Okay #1 - Homeschooling. Never thought I'd be excited about it, but here I am, grinning from ear to ear. It's become a central part of our lives.
This blog is NOT centered around our homeschooling. Although I cherish our homeschooling days, I've learned that it's not my favorite topic to write about. It may sneak in every now and then, because it's central to our everyday lives, but this blog will certainly not revolve around the subject. But because this series is about big decisions, I must cover it.
My 13 most influential decisions over the last 13 years peeks into how we decided aspects of life that majorly influenced where we are and how we live. Go check it out if you haven't read it yet!
In truth, I wasn't sure I even wanted to have kids...so I certainly wasn't planning to spend the whole day with them, every day.
So how and why did we end up educating at home?
Wanting to cast vision for sending my son to a state-run school, my friend let me borrow a book called "Going Public" by David & Kelli Pritchard. Honestly, the book didn't do that for me.
It proposed that children need to go "two by two," as the disciples did, witnessing at school. The Pritchards felt that sending our kids into the public school had the power to transform the nation.
Even though I wasn't enthusiastic about homeschooling, I certainly didn't have any desire for my kids, who weren't even sure about their own faith, to walk into an environment that didn't allow for all avenues of faith to be openly discussed by teachers and students. I couldn't be an authentic piece of this movement.
Because I'm a huge proponent of thinking through decisions rather than knee-jerking because "that's how it's always been done," or "that's just what you do."
So here is a small sample of the questions that I struggled to answer during the decision-making process:
1. How do I want to spend MY time?
This turned out to be sort of a selfish question. But I read once that you should ask every question you have...and I needed to ask it! My selfish bones ached to have time to myself...to create, to read, to meet up with friends, to go on that public-school-mommy-run in the park after the drop off. Man, I could feel how much I would miss out on if I picked homeschooling.
2. Do I want to give up some authority to the school/teachers?
Technically my responsibility to train my kids would still be mine. But as I thought back to my own schooling and other children, the question was more about the child's perception of authority, not the adult's. Will my child still see me as their authority when the teacher/curriculum/friends etc disagrees with my teachings, or the Bible's? Does the public school allow for various worldviews to be taught/explored? Will what they learn in the precious few hours at home and church be enough to surmount the wave of 30 hours in school?
3. How does influence take hold of a person?
I've seen many families maintain quality relationships and influence in their children's lives with two working parents, public school and tons of activities. But, as I looked around at my life, that didn't appeal to my soul. The public school schedule tends to dictate other areas of life. Am I willing to be influenced by the system's schedule? Are my children capable of standing up to the crowd yet?
Those questions set me on a path that led to the BIGGEST question of all: What is an education for?
In the midst of asking myself and others these questions, three more books popped into my hands:
"For the Children's Sake" by Susan Schaeffer
"The Core" by Leigh Bortins
"Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity" by Nancy Pearcey
I won't go into how each book affected my philosophy on life, but suffice it to say that I have become a student again. I'm not a genius, but a fellow learner. I'm not super organized but I can follow a plan. I'm not always patient, but I have the Holy Spirit.
I could list many reasons I homeschool, but simple put: I love my kids and enjoy seeing them each day. We are growing closer together and learn alongside one another, and I'm grateful for the choice to do so.