This past June was a most monumental event that almost slipped by! What was the event? Oh how kind of you to ask… I celebrated 30 years of homeschooling (with only 12 to go!) And that to me, calls for an enormous celebration!
So while Dw was in Africa for The Gem Foundation groundbreaking the kids and I were talking together. I mentioned that I was now in my 31st year of homeschooling and never had there been any celebration in the first 30 years so maybe it was time to celebrate together all that God has done in allowing all of us this beautiful privilege. They were totally up for helping me plan and pull off a great celebration – especially since food was involved – ha! With Autumn home it would also mean that there would be 10 of the 14 together for the festivities – an added blessing!
You know friends, as I’ve mentioned before…when I began homeschooling Abigail 30+ years ago I started out just wanting to try it for a few years. But once we began, we were “all in” and I’ve never looked back. Sure enough there have been difficult days, weeks and even seasons, but what we’ve learned passes all text book knowledge.
And so far the 30 years have yielded a successful business owner who flies around the world taking gorgeous pictures for people, a Black Hawk pilot, a stay-at-home mommy who runs a small business on the side so she can stay at home with her kids, the Founder and Director of a registered NGO that serves the broken-bodied orphans in Africa, a senior software developer at a company that serves nonprofits and one who is currently in college with a 4.0 who plans to become a social worker to take that skill to serve alongside big sis (who also happens to be her best friend) in Africa for a season. All six are tenderhearted to the plight of the orphan, love adoption, two have adopted, one is fostering and one is registered to foster! For us, this means that homeschooling has worked well.
Lest you think otherwise, let me make it perfectly clear: I am not perfect. I did not get very great grades in school (it was called “survival” in my home growing up). I didn’t get a college degree (although I did attend) which all actually goes to show that anyone can homeschool successfully!
Over the 30 years many have said, “You must be a saint!” and with that I laugh heartily. A saint I am definitely not (ask Dw – he’ll tell you!!)
But here’s my motivation and driving force: When raising these treasures I want them to remember me as the gentlest, kindest, most loving mom who firmly loves God, loves others, loves to pray (and has seen the power of prayer over and over so much so that there is no denying it) and that nothing (and I mean nothing) is impossible with Him! I want my kids to firmly know that prayer, faith, trust, hope, love, wisdom, discernment, and protection all come from our loving God and that He always, always, always did have, always does have and always will have a most amazing plan for their lives! I also long for them to remember our home as a place of great love, sweet peace, incredible joy and overwhelming forgiveness (because we all mess up).
So if my goal has always been that, there’s no way I could spend my days barking at them, grumpy or miserable! I start my day with prayer and studying God’s word – He *is* my only strength and, if possible, then I exercise. Recently Elijah has been getting up and walking briskly with me for about 40 minutes. I love that he wants to get up early and hang out with me. We have a wonderful time talking – just mom and son.
And the bottom line with homeschooling? Not one regret. It’s the only way I could figure out how to really know my kids. I love that we spend our days learning, talking, praying together and taking life apart and figuring the tough things out.
A few pictures of some of my most treasured people…who I just happen to have the privilege of spending my days with…By the way, a few bought me little gifts and almost all wrote me a personal card they had made. Let’s just say that my eyes were totally leaking!
For those who have always wondered what it is like to homeschool and want to – Jump In! If your kids want to and you’re not sure, I promise, trying it for one semester or two – You will definitely not ruin them! In fact you may end up loving it! If you have questions you are welcome to email me.
We have used all types of curriculum over the years, currently we are using textbooks and will probably stick with that for the remaining years. Honestly, if you even just feel comfortable with web based there are many options as well, which we have used in the past.
The thing is, if your kids want to or you want to, go for it! We are just an ordinary family who has enjoyed the privilege. And if you are a single mom who longs to but are unable, I pray God’s peace for you and that somehow God will provide a way for you to work from home while homeschooling as well. I have a few friends who do this! PS Just in case anyone was wondering Isaiah and I mixed together a few yummy things and made a Gluten Free Chocolate Crusted Peanut Butter pie with Reese’s cups to spell “30”. It was a hit! Peanut Butter with Chocolate is my all-time favorite!