On schooling

“So, Kelli, how’s that home schooling thing going for you?”

Oh, how sweet of you to ask!

This is our last official week of home schooling (homeschooling? is it one word or two because I’ve seen it both ways and I can’t figure it out…). Honestly?

This has been the hardest year of my life.

Selling a house, saying goodbye to friends who were more like family, paying for our own move cross country, starting a new job, buying a new house, home schooling, visiting countless churches over the course of ten months, struggling to find our place, living under strain and stress…

This year has exhausted me.

I noticed something interesting in Africa. The women there are tough. Despite life’s adversities, they know how to dig in their heels and keep the home at any cost. Remember how the Maasai women actually build their family homes? It’s interesting, isn’t it? God has equipped us as women to know when it’s time to dig in, clench our teeth and do what needs to be done to keep life moving forward. He has created us with an inate ability to survive, not for ourselves, but for everyone around us.

In some regard, this past year has been something like that for me. I’ve been in survival mode, heels dug in, holding up the walls of the home. Because life was bumpy there for awhile. I just needed my family to be okay – I needed us to be safe and together and whole.

Home schooling provided that safety in a way. I’m so glad I had the kids home with me because I needed them near me and I think they needed each other. But as the dust settles and the light at the end of the tunnel widens just slightly, we’re evaluating and praying and trying to decide what’s best for next year.

Tools of survival...

I will be totally honest and tell you I’m really proud of what I accomplished with my kids this year. I didn’t really know if I could do this home schooling thing. In fact, I never ever wanted to do it. Ever. Ever, ever. Like most people I assumed that I wasn’t cut out to teach my kids at home.

But it’s not true. We are all fully equipped to do whatever needs to be done when it comes to our children. So if you’re thinking about home schooling, or wondering about it and you fear you can’t do it, just know that you can. I’m not saying you should. But I am saying you shouldn’t sell yourself short.

We women are tougher than we think.

Now that we are on the other side of the year, we are looking at different options. Home schooling isn’t out of the mix by any means, but neither is public school. Those are pretty much the two options we have at this point and it’s kind of scary, this decision to be made.

Part of me is hopping from foot to foot, Rocky style, trying to pep talk my way back in to the arena. I saw the benefits of what the kids and I accomplished this past year. I completely back the educational positives of home schooling. There is, by far, nothing like it. There are so many things I’ve loved about having the kids home with me.


I also see the benefits of a school setting and there are things I haven’t enjoyed about having them home. There are pros and cons to both choices and it all comes down to what we think works best for the kids AND for me. So we pray and wait and prepare for whatever comes next, because after this year I’ve kind of decided there isn’t anything I can’t do.

Except maybe build a mud hut out of cow dung. I’m not sure I could handle that.

So what are you doing for school next year? How did you come to your decision?