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Never Say Never

07/30/2011

No, I do NOT have Bieber fever!  I’m just busy eating my words.  I guess it’s time that I came out and let the world know, we’ve decided to homeschool….something I said I would never do.  I know you are shocked, right?  Most of you are probably thinking, “What? I thought you already did!”  Nope.  The kids have always gone to a University Model School.  From the NAUMS website:

What is a University-Model School®?

A University-Model School® is a blend of the most positive aspects from traditional public and private schools as well as home schools, to give elementary through high school a highly successful, college-preparatory education, set in a Christian environment.  The key is professional classroom instruction partnered with caring parenting at home.

So yes, the boys were home several days a week, but we weren’t actually homeschooling.  We were co-teaching (enforcing concepts that were already taught).  My kids have always been with amazing, (yes, degreed), teachers that not only teach well, but love love love the kiddos in their classes (they have to!  They don’t get paid enough in money..what teacher does?  We had NOTHING but great experiences there.  Not only that, we gained a few family members ;).

However, last year, because of various personal/family reasons, we were hit square in the face with the fact that we needed to make a change.  We tried everything to avoid it, but we just couldn’t make it work.  And the tears started!  From me and my children.  I felt the weight of the world.  I just wanted to do what was best for my family!  After some thinking time, my 10 year old approached me and said, “I think this is what God wants us to do.  It means we could spend more time together as a family.” WHAT was that you said, 10 year old boy of mine that loves your school and being with your friends? Hmmmm……

And so the research began….WAIT!  I’m going to stop right there!  I know what you are thinking:

  • NO!  We will NOT be wearing denim jumpers!
  • YES!  We are sheltering our kids!  To the extent that we do all the time.  We protect them from things their eyes, ears, and hearts are not ready for.  But NO, we are not trying to isolate them!  It’s what they were made for…to be a difference maker for Christ.  We are only preparing and training them for that.
  • NO!  We are NOT at all worried that our kids won’t be socialized.  Homeschool doesn’t always take place at home :).  If you are worried about it, come find us in 10 years.  If they can’t socialize, you can say, “I told you so.” ;)
  • YES! I know how much time I’ll be spending with my kids.  That is one of the main reasons we chose to homeschool…time.  It goes too fast.  In a blink of an eye they are grown and our time to influence who they become is gone all too quickly.
  • YES!  There are weird homeschoolers, trust me!……and weird people that send their kids to private school, trust me again!….and weird people that send their kids to public school….trust me yet again.  After all, I went to public school :).  So I don’t fear becoming more weird because I homeschool.  If you didn’t already think I was weird, you probably will continue to have the same views.  If you already did (logically), I’ll probably remain at the same level of weirdness (highly functioning).
I know I’m going to receive some resistance and judging (I already have).  That’s OK, I already get judged for other things I do.  As long as I feel I am following the path God has laid out for ME and my family, I can handle it.  You see, homeschooling is not a choice, it’s a calling*.  It has to be, why else would anyone do it?   It’s hard work!  It’s not for everyone….trust me yet again!  So know I don’t judge you if you don’t homeschool.  I think it’s easy to get into the mentality that “whatever I do is best for everyone”.  But it’s not!  God gave us our specific children for a reason….we are (or have the potential to be) the best mommy for our children.  As long as we are in tune with God and listening to Him, then we will make the best decisions for our unique families.
…..So back to my story.  I researched and researched and read a ton of books (like 8 in 2 weeks) and learned about the different styles (and there are many).  Then it was time to pick curriculum (I’ll post more on that later) and it took several more weeks of research, and a lot of praying!  And through it all, I felt it was the best decision for our family, but the peace was missing.  Then, a dear friend, Tara, prayed that I would step out in faith (which ever way I chose).  DUH!!  I knew that!  But I had been waiting to feel 100% confirmation instead of taking a step of faith and trusting God in the unknown.  That was it!  I knew it’s what we needed to do, even without the sense of peace.
So, we’ve been purchasing curriculum and attended the annual homeschool conference….and that is where I found my peace.  Tons and tons of people….many of them normal (or at least appeared to be normal ;), were doing the same thing we were.  Many of them were highly educated, even brilliant, successful (by our countries definition) and even more successful by mine.  The encouraging, qualified speakers had raised well educated, successful children.  But more importantly, these children loved the Lord and served others selflessly!
Now, I’m under no delusion that if I homeschool my kids, they will automatically turn out the same way. It’s not a formula.  I have no doubt their children turned out the way they did not because they homeschooled, but because they followed what God wanted for THEIR family.
Honestly, until this weekend, I felt like homeschool was the less attractive option to the UMS school we love so dearly, something we had no choice but to do.  But not anymore, not for this particular time in our lives.  But I feel like God brought us hear for a reason, He just needed to convince us to get here….at the beginning of the path of a new journey!  I know there will be obstacles on this paths, bumps in the road, tough times (how redundant ;).  It’s to be expected when you’re with your kids ALL THE TIME!  But there is no place I’d rather be!
Please remind me of that when you see a blunt object in my hand slowly moving toward my eye, or my head being repeatedly banged against the wall ;)!
*Buy the t-shirt here
*Edit…When I originally edited this post, I accidentally deleted a part I didn’t wanted to about homeschooling being a calling and I didn’t catch it.
It’s a calling.  So are a lot of choices we make in our family!  And I didn’t for one second, mean to imply that it was a higher calling than anything else.  Just like ministry!  It’s the same there.  Essentially, we are all called to school our kids to some extent, just like we are all called to be ministers, wherever we are, not just if we work at a church or a mission field.  OK, now I feel better, proceed with your day :).
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. 08/01/2011 9:20 am

    Proud of you girl! You are an inspiration to us all! : ) Love ya! Hugs!!!

    • Jennifer permalink*
      08/02/2011 7:50 pm

      You are sweet! THANK YOU !

  2. Krista Keefe permalink
    08/01/2011 10:28 am

    I am proud of you. It will be great b/c of you and your heart for your kids. I think education doesn’t have to necessarily mean public schools (or private for that matter), just like church isn’t the building, but the people. ;)

    And… I am an educator, and I say… GO for it! ;)

    • Jennifer permalink*
      08/02/2011 7:49 pm

      Thank you Krista! Really, it means a lot! I can’t wait to get started!

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