Homeschooling Is Where The Heart Is

BEST LOVED DAYS

As kids go back to school this month, I’ve been reflecting on the days and years that I homeschooled my children. I loved those days and loved teaching my kids. I could hug them whenever I wanted and was here if they needed me.

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People often asked me why we home-schooled. Our kids weren’t delayed learners, nor did they have behavioral problems. They were happy, smart, eager, and easy-going.

The truth is I wanted to be with my kids when they were still too little to climb the steps of that big yellow school bus.

I couldn’t fathom the idea of sending them away at four or five years of age to a place where they wouldn’t be loved in the same way. Then one year turned into two, and two turned into ten. And what a blessing those years were.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

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A NEW IDEA

My husband brought home the idea of homeschooling when our daughter was a toddler. We’d just moved into a new neighborhood with a brand new school that was very close.

I’d thought we’d send our children there one day, but when my husband, who’s a teacher, suggested homeschooling, I said, “You think we should what?” He was in the school system, right? But he’d made some valid points about why we should educate our children at home.

I did my research and discovered he was right. There were more reasons to homeschool than not. Not only would my kids receive my full attention, but they’d learn a multitude of subjects in a fun, safe environment.

They’d learn morals, discipline, and God’s word. They’d learn to think outside the box. I wasn’t sure they’d get that anywhere else.

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SO IT’S A LITTLE DIFFERENT

There was no collecting pizza or milk money and no constant interruptions. My husband would say, “You’re teaching them one on one. Let them be done by noon.” But I felt as long as other kids were in school, my kids would be in “school” too.

img_6362A number of their friends looked on our homeschooling days with interest and wonder.

They thought that dissecting cows’ hearts was cool, that our field trips were awesome, and one boy said he wished he’d been home-schooled so he could eat steak for lunch. Uh, no. We didn’t eat steak for lunch. But he was sold on the idea that homeschooling was great.

mine-001And it was great. Except when I was met with criticism and skepticism. “Aren’t you worried about socialization?” was always the first of a barrage of questions I’d get from people who knew nothing about homeschooling. One parent asked me that question while our sons were on the ice playing hockey together.

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In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

PRAY. PRAY. AND PRAY SOME MORE

Being a one-income family wasn’t easy, and there were a lot of sacrifices, most especially, my dream of being a published author, which was put on the back-burner.

There were days I wanted to sit and write, but then there’d be volunteer work, or hockey practice, and it was pretty hard to write when I was on the ice as the team trainer.

I wasn’t perfect, but I wanted my kids to learn by example, to see selflessness and a servant’s heart. I gave of myself day after day, and when others imposed their opinions on me, well, it hurt.

I prayed for strength. I prayed for guidance. I prayed for the courage to keep homeschooling. In the secular world, there seemed to be little payoff that my kids were not only thriving, but learning so much more than their counterparts.

I’d pray that God would bless my efforts and bless my children.

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:25-26

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JOYS

Along with the criticism though, there was admiration for how our kids were being raised, for how they behaved, for how they were respected by other kids.

As funny as life is, or maybe ironic, when my daughter went to high school, she was asked to tutor in French the same boy who played hockey with my younger son. True, it was more academic than social, but it still required effective social skills to be able to communicate and interact on academic concepts. Overall, socially, our kids did just fine.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 20:11

If homeschooling is something that appeals to you, I’d love to encourage you to try it. Yes, it’s a lot of work and a lot of dedication. But, ohhh, the benefits are huge. You don’t need a teaching background. You just need to love your kids.

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Honestly, that’s all it takes. And what a feeling when, today, one of my kids remembers fondly the novels I’d read while they worked on their art.

One particular novel, I AM DAVID, a story about a boy trying to find his mother during the war, had me in tears so often, I’d have to stop my kids from doing their art so one of them could continue reading.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God. Romans 8:28

Homeschooling was a great blessing to our family. True, there were sacrifices, but the blessings would fill this page and more.

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Our children are young for such a short period of time. I pray you will fill yours with the love and wonder of learning.

Fill them with a giving heart. And let them know God wants the very best for them whether they’re homeschooled or not.

We hope you’ve been blessed by Homeschooling Is Where The Heart Is. Please feel free to comment below.

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