When my oldest turned 3, my husband and I quickly started researching preschools. We wanted the best school to send him to. We wanted a loving teacher, small class size, parent involved school and a school that had some type of character building curriculum. We found the perfect preschool and the following fall, with backpack and supplies in hand, Braden began school.
I spent a lot of time at the school. With my youngest still a baby, I made sure to have sitters lined up so that I could spend a lot of time in Braden's classroom. When a parent that was scheduled to work in the room had other responsibilities, the teacher's would have my name and number a the top of the list to fill in. I loved being a part of his schooling. I loved singing songs about his numbers and ABC's, learning right beside him. As the school year was coming to a close, I was nominated to be on the preschool board. I was so excited because I knew that this would be the next step to being more involved in his education and I knew his little brother would be coming up to begin preschool soon and I could then have a huge part in his education as well.
That summer as I was preparing to accept the nomination that I was given, God was pulling me in a new direction. All of a sudden the word "homeschooling" was popping up in my head. I would quickly disregard this tugging on my heart and continue to be excited and prepare for the upcoming preschool board meeting. Now let me stop for a moment and tell you honestly what I thought of homeschooling at that time ;) I thought it was THE craziest idea that any parent could possibly have for their child. I definitely thought that a parent could never be fully equipped to teach academics to their children without a teaching degree. In my mind, all homeschool children wore white keds and long skirts and didn't know how to socialize. Basically, homeschooling was far from normal and far from what I wanted to do. God then began to show me "normal" homeschool families. The crazy thing is that one of the "normal" homeschool families I knew were in my family as my Aunt and Uncle homeschooled my cousins. I kind of just thought it was a weird phase they were in and I just overlooked it. I then began to think back when I babysat for a homeschool family. I really enjoyed this family and loved how close they were. At this point I began to talk to my hubby about it. Let's just say, our first talk didn't go the greatest. I have a tendency to come up with some "crazy" ideas that I share with my husband and he will laugh or think, "here she goes again." That is basically the same reaction I got from him when I brought up homeschooling. God didn't give up on us though and he continuously laid it on my heart and I continuously brought it up in my conversations with Matt (my hubby). He started to truly listen to me and we began to research shortly after me saying no to the preschool board nomination. The first person I called was my Aunt and she gave me information on a homeschool convention where I could go and just see what homeschooling was all about and what opportunities were out there. I had also just recently met a seasoned homeschool mom at my church and she suggested a curriculum to check out. We went to the convention, bought a curriculum and the "idea" of homeschooling was quickly becoming a reality.
We began our homeschooling journey in September of 2008. I am now homeschooling a very energetic 2nd grade boy, an eager kindergartner and busy toddler. I am amazed by all of the blessings that homeschooling has given our family. We have grown so close through this time as we build one another up and encourage one another daily through school and life. One of my favorite character building themes we have studied lately is this: I show love to everyone, especially my family. Our love for another has matured and we are able to share that love with others around us, being a light for God as we go about our day. There are many stories that I could share with you ofI would like to end with a verse that many of you know but I believe describes what my husband and I strive for as a family as we homeschool and as we live our lives.
New International Version (NIV)
6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.