People come to homeschooling in different ways and at different times. For some it is in response to something their child or children experienced in school, and for others it is more of a calling.
For me, I knew I wanted to homeschool before I even had kids. Not because something horrible happened to me at school, it didn’t, but I think it was more because I liked being at home and missed being with my family. I distinctly remember having these thoughts in kindergarten (I know!), long before I knew there was even a term for schooling kids at home, much less a movement. Then when my first was born, I felt as though it was my mission, a calling from God to raise up the children He gives me in every way. They are my responsibility in every way. Not to say that those who don’t homeschool aren’t taking responsibility. I think God calls us all to different missions, lays different desires and thoughts upon our hearts. He then equips us with what we need to follow that mission through. There are days though, that I feel most unequipped.
First, I will say that homeschooling is a commitment. It is truly a “die to self” way of life. When your friends finally send their last child off to school and invite you out for coffee dates and shopping trips, you will have to turn them down most, if not all, of the time. When your friend invites you over for play dates with your little ones while you have older kids you are schooling, you will have to turn them down, too. Certainly you can find a way to make things work at times, but even a weekly Bible study can be difficult to commit to when you have a house full of children at any given time.
Second, I will say that homeschooling isn’t for the weary, it takes a ton of energy. Not necessarily so much in the planning or the execution, although it can, but just in the simple fact that you have a lot going on all.of.the.time. Especially if you have a houseful of children like I have. The noise, the activity, and the meal making is there every.single.day. Of course the time commitment is minimal in schooling younger children, but once there are subjects like algebra and Latin to tackle, obviously there is more time involved.
Third, I will say that homeschooling is a LONG TERM investment. There can be a lot of frustrations, disappointments, struggles, and even tears in the beginning…or even for a few years. It takes time to reap those rewards and to see you children blossom as students, but those days will come. These things also resurface at times throughout the homeschooling journey.
Fourth, I will say that there is nothing more rewarding than homeschooling. Being there for the best part of their day is what I love most. I am so thankful that I don’t only see my kids for a few hours a day upon returning home tired, hungry, and cranky since I get to experience all those things all day long, just kidding….kind of But it is wonderful to know what your kids are learning, what they struggle with, and how you can help them since you are the teacher! Thus far I have watched the lightbulb go on with reading, and with 2 very reluctant readers it took awhile at times, but that brought me to tears every single time. I don’t think there is anything more rewarding than seeing this child who HATED all things reading sitting in a chair reading one day…all on their own. More about that here.
Of course I could write a book on lessons I have learned while homeschooling, but the last thing I will leave you with at this time is—-You can do it! Really, you can. Even if you have no idea where to start, just start. Even if you don’t have the overall plan, just start. Even if you HATED school yourself, just start. Even if you have no idea what curriculum to choose, just start, talk to people who homeschool, read some books that talk about the different styles, curriculums, and methods, or just get some books from the library and start reading. I will be providing a list of some of the things I have LOVED through the years. One of the best books to start with is this…The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. Get it here The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Third Edition)