Once upon a time, a young woman was engaged to a young man. As couples do, they were discussing future plans for homes, children, and life in general. After tackling the question of how many kids they each hoped/wanted to plan for (as if they had complete control over that or something), the question of school came into play. The young man said he thought it would be nice for their kids to be homeschooled. And the young lady looked at him somewhat horrified, stating, “I’m not going to do that!”
Fast forward approximately 8 years, and it would appear the young lady was quite mistaken. For here she sits typing this post and reviewing a variety of curriculums while reading The Well-Trained Mind and feeling quite overwhelmed by the number of options out there for homeschoolers.
I’ve technically been homeschooling (unofficially) for the past year, if not from birth, for I am learning that teaching your children in any fashion is a start. When you answer your child’s questions, when you teach them their ABCs, how to count to 10, and so forth, that is an element of homeschooling. I have spent time throughout the past couple of years engaging in ways to help my now 4 year old (and even my 2 year old) learn how to read, illustrating simple math skills, and using fun, everyday life moments to teach. There is a wonderful freedom and beauty in it. Which serves as a source of encouragement when I wig out about the years to come.
So what took me from “I’m Not Going To Do That!” to joining a homeschool co-op and exploring my teaching style and my kids’ learning styles as I prepare to dive deeper into this journey? Well, there are many reasons really, but the biggest of them all is the Lord. I genuinely believe He is calling me to it, in spite of my adamance years ago that I would never homeschool. Yes, I have a Master’s in Social Work and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and working as a child and family therapist was my calling for a time, but I do not feel a pull back to that. Originally, I had thought I would resume being an LCSW once the kids were in school, but as the thought of homeschooling began to slowly take root, I realized that as crazy as it was, I wanted to homeschool my kids. Even though the thoughts of teaching advanced math and chemistry scare me immensely.
Despite the fact that I had a great experience in public school, overall, that was (ahem) quite a few years ago now (even though I am still in the 90s in my mind). (Disclaimer: There are some really great teachers out there and some wonderful things about public education- end disclaimer). Overall, while our choice to homeschool our children is certainly affected by some of the negatives in the school system, the choice is primarily affected by the amazing opportunity to be able to gear lessons to my kids’ interests, to work with them on their level, to be able to experience a wider range of topics, to take field trips, to be able to interact with a variety of ages, and to know what my kids are learning and how they are perceiving it.
There is a part of me that is still terrified and not sure I can do it, but I do know that if God has called me to it, He will give me what I need to accomplish it.
And I will need grace. A lot of grace!