I am so glad for the break that is being provided to me because I committed to writing this post for Intentional Journey. I need the break right now. I'm in the midst of the chaos that is school planning for our upcoming school year. For the past few summers, I have started planning earlier, toward the beginning of August, used a boxed curriculum and had friends who were a year ahead of me in said boxed curriculum (great resource). This year, I have none of those things in place since Eric and I decided the boxed curriculum wasn't working for our kids anymore, and, because June and July were such busy months for our family, we took it easy for most of August. I don't regret that. I needed it. Eric needed it (technically, he only took it easy on the weekends and evenings). My kids needed it. All of these things have, however, caused school planning to be a little more chaotic and stressful than usual, which is totally fine, but this break to write is so appreciated.
I get so many questions about homeschooling. 1. "Why do you do homeschool?" 2."Will you do this forever?" or, one of my least favorites, "When will you put them into school?" 3. "Do you get a tax break for curriculum?" 4. "Does the school district provide curriculum?" or "What curriculum do you use?" 5. "What about socialization (my true least favorite)?"
So, in short...1. God called us to it. 2. Yes. Forever and ever, and they won't go to school until college if they should so choose. 3. Ha!!! NO. 4. No. We use a variety of different resources for curriculum, and, while a few are free via the internet, most of them come out of our pocket. 5. What about it??? Have you met my kids?
I think that too many people look at us as if we are weird, counter-cultural Christians that they just can't relate to, or they disagree with our calling to the extent that the harshness of their judgment prevents them from forming a true relationship with us. In some cases we have even lost relationships with friends due to this calling from the Lord. Sometimes, this trail that we blaze is lonely. As much as I hear some homeschoolers scoff at the many questions our public and private schooling peers ask of us, I welcome them because it is my hope that it means that someone wants to know not just about this journey, but also about me, what I do and the things that are closest to my heart. I am that homeschooling mom. The lonely one. The one who sometimes really needs someone to swim to her island rather than always having to row her boat against the tide to get to them. So, please, ask your questions. I will answer them as well as I can.
While this journey has lonely seasons, I am grateful for it. God has done and continues to do incredible things for our family through our homeschool. Because of our obedience in choosing different curriculum this year, the Lord has allowed our Bible study and devotional time to come together like never before. I'm so excited about what we're going to be doing with our kids this year! This is the most important part of our child training, the part that I wish more Christian parents would do whether or not they homeschool.
This year, we'll continue our family study of Our 24 Family Ways. I believe this is exactly what the Lord has for us right now, and He is going to transform our family through it! Instead of Eric teaching one thing during our daily family worship time while I teach something completely different in the morning, the Lord directed us to coordinate the two things. It may sound simple and almost unimportant to have these two times of our day be cohesive, but I was pretty much married to the boxed curriculum the past few years, so this is a big deal for us! in the evening while incorporating the Bible memory work into our morning devotional that I do with the kids at the start of our school day. We're also using this fantastic idea for a scripture memorization box that I found at Simply Charlotte Mason
We believe that the Lord can only do the great things He desires to do through us if we walk in faith and obedience, and homeschooling is part of that. The choice we are making is not whether to homeschool or not. The choice is obedience to the Lord.
More than anything, we want the glory of God to shine in our lives. Our family has not arrived at this, but we are working toward it. These steps of obedience and these reminders from God that He is directing our footsteps, take us closer and closer to that light permeating our individual lives, our family and our home. It is worth a little loneliness to experience that. It is worth a little loneliness to know that the most important relationship in our lives is in order because we are obeying Him.
That said, if you have a homeschooling family in your church, I challenge you to befriend them. Reach out. They may really need your friendship. It may open your mind to another point-of-view that will challenge you. Your willingness to step out of your comfort zone will likely be a blessing to you and to the family. The Lord designed us for relationships. We need you more than you realize.
I guess I should wrap this up and get back to lesson planning. This little vulnerable window will likely be followed up with others in the future on my personal blog. My newest goal is to be open about our homeschooling journey rather than trying to explain it away or to try to fit in with everyone else. This is my journey. Our journey. And we have bumps in our road. Even so...we love this journey. I could never have imagined this blessing. I am...grateful.