I thought I’d jump on a homeschool “blog hop” today. Today’s question is – “When did you first hear about homeschooling?“
This is pretty easy for me. I was homeschooled myself. My mom pulled me out of public school after 1st grade and homeschooled me from 2nd grade all the way up through 12th grade. I graduated with my high school diploma from an accredited correspondence school – Christian Liberty Academy. I also had lots of experience with homeschooling – not just from my own schooling, but with helping my mom homeschool my 3 younger siblings.
I didn’t necessarily want to homeschool my own children though. I knew how much work and dedication it required. My mom did an incredible, amazing job with us kids and for that, I will forever be grateful to her. She sacrificed so much time & energy for us, and went so far above & beyond what most parents do. And she did it when the “pioneers” were homeschooling – when most people didn’t know about homeschooling (back in the 80′s) and thought it was a “weird” concept. When even the law didn’t fully recognize a parent’s right to teach their children and there were many more restrictions. My mom was part of a unique group of parents who homeschooled. She went through a lot to homeschool us. I am proud to say I’m part of the fruits of that pioneering homeschool generation. Thanks, Mom, for helping to pave the wave for future generations of homeschoolers. For well… me!
But I didn’t know if homeschooling was for me. If I wanted to take that big step and commit to sacrificing that much for my kids. In fact, I did not want to.
I often look back to 3 years ago and laugh. I had my plans, but the Lord had other plans. And I love how He so gently pointed me in the direction He wanted.
When Nathan was 4 years old, he was speech delayed & at our doctor’s suggestion, we had him evaluated with the Head Start program at the public school for speech & possible autism. They determined he did not have autism, but his slight speech delay qualified him for their summer Head Start preschool program. I hesitated, but signed him up.
I stayed the entire first day and was not pleased with what I saw. Nathan was the best functioning child in the room and all I could see was him being influenced poorly by the other children with much bigger issues. The teachers were excellent, but the program was not suitable for him. I couldn’t see it helping – only hurting him – so I pulled him.
That was my first taste with our local public school. Not terribly negative, but not great either.
Next came the following winter, when I attended the public school required meeting for parents planning to send their children to K-5 that next fall. I was quite shocked at the lackluster attitude of many of the parents. While appearances aren’t everything, I couldn’t help but wonder if the parents cared so little as to not even get dressed (several of them were obviously still in pajamas! I wish I was joking!) how much do they care about their children? I got the obvious impression that most of the parents were there solely because it was required so they could “get rid of their kids.”
Then the principal started joking about how kindergartners were giving him the finger on the bus and that sealed the deal. The fact that this was happening was sad enough, but the fact that the principal thought it was funny was a whole different issue. Our son would not be attending our local public school.
That left private school or homeschooling.
Private school was quickly ruled out. We looked into a couple options – some even quite seriously, but when all was said and done, it was too expensive and would not have worked.
By process of elimination, I would be homeschooling Nathan for kindergarten.
One day, it dawned on me: this was clearly what the Lord wanted, but He patiently waited for me to check out the other “options” and come to my own conclusion. I have always been thankful for that. When I have a tough day homeschooling, I’m reminded that we did look into other possibilities and that homeschooling is 100% the right choice for us.
Homeschooling is a lot of work and a huge commitment but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am happy & content & am rewarded everyday (ok, most days) by the fruits of our hard work.