If you would have asked me my opinion about homeschooling 2 years ago, my answers would have been dramatically different than they are now.
Several circumstances led us to our decision to bring Evan home from public school to teach him at home for his 6th grade year. It all started when I read Sally Clarkson’s book, the Mission of Motherhood, last fall (2009). This was the book that our ladies decided to study on Wednesday nights at church, but I couldn’t join them on the discussions because I was in our handbell group that met at the same time for practice.
This book changed my life!
I had never heard of Sally Clarkson before, but let me just tell you that this author put into words what I’ve felt for the past ten years as I tried to balance all of my roles as a wife, mom, and teacher to the best of my ability! Early in the book she talked about having a “divided heart.” It was then that I started dreaming of the idea that we could actually homeschool Evan & bring our family closer together. (Not to mention that we had become friends with a family just the summer before that had homeschooled for 8 years and totally admired their children!)
Another major influence on our decision is the fact that Evan has dyslexia and has struggled with academics as a result. He is very intelligent but his gifts are not in writing and reading—but if you ask him to explain something to you, he’ll talk your ear off! He maintained an A/B average because we were always staying on top of his assignments and stayed in close contact with his teachers. However, that daily struggle & homework until bedtime was really wearing on all of our nerves.
We also could see how he was being affected by the “worldly” influences at school. It is our heart’s desire that both of our boys grow up to have a love for Jesus and live godly lives. Each year, we could see more & more of the world creeping in on his thoughts & attitudes. We wanted to be able to teach both boys about God’s word every day and teach them about things that have eternal significance. However, with our busy jobs & his homework load, the most important things would often get neglected for the daily deadlines of homework & tests.
After SEVERAL months of prayer, research, and late-night discussions with my husband, we decided God was indeed leading us to take a HUGE step of faith & homeschool Evan. This would mean that I would quit my teaching job of 17 years & live on Eric’s church income. This made us very nervous, to say the least! But we felt that if God was leading us to this decision, then He would help us make it financially!
And I am happy to say that we have survived this first year with so blessings! I can’t say that it’s always been easy…some people have told me that homeschooling is not for the faint of heart! Boy, is that true! Some days it’s extremely difficult. But the positives definitely far outweigh the negatives!
Here are just a few of the benefits:
- Evan’s confidence & love for learning is slowly coming back!
- We have had much more quality family time.
- We are able to travel when necessary without Evan “missing” school.
- We have memorized a ton of scripture!
- We have all learned a lot about so many topics & have enjoyed several field trips as a family!
- Ethan loves “learning” with us!
- We have made some really neat friends that we would never have met otherwise!
- The flexibility and freedom are amazing!
We said we would try this for a year and see how it helped Evan, and we have decided since it’s gone so well this year, then we will do it again next year. Ethan is still too young to start school, so we’ll just have to keep praying about that decision.
This just barely scratches the surface of all the thoughts & discussions that we’ve had about homeschooling…perhaps I’ll share more soon.