Tuesday, May 21, 2013

why we are homeschooling. wha?


writing this post is slightly scary.
not because i have any doubts about our decision.
because this is a very touchy subject and people have very strong opinions.
who knew?

my heart is simply to share how the Lord brought hubby and i to this decision. this is not a post trying to convince everyone to homeschool. it's not a post to bash public schools. it is only about our family's journey in a new direction.
i will try not to offend anyone. but let's face it, what are the chances of that.
education is a personal choice and whether your children go to public school, private school or you homeschool, i believe we all do what we think is best for our kids.

for the past 5 years {since my oldest started kindergarten} my kids have attended a private classical Christian school.
now before you start thinking to yourself, "oh how nice for those wealthy people. they get to send their kids to a private school" let me clarify a few things.
we are NOT wealthy. we made a decision that this particular school would be best for our kids so we sacrificed to have them there. we don't have a big fancy house or new cars. and we don't go on lavish vacations.
and we wouldn't change a thing. it was worth every dime. it's an amazing school with outstanding academics and  a faculty and staff that love the Lord and strive for excellence for their students and themselves. we loved it. which makes our decision hard for some to understand.

every year as we filled out our paperwork to re-register for school i would pray. pray over the finances. but mostly i would ask that everything would work out for my kids to stay where they were. i never gave any other options much thought.

until this year.
as i was praying over our paperwork i knew the Lord was telling me something different.
i ignored it for awhile. am i the only one who does that?
i told hubby, "i think we are supposed to homeschool."
he was like "wha?!"
the truth is we had some very real concerns. this would mean a huge change in our lives.
after weeks of prayer, the nudging got stronger until i sat up in bed one night and there it was.
i would be homeschooling.

i feel like i could write 20 posts about this {at least}, but for now i'll stick to the "why".

the first reason is simple. i miss my kids. my 2 oldest are gone from 7:30-3 every day. by the time they get home and finish homework it's time for dinner and bed. and this is with very limited extra curricular activities {everyone is allowed 1 activity at a time}.
there was no room  for family time.
and there certainly wasn't room for them to help around the house.
i knew we were all frustrated. but i didn't know how to change it.
when i say this people look at me like "so what if you miss them. kids go to school. that's what they do."
i don't want to bore everyone with history but things haven't always been that way. children haven't always spent the majority of their day away from their family.

second, i feel very strongly it is our responsibility as parents to disciple our children.

train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
proverbs 22:6

fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
ephesians 6:4

i'm not going to tell you these verses mean everyone should be homeschooling. but i believe they mean we can. i believe they say God has equipped us as parents to teach our children.
and a harsh thing for me to admit?  i was handing the discipleship of my kids over to the school.
not completely, but more than i am comfortable with.
it's not hard to do when they are learning bible history, memorizing verses and being taught all other subjects from a biblical worldview.
so day after day when i laid in bed and realized we hadn't been in the Word, as a family? we hadn't worshipped, as a family? i told myself it was ok because they did all those things at school. and on sunday, when we were all together at church we would do those things.
but it's not ok. at least not for us.
this is not to say we are going to be reading the bible, meditating on the bible, and singing hymns 24 hours a day.
but we will be doing those things. and we will be doing them together.
those things will not be squeezed out by other, less important, commitments.
we won't be perfect at it. but we will be better. and i'm good with that.

we are taking this year by year. i've always said that but looking back i'm not sure i meant it.
i'm filled with excitement over what we will learn over the next year. i know there will be difficult days but i can't help but feel we are right where we need to be.



Cheryl said...

Congratulations on your decision to homeschool! I know arriving here was not easy.

I battled this in my own heart, as it was my husband who first suggested we go this route. We had 2 in school (though my 13 year old had moved in with her father earlier that year and continued through public school to the end. Side note here, she has chosen to homeschool her 3 children!). We pulled our 9 year old out at the end of 3rd grade. I was scared to death. Not because I had any doubts that this was what we were supposed to do, but because I knew I didn't have it in me at that time to fulfill this high calling. What I came to realize is that what God calls you to, He will equip you to do!

Now, at the end of our 15th year, we just graduated #3 from "Long Academy" (with 6 more to go!). I am grateful for this journey.

You will be blessed!

thetwistedruffle said...

you go girl!! homeschooling is fun, exhausting, scary and all sorts of crazy but we love it. (actually we just put our oldest back into public school --not related to homeschool issues) and even though we had never set out to homeschool from the beginning (like a lot of homeschoolers) i wouldn't trade it for anything!!!

you're gonna love it!!!

Alicia said...

i'm so excited for you! i agree with allll of what you said. for us, we homeschool because we just like to be together. i don't WANT my kids to be gone from 7:30am-4pm and get them for the part of the day where they're crabby and tired from being gone all day. I realize by saying that we run the risk of sounding like over-protective weirdo parents, but i just figure we have the luxury of schooling at home if we choose to, so I'm going to take advantage of that luxury! Congrats on your decision...I know you won't regret it!

