It’s that time of year again…and while many are snapping pictures sending their kids off on a school bus or dropping them at school there are some of us who are standing by the kitchen table and saying to the kids gathered around it, “It’s that time again.” If you are a homeschooling mama like me, here’s my two cents, “You can do this!”
As it so happens, this is my 32nd year of homeschooling my kids and I have to say, I have never regretted my decision to homeschool them. Do some days I want to quit? Of course. But don’t school teachers feel that way too? I bet so. But honestly for our family, the proof is in the pudding in what the five oldest (Liberty’s still in college) are doing with their lives. We have a professional photographer who flies around the world taking pictures for people, a Black Hawk pilot, one who has started some very successful small businesses in her home, the founder and director of a registered NGO and a Senior Web Developer. Rumor has it that they love their vocations (most days).
Although the reality is I didn’t always start out to homeschool all the way through high school! Initially I had thought I would put them in school at about third grade. But we all loved it so much, we just kept going, taking one year at a time and here we are 31 years later!
A funny story from when I was talking about homeschooling….It was about 1981 and I had heard Dorothy and Raymond Moore being interviewed about homeschooling. Having always wanted to be a teacher, I was so intrigued. I was like, “Is that even legal?” I knew no one else who homeschooled. But having always dreamed of being a mom more than anything else, I was doubly-intrigued. I just loved hanging out with our daughter Abigail and little guy Tyler and thought, “Why should someone else get the thrill of enjoying them all day?”
So after hearing the Moores speak I talked to Dw about the idea. His dad was a high school Math teacher and his mom was a music teacher so yeah, Dw was less than enthused. His mom thought I was weird to want to spend the day with my kids. But I prayed a lot and asked Dw to pray too.
As Dw got more used to the idea I began to talk to Abigail about it. She loved the idea! Then one day Dw questioned in a panicked voice, “Did you hear her? She now is saying she wants to homeschool college!” I laughed as I reminded him, “Right now she wants to marry you babe, so I think she will likely change her mind on both counts.” She did!
My diffuser is filling the room with all kinds of oily goodness to help the extra-chatty ones whose minds tend to wander relax and do their best (and not bug the others – haha!!)!
We began homeschooling when Abigail was kindergarten age and that was 31 years ago and the rest is history. We have used all types of curriculum. My most favorite years were the years we did unit studies with either Weaver or Konos – it was a blast! Some years we’ve had many changes, moves and/or additions yet homeschooling remained constant. It’s become a way of life and I seriously don’t know what I will do when the last one is done. Most days it flows fairly easily (emphasis on *most*).
But the truly important thing for me is that it has given me the opportunity to really spend time with my treasures. We went through a lot of blood, sweat and tears to bring them home – doggone it! Of course, I have no doubt that people who choose other avenues for school, really know their kids and spend lots of time with them too, however this is what has worked for me and being a large family it has given us the opportunity to pray, study, learn, research and grow together. And really, to know that I had a tiny part in their start in life is really kinda’ sweet. Makes my mama heart smile big and oh how I have enjoyed the years with the bigs who have all launched on their own.
So if you are a homeschooling mama newbie or oldie like me, here’s to embarking on another year of adventure! Three cheers from this mama in the desert! Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it too!