Thursday, April 4, 2013

A decision to homeschool

I was a teacher before I became a mother, and I always thought I wanted to homeschool.  That is, until I had kids.  Shortly after becoming a mother, I realized that homeschooling would mean that I would almost never get a break from my kids.  I didn't think I could handle that. I began looking forward to the day when I could send my kids off to school and get a real break from them, get things done around the house without being interrupted, make appointments without having to get a babysitter, go shopping by myself, and much more.  A couple of years ago I went through a pretty severe depression in which I was having a really hard time being alone with my kids so I found a little mother's morning out program and put them in two days a week.  Bella especially enjoyed it, and I liked having those few hour,s two morning a week, to just focus on me.  At that point I wasn't even considering homeschooling.  It didn't seem like an option for me with what I was going through, and my kids seemed to enjoy being in school.
Then about a year ago, I started feeling the little nudge in my heart that maybe I should give homeschooling a try.  I had always wanted to do it, and I was almost afraid that I'd regret not at least trying it.  For a few months I thought about it and weighed the pros and cons; I eventually decided I wanted to keep Bella in preschool and that homeschooling probably wasn't the best option for my family.  That little nudge in my heart just wouldn't go away, though.  Every time I thought I had made my final decision to not homeschool, something would come up to make me think about it again.  When I really began praying about it and thinking about why it would be beneficial, even for my very social daughter, I realized that I needed to give it a shot.  Brian was a little reluctant for a while there, but eventually came to the same conclusion that we should try it.  So I took Bella out of preschool mid-year, which was really hard because I knew she loved being with her friends.  For a few weeks I thought that maybe I had made a bad decision. Bella wasn't very interested in learning from me and she said she missed her friends at school. I was having a hard time getting into a routine and almost gave up. I checked out several good Christian schools and was pretty close to enrolling her in one.  That little nudge still wouldn't go away, though.  So I decided not to enroll her and we began working more at home and were able to get into a good routine of learning reading, math, and Bible.  She started to enjoy it and the progress I have seen in her, especially in reading, in just 6 short weeks is tremendous. 

So, what were my reasons for choosing to homeschool?  There are many, but the main one was that I want more than anything for my kids to know Jesus and know that following Him is more important than anything else. I know they could have learned a lot in a good Christian school, but I felt that they could learn more at home. Homeschooling allows me and Brian the opportunity to be the most important influence in our children's lives.   I also feel that, aside from the Biblical world view I want my kids to have, they will learn more overall by learning at home.  I can take them through the different subjects at their own pace.  We can take extra time on areas they struggle in and we can move them forward more quickly with areas in which they excel.  There will be plenty of social outlets as there are numerous homeschool groups and classes in our area.  We can take lots of field trips.  My kids will learn to interact with a wider variety of people...if they were in school, they would mostly be interacting with kids their own age. I also like the idea that my kids will have more time at home, learning basic life skills, like cooking, cleaning, and taking care of a home. 
In the short amount of time that we have been homeschooling, I have been able to teach my kids several Bible verses, and listening to them quote scripture is probably the most rewarding thing yet!

I'm not one of those people who believes homeschooling is for everyone, and even for my family, we are taking it one year at a time. For now this is our decision and we will continue to follow God's leading on this!

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