Kelly said...

We just wrapped up our second year of homeschooling. I almost cried when I read your post because our reasons for homeschooling are pretty much identical.

Homeschooling is hard but, like anything that's hard, it's worth it. You're going to do great!

This was my post on our decision a couple years ago:


Meredith said...

I think your family will rock the home schooling. And if others don't have something nice to say about it, they can zip it. There are good parts and challenging parts to most options so if the Lord is leading you this way, why not obey and give it your best shot?! He will equip you if that's what He wants for you. Big Hugs and hats off to ya.

Julie said...

Jami, I loved everything about this post! And who cares if people are offended or think you're crazy. It's what is right for your family and it's what God has put on your heart. My girls aren't even three yet and I've already said we will be homeschooling. People look at me like I'm nuts. Oh well. Bless you, those babes of yours and your family unit. I think it's great!

P.S., you're right about the history. Kids weren't away all day. They were home learning (or away for very short hours). They learned grammar, math, etc., but they also learned, from their parents, their role in a family and society. The boys learned how to be men and the girls learned how to be women. Call me old fashion, but I love that!

ragamuffinbeauties said...

Love you sweet friend! I am in a season of being stretched as it applies to homeschooling & your post was a timely gift. So proud of you for listening to the Holy Spirit. Praying for your journey girl! XO

Catie said...

You are in for such an exciting adventure! I am a homeschooler (1-12 grade) and I have a doctorate degree. (just for some encouragement to know your kids will be fine and can go to college just fine if you homeschool) We plan to homeschool our kids too. Although it is a few years away, I am excited that I will be able to homeschool them and spend my life with them. Parents who decide to do this are sacrificing for their children. Be encouraged! There will be some hard days, but I hope and pray you have an amazing experience!

Ferial Trammell said...

What a brave and exciting choice! I love your commitment to worship and prayer as a family. I look forward to hearing more along the way! :)

kaylee@life chasers said...

Jami. This is so good. I'm super excited for you!!

Karrie said...

Blessings on this journey!! I took a serious look at homeschooling a few months ago and even though it felt like God was calling us to it, somehow I scared myself out of it. So, prayers continue over here. I look forward to reading more about your new venture!

Nikki said...

So excited for you to take this journey with your kiddos! We just wrapped up year #2 of homeschooling. It's not been perfect and sometimes it's a little messy, but it has been the right decision for our family. Praying for you all as you adjust to this exciting time!

Party of Five said...

Good for you. If I could do it I would.

Michele Coombe said...

I'm so excited for you guys. I'm even a bit envious. With mine starting High school next year, well, probably a bit too late! Lol. But whatever God tells me to do, I would do! I know you will be blessed in so many ways but especially for your obedience. Love all of you!

tracy said...

congrats! we are starting this summer and are so excited. once God tells ya to do something there really isn't another choice!! so looking forward to reading about your journey!

Mary said...

its going to be SO great! :)
i'm really excited for you!

christina said...

I can't tell you how much I loved this.

I have almost the opposite story I really really really wanted to homeschool. I prayed and prayed and prayed about it and I softly felt god leading me to public school...I fought him hard on it. But at last I put my trust in The Lord and can see his blessings daily

I hear you on missing you kids. My oldest started kindergarten this year and she gets home at 430 sometimes later. In the winter it is dark by 5

I can't wait to see how god blesses you and your family through this journey!!!!

Mama Bear said...

well i think that's just wonderful. :) it shall be hard, but rewarding. much like parenting in general. you'll do great!

Diane Block said...

Awesome Jamie and very inspiring! I have thought about it many times with my 8 year old as its a bit challenging with the work. I'm afraid though...afraid ill make her suffer. You will be amazing! I will be praying for you!

Jessica said...

my husband and i are thinking through these issues right now...tough tough subject, but i love what you wrote. i think we'll probably end up homeschooling, but we'll see:)

Heather @ Finding Beauty in the Ordinary said...

i'm so excited for you guys!

my mom/dad had a similar revelation when i was in 5th grade and my brother was in 3rd, and we were attending a great Christian school.

she simply felt God leading them to pull us out and homeschool and we did through graduation from high school. i loved every minute. we were actively involved in a christian charter school and i'm still friends with most of my graduating class.

i think homeschooling is awesome. your kids are only little once. i never thought i would do it, personally, but now that i'm a mom, i honestly don't think i can send our kids to school every day! i just want all the time i can with them. life is just too short.

again, congrats! so happy for y'all! xo

Brian and Stacy said...

Thanks for being brave and sharing your story. My babies aren't in school yet but I love to hear why other parents have made the decisions they have and how The Lord has brought them there. Helps us work through making this decision for ourselves.