Homeschooling is a journey that I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would be taking. In fact, just a few short years ago my best friend who was trying to conceive her first child, told me she planned to homeschool her children and my response was "why would you do that to your child?!" I planned to send my children to public school. I mean, I was a public school child and I turned out fine, right? Wait, don't answer that.
My, my how things have changed. I realize more and more each day that God has a plan that is not our own, and His plan is so much bigger and so much better than we could ever fathom. But first, we must let go of our plans. Looking back, I can pinpoint the time that God planted the homeschooling seed into my heart. It was 3 years ago and both of my daughters were in preschool. Times were rough. We could no longer afford to pay $200 a month for preschool. So I thought, I'll preschool them at home, and I did. Never once did it cross my mind that I was homeschooling. We continued "preschooling" them for the remainder of that year.
The next year, our circumstances had changed. Our oldest started Pre-K and our youngest(who is only 11 months younger, but couldn't attend pre-k because she missed the age requirement by 11 days) went to daycare. My oldest cried every single day of pre-k. She hated going..luckily my husband was the one who dropped her off. At the end of the day, she was fine and she said she had fun, but she wasn't learning anything. Everything they were attempting to teach her, we taught her the year before. About halfway through the year homeschooling started creeping into my thoughts. I checked out a book from the library, read a few chapters and returned it. I convinced myself there was absolutely no way I could homeschool. I had to work full-time. My husband had to work full-time. Sadly enough, I was going to send them to public school because I needed a babysitter. Typing that hurts.
A couple of months later, we found out my husband would be laid off and would be going back to school. That's when the light bulb came on. He could plan his class schedule around my work schedule and we COULD homeschool. Isn't God awesome? The girls finished out the year at their pre-K/daycare in May and we began homeschooling both of them in Kindergarten in July.
We've just finished our Kindergarten year and our entire family loves homeschooling. It has worked out so well for us. I can no longer imagine waking the girls up at 6:00 a.m. to catch a bus to school by 7:00 a.m. We love the flexibility that homeschooling provides.
One of the biggest struggles I've had during our first year has had absolutely nothing to do with teaching my children. My biggest problem has involved me comparing myself and our homeschooling family to others. Ladies and gentlemen, hear me out: reading blogs and speaking with other homeschooling parents is a great way to find new ideas and get advice, but please let it stop there. Don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself or your children. Trust me, if you do this, your homeschool will fail. It's a natural tendency (especially among women) to compare yourself to others who seem to have it all together. Let me share a secret with you. They don't. Their life is just as chaotic and disorganized as yours. Their children are no smarter than yours. Their husbands/wives don't love them anymore than yours. We all have issues. We all have strengths. We all have weaknesses. There are two possible outcomes of comparing ourselves. 1.) We look at others and *think* we're much better off than they are. I mean we've done x,y,z this week. We must have something right. Then we fill ourselves with self-righteous thoughts and pride. Or, 2.) We look at others and see all the ways that they are better than us and doubt begins to creep in. We think we aren't meant for this job of being a homeschooling parent. We think we are ruining our kids and they aren't learning anything. And these are lies. God has equipped each of us with all the skills necessary to educate our children. He doesn't call us to do a job and not give us the needed equipment to complete the task. Really Moms and Dads, look at everything your children have learned from birth to age 5. You taught them everything they know. You did that and you did an awesome job. Why stop there?
I'm not saying homeschooling is for everyone. I'll be honest, for some people homeschooling would be a detriment to their children. But if you WANT to homeschool your children, you CAN do it.
We are a year into this incredible journey and I have so much to learn. Every day I discover something new about myself, my children, or life in general. It's fascinating. Not only am I educating my children, they are educating me. Seeing your child truly grasp a new concept is a feeling nothing else can compare to. I can't imagine missing those opportunities.
I'm here to tell you that there are good days and bad days. There are days when I feel like super mom and days when I feel like I should've stayed in bed. I'm going to share those days and all the days in between with you. I will be transparent and real. You may not agree with everything I say and by all means, call me out. I look forward to your comments and suggestions. I can't wait to learn from you guys, like I said I have SO much to learn. So come along, buckle up and hold on tight, it's going to be a wild adventure.