Our Journey to Homeschooling

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.

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19 thoughts on “Our Journey to Homeschooling

  1. Oh, how exciting life is when we obey! Praying for a peace as your family steps into this change and looking forward to reading more as it unfolds!

  2. This is so neat – I loved reading about this, especially after our little conversation about it when I got to see you in Iowa, I’ve been waiting to hear you mention it a little more in depth on your blog. πŸ™‚ Praying for you guys, and I know you and Art will do an excellent job teaching your children – as you already are!!! πŸ™‚ I especially liked the other reasons you listed for choosing to homeschool – there are so many positives for it! πŸ™‚

  3. We are right there with you!! Homeschooling comes with it’s own sacrifices, but it’s wonderful to know that God will bless us, when we follow what He wants for us!:) It’s a blast!!! You will have so much fun with it, and will be great at it. I’m sure you have had lots of people giving you ideas for curriculum, but I just want to throw it out there, that Heart of Dakota is the best!! Lol!!! πŸ˜‰

  4. Good luck πŸ™‚ You guys will do wonderfully! My mother homeschooled both my brother and myself (me through 8th grade, my brother through highschool) and it was mostly a wonderful experience.
    and ahh yes… the routine… I’m in need of a little help in that area myself…

  5. Ahhhh! I SO understand your heart here! Boy, do I ever understand.
    Our son is in Christian school (going into grade 2 next year) and we have been contimplating homeschool for much of the same reasons you mentioned. But it scares me SOOOOO much!
    We’re praying lots, trying to hear His will for our family- so hard when I know what I really want to hear πŸ™‚

    Anyways just wanted to say you go girl! All the best as you begin this new exciting journey πŸ™‚

  6. i never ever wanted to be “one of those families” either. EVER!
    but God…

    and as i’ve mentioned, next fall we’ll have one leg in traditional school and one (well two) leg in homeschooling. so summer is taking on a different look for us, as we anticipate our new future.

    let me tell you that the biggest blessing from homeschooling IS THE RELATIONSHIPS MY CHILDREN HAVE WITH EACH OTHER. erin, they truly delight in each other. family, and valuing each other is priority. this make my heart glad.

    i’m desperately going to miss noah next year when he is gone 5 days a week. aghhhh. and i too am trusting that God has a hope and a future for him, for us, in this new adventure.

    may God go before and behind you, leading you ALL THE WAY!

  7. I love your heart on this! Thanks for sharing your journey & I will be praying for you. I know next year will be filled with challenges, and opportunities for growth (the children & you). It also will be a time you will look back on with joy & many fond memories!

  8. “I wonder how much time God spends just sitting up in heaven laughing at me.”
    this made me laugh… and nod my head (that He’s laughing at ME not you!)
    i think you are brave… to even consider homeschooling. but i get it. knowing that God’s plan is in the works. i hope you (survive!) and end up loving it!

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  10. Erin, I love your heart in this. You are so brave! πŸ™‚ I know you’ll be a great teacher to your kiddos, they’re lucky to have you. πŸ™‚

  11. Never is never really never and always isn’t always always so they should always be used sparingly and never in a fight. If you get what I mean. So I would be reluctant to say that I would never homeschool. But I don’t think I am cut out for it, so I applaud your decision.

  12. I was homeschooled. It was many years ago, my dad was dead set against it, no one had ever heard of it, and there were only three of us. 22 years later I have long graduated, I would give my life for any of my brothers and sisters and my mom is still homeschooling some of them. There are 5 more siblings and the 8 of us range between 6 years old and 30. I thank the Lord for my mom, who was not afraid to listen to His voice. And as I contemplate the scariness of homeschooling my own strong willed 4 year old I pray He will give me the clarity and strength He gave you. I hope it is a wonderful journey for your family.

  13. Pingback: Table Manners « Together for Good

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