I have never, ever wanted to homeschool. Ever.
My sister has been teaching her children at home for a couple years now, and I know plenty of other moms who are homeschooling as well, but I was never going to be one of them.
I wonder how much time God spends just sitting up in heaven laughing at me.
The last two years, Bubs has, by the grace of God, attended a local Christian school. It has been a wonderful experience for him, and we fully planned to send him back next year with his little brother in tow. But as the year went on, it became clear that Christian school might not happen next year.
I have made no secret of our financial troubles over the last several months. We are working hard to pay down debt, to keep our checkbook in the black, and in the end as we looked at our budget it became clear that the only thing we could cut was school tuition. We don’t pay a lot for entertainment, we don’t eat out a lot, we don’t buy fancy clothes, we own only one vehicle, which is paid off fully. While I know that there are areas of our budget that are still flabby, the truth is that the tuition for Christian school was a big chunk of change that we didn’t have to have in our budget (unlike, you know, food).
Still, I am a firm believer in miracles. We have seen God provide in some incredible ways. And I knew that if God wanted our sons in the Christian school next year, He would provide. We prayed that He would provide money for registration, but the deadline came and went, and we faced the fact that maybe Christian school wasn’t God’s will for next year.
We started talking about it more thoroughly with each other, not telling the boys. The one time Bubba overheard me talking to Art about it, he said, “I’m never going to be homeschooled.” Eek.
I talked to friends who teach their kids, to my sister, to my parents. And as I talked more about it, researched more, planned more, I found my heart changing toward the idea of it. And I began to see weaknesses that have grown up in our family as we have pursued the busy schedule that school requires. I looked around my home and saw siblings who barely tolerate each other, work that is never done, manners neglected, priorities all messed up.
I firmly believe that God has made us a homeschooling family, at least for the next year, because He has work for our family to do. He has put the brakes on Christian school because I have allowed my son’s spiritual education to be taken over by someone other than me. He has told us that this is His plan so that we can grow and change and become a closer, more loving family.
And it is so exciting when you see God work that way. When you see it’s not just about the finances or the physical needs and desires of your family– it’s about leading the way to a better place, a better family, better relationships.
We told the boys on our day of family fun a few weekends ago. There were tears, but there was also laughter, because God is good. And now, summer stretches long before us, full of promise and change and opportunity. My goal for the summer is to get things in order so that when school starts in the fall we are already in a good routine. I am the one in most need of getting in order. He is changing me.
And I know He has big things ahead for our family. Good things. Plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Hope and a future.
He’s amazing like that. Working everything together for good like He does.
So begins a new adventure.