why we do what we do….homeschool edition

 

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Five years ago, if someone would have told me that when my oldest son started kindergarten I’d be his teacher I would have likely laughed so hard there would have been tears flowing from my eyes.

Fast forward to now and voila! I have a kindergartner who goes to school at “Chez Miller’s”…say what?! How on earth did our plans turn out so very different than what we had envisioned?

Both Justin and I grew up going to public school. Justin, here in Indiana and me in Northern Ontario. Neither one of us had bad experiences, we both graduated from our high-schools and went on to acquiring associates degrees. My all time “dream job” was to be a wife and mother, so I can literally saying I’m living MY dream. Justin runs an IT company here in Fort Wayne with his long time friend and we had every intention to put our boys in public school when the time came.

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When Ethan turned three we enrolled him in preschool. The first day I dropped him off I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that made me second guess everything. Many people told me it was “normal” to feel that way but the feeling never left.

Without going into details, we decided that we would find a private school for our boys rather than going through public school system. We are both firm believers in Christ and to send our kids off into an environment where everything seems acceptable EXCEPT God just didn’t sit well with us. We wanted an education with the Lord smack dab in the center of it. This left us with a couple options and we explored them.

Suddenly like a ton of bricks hurling from space, I was hit HARD with the thought of home-school. For weeks I tried to get the concept out of my head. I tried SO hard to ignore the thoughts that consumed almost every hour of my day and seeped well into the night. It kept me up and it stressed me out. Without ceasing I would tell God, “NO!, I will not be doing that!” Finally after a good couple of months I decided to stop fighting it; to set aside my stubbornness and to start opening my mind and heart to what God was trying to tell me.

It is so easy to go with the flow of how life “should” proceed. To do what everyone else is doing. Going to school at age five, being in a class of 15-30 kids and being taught by a different teacher each year is the way things have been done for years. Why couldn’t we just continue our family life like we had originally planned? The bottom line is, God did not want us to.

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Soon thereafter we bought tickets for the state homeschool convention. We knew the Lord wanted us to put this form of education on our options list and we finally humbled ourselves to do so.  Justin and I headed to Indianapolis to hear more about the benefits of homeschooling. We wanted to educate ourselves as much as possible before making a decision that would affect the lives of our boys.  We both agreed before entering the convention that we would keep our hearts and minds as open as possible to what the Lord wanted us to hear.

When we left the convention we were both at peace with the whole “homeschool thing”. We didn’t know where to start, what curriculum to choose, what method of teaching was best for our family or how the outcome would be. We stepped out of there with nothing but peace in our hearts and faith in our Savior that this is the path we are meant to travel.

The last two years have been as a whole pretty great. This is the first year that we are following a curriculum. I researched for months on which one to choose and finally decided on Sonlight. I love having my boys education focused on the truths of the bible. I love that Ethan is learning about Adam, Moses, Noah, King David and every other history figure that is written in His word. I love that we were able to choose a math program that makes even us understand numbers better. We learn everyday, not just Ethan but ALL of us.

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Homeschooling is not easy. It is challenging, some days frustrating, but on a whole it is extremely rewarding. We are beyond blessed to have found peace in this area of life. Education is very important to us. We do not in any way take this task lightly. It is TERRIFYING to stop and think about the responsibility placed in our hands on making sure our boys have a sound education. Whenever I get overwhelmed by it all, and believe me that happens often, all I need to do is pray and without missing a beat God brings me back to the basic truth that this is where we need to be and He is walking with us on this journey.

Like any road, this one may end. We may be called to enroll them in private school somewhere down the line, and even though I don’t see that now I know that anything is possible! We keep the lines of communication open about what the next year of school will be. Will we be walking this exact path next year? in two years? in five years? only God knows. I didn’t think we would be in this place to begin with! anything is possible and we have been richly blessed by following God. As much as I argued, pleaded and initially ignored His words regarding my children’s education I am glad that I finally put my fears and excuses aside and opened up my mind and heart.

Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,
and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. Proverbs 16:20

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