Thursday, August 6, 2015

The battle between homeschooling and other options.

My oldest daughter is now 17 and in the 11th grade at a public school. She didn't start out in the public system though, I home schooled her until the 3rd grade. My son even had the "privilege" of having me as a teacher his kindergarten year.

I was supposed to home school them, I am a Christian, it is what we do right? 

I never even prayed about if I should do it. I just did. 

I ordered all the kits that others suggested. I wrote out a lesson plan to follow and even had a cute little school room. 

But I never asked God if he wanted me to home school. 

Everyone was doing it because everyone I knew were Christians....and that is what we do...we home school. 

There was a problem though. 

I hated teaching kids to read. 
I hated the books we used, the lesson plans I wrote and was daily so angry at my kids that we avoided teaching so I didn't hate them too. 

I not once seeked advice about what to do. 

I did not register them into an umbrella school and for 4 years carried around so much guilt of all I was doing wrong. 

I never prayed for grace to get through each year much less each day. 

I don't really know if it was or wasn't God's will for me to home school them during those years because I didn't ask. It might have been but because I never truly asked for help i was choosing to do it in my own strength. 
I imagine it to be like a toddler learning to tie their shoes. The parent is standing right there waiting to help the little one but the toddler keeps trying and trying, all the while getting so upset because it isn't working out right. When In fact, all the toddler would have to do is ask for help. 

When we finally decided to put the kids in school we chose public schools.  Gabi had already finished 3rd grade but we chose to have her do 3rd again to have a sort of free year and catch up on things I didn't teacher her (like.. everything) 

I said I am never homeschooling again.
I loved the idea of it. I loved the purpose behind it. For us it was about giving our kids a good foundation to start off on before they hit the real world. 
I still 100% love and support everything about it but it was not for me. 

A couple of years ago I felt like I was supposed to again home school one of my kids. 
I said "heck no God, we have talked about this. I am never homeschooling again, remember?" 

For about 3 months I prayed about it and even my husband said no way. Not going to happen. 

This time we did pray and we did seek advice. 

I had my third child home, being her teacher for 3 months and then I could not believe it....I knew I was supposed to put her back in public school. 

I felt like I would look like a failure. I felt like a failure.  

Now here I am 8 years out from my first homeschooling experience and 2.5 years out from my second. I have learned some things. 

1.always prayer about decisions and then continue praying for guidance, grace, joy, and creative ideas to make it fun. 

2. Not all Christians are supposed to home school. 
-if all the Christians were home schooled then there would be no Christians in the public school systems telling others about Jesus. Gabi has told so many people about Jesus and how He loves them right now where they are. She is leading bible studies and always inviting friends to church with her. 

3. Just because God says yes to homeschooling this year doesn't mean that is His -one time- answer. 
-with homeschooling Kori for only 3 months I couldn't figure out why until about a year later. She craves structure and thrives in it for school work. That is not something I can naturally give. 
She did however need mom and daughter time. Her toddler years of life was filled with me giving birth to the one baby at 5 months, being diagnosed with MS 7 mths later, getting in a car wreck a few months after that, getting in another car wreck one month after that ( neither one my fault), and then losing Caden's twin a couple of weeks after that. Her entire toddler span was filled with attack after attack on our family. There was no real bonding time. It was only survival time. 
The three months of teaching her were amazing. She did awesome. I did awesome and went from saying I would never do it again to being open to what ever the Lord had for us. 
Putting her back in after the 3 months (only one semester of teaching) was very hard. I now see that if I would have ignored that and kept her out longer, we would have hit a path that would have put us right back to where we started. 
She need to mom time and then she needed to get back in the structure of school again. 
Homeschooling her for that short amount of time gave her a full three months with no other big kids here to interrupt her time. Out relationship is so much better for it. 

Homeschooling is hard and hats off to those mamas who chose to do. There will be days that you want to call it quits and you may even cringe at the thought of school starting again for one more year.
But, if you have heard from God that this is what you are supposed to do then there will always be grace for this path He has set you on. 
Picture it as God's grace is like oil for an engine. With it everything runs smoothly, without it the engine can only run for so long before it shuts down. 

Tomorrow my 5 babies have their first full day of school and right now I am happy where we are but open to any changes the Lord may have and that is a pretty good place to be. 

My two high schoolers. 

My middle schooler. 

The elementary babies. 

What ever path you choose, own it. Don't be ashamed of your path if it is different then those around you, it may be different because you are paving the road for those coming behind you.