Friday, April 22, 2011

Our Homeschool Journey

When I had children I never thought I would be a homeschool mom. In fact, I homeschooled Morgan for 1 semester when she was in 4th grade. I made it very clear to anybody who would listen that I would NEVER NEVER EVER EVER NEVER homeschool again. Yep. It was the great of an experience for us. Granted, I never took it to the Lord and asked Him about it. H and I were not happy with the private school (it was a Christian school in name only) she was in, we were moving back north by the end of the year, I had just had LV (a month early, much to our surprise), I was on a hormonal roller coaster, Morgan was NOT happy about being pulled out of school, many family members were against our decision, and to top it all off, I was trying to just "do school" at home with her.

Fast forward 6 years. We now had 2 more little boys, and we were struggling along as a family. H and I both acknowledged God, but we were both trying to do everything in our own strength and not necessarily for the right reasons. LV was in a Christian school despite the Lord tugging at my heart since he was in pre-school to homeschool him. LM was in pre-school and I was getting ready to put him in the same school as LV, and Morgan was attending a Christian high school. The plan was for all of our kids to go all the way through Christian school. Then we found out Morgan was making some poor decisions. H and I confronted her, and out of fear we pulled her out of school and put her on independent study the last quarter of that year. Again we didn't consult the Lord at all. And ISP couldn't be too bad. After all, the teachers set her up to finish her classes. All I had to do was make sure she got the work done and turned in. It did. She finished the year out, and H and I were enrolling the school-aged kiddos in school for the next year. All the while, the Lord kept bringing homeschoolers into my life. And I kept turning a deaf ear. Me? Homeschool? No way!

That next school year began with a jr. in high school, a 1st grader and a pre-schooler. The Christian school education was working for our family. Then in October, my world was turned upside down. After a horrifying experience in my home, H decided we were never going back there. That it was not health for D or me. So we moved. And I was unable to drive for 4 months. The hardest part was that my mom had been taking LV and LM to school with her since she taught there and we were now in a location where they had to stay with her on school nights because we were too far away for her to swing by and pick them up. When I finally was able to drive, we had an extra 15-20 minute commute school everyday.

All this time the Lord was working in me. I was in a back brace for 4 months and couldn't lift anything over 5 lbs. I wasn't allowed to do a whole lot and I couldn't go anywhere. So I spent a lot of time researching homeschooling. I found there were so many ways to go about it! I was very hesitant to mention anything to H. He would think I was crazy! I just kept praying and researching. Conviction finally came through an article a homeschooling mom wrote with answers from scripture for every doubt I had about teaching my boys at home.

I finally brought it up to H. His response was, "It's not gonna work." My (respectful) reply was, "Don't say that when I have been praying about it and I believe this is what the Lord wants me to do." "Ok. We can try it. I'll support you."

That did it! I spent that summer praying over what curriculum to use, if any, and researching different methods of teaching and different ways of learning. A lot of people thought we were out of our minds, but my mom was very supportive of us. We started out under her school as an umbrella, then ventured out on our own 2 years ago. We are finishing up our 6th homeschool year, and I can't imagine life any other way. My walk with the Lord has grown by leaps and bounds through this journey, and because of it. And it He has blessed our entire family tremendously through it. I wish I would have listened to Him sooner. But He is good, and He is our Redeemer.

We are looking forward to continuing this journey as long as He has us on it, which I believe will be until we have 3 homeschool graduates.

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