The Homeschool Post

Forgive the lame photos. My good camera is at the spa getting a facelift.

I never planned to be a homeschooler.  It was never something I desired to do.  Never.  In fact, I’m pretty sure my exact words in the past were, “There’s no way in H@#! I would ever do that.”


But something happened earlier this year and a transformation began inside my heart.

Sometime after the New Year, Sloan began struggling in school.  It wasn’t a major struggle.  He was getting by just fine, but he wasn’t thriving.  Part of that was my fault.  Life was just so overscheduled.  We had something almost every evening of every week – all good things, but it left my kids bouncing in the wake of life and they were tired.

So we started cutting things out.  Good things.  And I hated it.  All the while, I shipped my worn out child off to school for eight hours a day despite his daily pleas to let him stay home “just this once.”

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating.  I don’t have major issues with the public school system.  I have nothing but respect for the men and women who choose to teach our children.  Some are better than others, to be sure and the system is far from perfect.  But it deserves respect and it has that from me.  I wasn’t necessarily upset with the quality of education my son was receiving so much as the time it seemed to take to get it.  I feel like one of the biggest flaws in our school system (and this applies to both public and private schools, incidentally) is the amount of time we are keeping our children in the school building.

Sloan got on the bus at 8:00 every morning and he got off at 3:30.  This left very little evening time for us as a family.  It also left him tired and unwilling to concentrate on any kind of homework.  He never wanted to sit and read a book and I didn’t blame him.  If I were forced to sit and listen for roughly 30 hours per week I wouldn’t want to read a book either.  That’s a lot of time for our little guys to be away.

This combined with a lot of prayer led me to seriously begin considering homeschooling.  I entertained that idea alongside the idea of checking myself into the loony bin, because I felt sincerely crazy.  Homeschooling?  Really?

Yes.  Really.

Two kids, two sets of study guides, double the crazy?

I mulled all these things over by myself for awhile, then I went to my husband.  I was positive that he would have his head squarely placed on his shoulders and would practically and reasonably talk me out of this silly little notion.

“I think you should look into it,” he said.  And then I passed out.

When I came to, he continued.  “Obviously the Lord is working something out in your heart because I’ve never heard you talk like this before, so I really think this is something we need to research and pursue.”  So being the dutiful wife that I am (wink, wink) I took his advice and began talking to every single homeschooling friend I have.  I asked them all for the exact same information:

– Give me every reason I should do this and…

-Give me every single reason I should not.

Not surprisingly, the reasons I should far outnumbered the reasons I shouldn’t, and the reasons I shouldn’t were mostly selfish in nature.  But I still wasn’t convinced, so I researched and prayed and waffled and wavered and questioned and finally decided that homeschooling was something I needed to do.  Not for me, but for them. (When I say them, I’m referring to the children…you already knew that, didn’t you?)

Ultimately, I knew that I needed to get my clutches into my kids and show them what a joy learning can be.  Even if I only do it one year, I want the year to count.  I want them to know that I was willing to give up everything for them so that they could see the magic of opening a book.

Now I’m not sure I can show the the magic in math.  Because math is not magical.  It’s just numbers. Lame.

Right after I made the decision to homeschool, we found out we were moving and the timing just felt right.  It also felt horrible.  How would I do this without a local network of support?  HOW?!

I’ll tell you how.  Yesterday, as I watched Landon at swimming lessons, one of the other moms walked up to me.  “Do you homeschool?” she asked.  I was taken aback, because why would she ask that?  What a random question?  Was I putting off some kind of homeschool vibe?  It must have been the denim jumper I was wearing…the one with the apple and ruler appliques on the front.

I kid.

“Yes,” I answered.  “This is my first year.”

“Oh you’ll love it,” she said with a smile.  “I’ve been homeschooling for years.  What curriculum are you using?”

Sonlight,” I replied.

“Wonderful!” she cried.  “That’s what we use.  Let me know if you have any questions about it.”

OMG - So many pages. I feel like I'm decoding the key to a secret world...

Is it coincidence that she randomly struck up a homeschooling conversation?  Maybe…but I doubt it.  Because today our curriculum arrived in the mail and I am thoroughly and completely overwhelmed by it all.    Thankfully, I have a new friend who will be able to show me the ropes.  And for me, that was one more confirmation that we are in the right place, doing the right thing.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go churn my own butter while simultaneously working on my needlepoint and baking homemade bread.

I kid.  I’m not going to do any of those things.  I’m going to finish my wine cooler and go to bed.

So this is the part where you join in, my bloggy friends.  Would you ever homeschool your children (or are you currently)?  Give me the best and worst.  I want to be prepared.