned much better from talking it out.  A classroom teacher would not be able to do that with him.  She would have 29 other students to look after as well.

The number of homeschooling families we were meeting grew everyday. Thrown in with my gut feeling about how my son would do in school, my interest was piqued.  My husband wasn’t there yet.

We went to church with a family, and I taught there son in Children’s Church.  I witnessed how he and his older sisters behaved.  Then as we got to know their family more, we were very impressed that at such a young age the kids were excellent at interacting with adults.  This piqued my husband’s interest.

The next thing you know we were registered for the Texas Homeschool Coalition Convention which was conveniently held not too far from home.  My husband and I went and were able to see the normalcy of the homeschooling community.

My husband was put at ease to hear about those who earned sports scholarships.  We both loved that we were hearing that colleges say that in most cases homeschoolers perform above average.

By the end of the weekend we were convinced, and we did not start Mother’s Day Out as planned.

Around that time I also picked up a copy of Clay and Sally Clarkson’s Book Educating the WholeHearted Child.  I devoured it reading every single word.  God used the book to strengthen my confidence that I could do it. 

We started schooling at home, and have been doing it ever since.

Sometimes homeschooling is reading in a blanket fort!

Grateful To Be a Homeschooling Mommy

I am grateful for the journey we have been on, and the experiences I had before being a homeschooling mommy.  God has blessed the path He has had me walk.

The process has taken a lot of prayer, and there are days I want to throw in the towel, but I don’t.  Even at the end of the hard days I am so grateful God has allowed us to be a homeschooling family.

I know homeschooling isn’t for everybody, and I don’t believe that it should be, but I am so grateful that God allowed me to walk this path with my boys.

I would assume that many reading this post are either already homeschooling or thinking about it.  What made you decide to go for it?  If you are thinking about it, are there any questions I can answer for you?  My prayer for you is always that you find God’s peace about it.  Rest in Him and let Him lead you.

Sarah

 

 

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