Thursday, October 8, 2009

Homeschooling 101

Jabez Academy's 1st graduate, Kelsie

Class of 2005

I feel very strongly about least for my family. I do not believe that every parent should take their children out of school and teach them their "3 R's". (If there were only 3...*sigh*) I wish that I did. But I have seen too many parents think that "if she can do it with 9, I certainly can do it with 2!" They have jumped into it "gung-ho" for a couple of weeks (the time I refer to as "The Honeymoon Period"), then lose all patience because the new-ness has worn off and the real work has to begin. They have struggled, hollered, (*whistle*whistle*), reacted and given up because they did not take the job seriously enough. (I am not talking about the parents who are unable to home school for financial or health reasons!) It is selfishness that has caused them to fail. And it is the children who end up paying for it.

I'll let you in on a little secret. I DID NOT want to home school my children! I was a mom who couldn't wait for the first day of school, when the bus would come and take my children...for free!!! I couldn't wait to"have a life"! I thought my homeschooling friends were all a little "goofy" in the head! But, when that first day of school came, and the bus pulled up, I knew in my heart that my daughter was not supposed to go. I didn't keep her home that day. In fact, I didn't take her out of school for an entire year! I needed to make sure that I wasn't going to mess her up by not being prepared mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. That year she was in school, I prepared. I read every book I could get my hands on. I looked at more curriculum (and bought most of it...really stupid.) than I even knew existed! I hunted and gathered information. And when that day came to take her out of the public school system, I was ready. No, not really. It is NEVER that easy! While I had prepared in all of the ways that I knew, it came down to me being willing to give up all of my selfish pride, ambitions and expectations and just be a mom.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, "For I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me." This is the "theme" for our home school. It is not only for my children, but also for me. On those days where I think that I can't do this anymore, I look for God with my whole heart. He restores my hope and gives me the courage to keep going.

Homeschooling isn't for the weak. (Or the forgetful.) Kids will find the parents' weaknesses and they will do whatever they can to use those weaknesses to their benefit! It is their gift. So as homeschooling parents, we must remain diligent. We must remain strong. We must remember what we are supposed to be doing! We must make a list if all else fails. And it will at some point. Trust me, it will get better. I have 16 years of experience and counting.

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