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Thursday, August 23, 2012

the reluctant homeschooler

Partially a reason I've been a little more quiet in the last few weeks is our new little family endeavor that  is taking up lots of hours and even more brain space in this mama's head. 

Our journey to homeschooling is a long and drawn out story, but one I want to share as succinctly as possible if it will encourage other mamas or impart grace along the way. I'll start by saying, I was a public school girl growing up, my Dad worked in the American public school system for years and year, as did my sister. When we got married and even began having kids, there was no doubt in my mind that we'd do the same. I wasn't really exposed to any homeschooled kids growing up that functioned in society the same way we did and so I just had never seen it done in a way that made it even slightly attractive. Also, being completely vulnerable - I fell into motherhood in a way that overwhelmed the mess out of me. My first three kids were all born within 28 months of each other. During those years, I was tired and stressed out and truly just could not wait until they started going to school so I could get some peace. 

But of course, the Lord began getting at my heart. I still didn't feel slightly interested in homeschooling, but He began shifting my heart to see what a privilege it was to spend time with them and how short this season was that I had to speak into their lives. I also started getting really cautious about who was going to be speaking into them and teaching them and their surroundings. 

Long, long story short - we moved to Fort Wayne and I felt all kinds of dread in my heart. For so many different reasons, the main one being we don't know how long we'll be here, I knew that traditional public school was not in the cards for us. I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and asked the Lord if we could send Elias to public school and I felt a serious check about it. I didn't have the same desire to just get him out of the house, but I really wanted what was BEST for him. Friends, a comprehensive education, and shoot - just a normal kindergarten exciting experience. Also, I felt super inadequate to teach him - even kindergarten! In my mind, there were two types of homeschooling parents - mamas who are super wise, patient, uber organized teachers who feel really excited to teach their kids everything under the sun OR moms who don't stress so much and are more comfortable with organic learning. I fall in NEITHER of those categories. I'm not a natural born teacher and I cannot do anything organically or relaxed:). 

So I'm finding that there may be lots of different types of homeschoolers and I'm one of them. I'm one of the reluctant homeschoolers. 

• I'm repeating 2 Corinthians 12:9 a lot. 
 I'm loving the time with my kiddos but praying in my heart that the Lord would one day provide the right situation for them to sit under a real teacher. 
 I'm making the most of this season but trying very mightily to guard my heart from making my kids education an idol or a trophy for myself. 
 While we're missing the ability to be missional in a traditional schools setting, we're trying to capitalize on the freedom homeschooling gives us to love our neighbors - as that's one of the most important things we want to teach our kiddos. So, lots of YMCA visits, lots of schooling outside so we can socialize with neighbors, lots of community activity. 
 I'm thankful and still learning from my friends who are deeply entrenched in homeschool and 100% embracing sending their kiddos off on the bus with lunchboxes. I love loving both of those types of gals and supporting what they believe God wants them to do in their families. 

So that's the heart behind what's going on in our family right now. 
We'd love your prayers and Lord knows, I'd love any advice you other reluctant homeschooling mamas might have!

I'm going to do another post next week with the nuts + bolts of what we're doing PLUS some schedule stuff that has worked for us and a few free printables for any of you to use! 
In the meantime, I have a science experiment on balance to go prep:) 

psssst:  my sweet friend over at Blue Eyed Bride is giving away me eBook today! Go win one!


17 Perth said...

I really enjoyed reading this. I do not have children yet---and have already started thinking about homeschooling my children. Haha. Realistically who knows---but I find this post inspiring. Perfect we cannot be---and an idol the schooling should not be---thanks for that reminder. Lots and lots of grace. And your kiddos are so lucky. I know you are doing an amazing job. Just as an FYI---my husband was homeschooled (and I think he is the most similar to me---public school child as far as relating to people---and the first I had met also)....and I love when he talks about the times of schooling as a child----it was truly a blessing for him. Not by any means perfect---but truly a blessing.

Nicole said...

I feel the Lord calling me to homeschool (I guess even though he's 16mo I'm already schooling at home!) Luke's cousins were all homeschooled and very 'socialized' they were able to be homeschooled and travel as missionaries- what an amazing experience and great foundation that gave them! They're now grown and homeschooling their children. They live in Indiana so if you ever have any questions I'm sure they'd love to answer!!! And I have a feeling unless I learn not to stress and becom super organized, I too be be a reluctant homeschool mama!