Homeschooling Part II


In July, my cousin invited us to the Arizona Families for Home Education’s convention in Phoenix, and we tagged along.  This was really where God got both Anthony and I to pay attention.  Through the speakers and our discussions between sessions, we realized that God had a bigger plan for our children than we did.  One of the speakers brought up the verse in Deuteronomy 6 that really convicted us:

4Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord [the only Lord].

5And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might.

6And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be [first] in your [own] minds and hearts; [then]

7You shall whet and sharpen them so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.

8And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets (forehead bands) between your eyes.

9And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

The conviction, for us, came from the fact that of all the things on this earth, all that we get to bring with us to heaven are our children’s souls.  That’s it.  It doesn’t matter if we never get out of debt.  It doesn’t matter if we never “get” anywhere with our lives or our goals.  If we get to heaven and our children don’t, we have not done our job properly.  Like Pastor Chan says, doing stuff out of fear is never a good thing, but that was really a wake up call for us.  (I realize this is sounding preachy… you don’t have to agree with me, this is just what we have been convicted of, you know?)  If we were to allow someone else to educate our children and have them for a huge portion of their day, are we going to have the appropriate influence on their lives that would make a difference for eternity?  I don’t know.  I realize that there are plenty of Christian schools that could do that job just fine, but we really felt like God gave us our children and we shouldn’t delegate the responsibility for raising them to anyone else.

The thing that I really love about homeschooling Jonathan right now is how I can weave eternal things into all our lessons.  When he gets frustrated about writing, we stop and pray.  We’re doing side-by-side history, so we can study Joseph and the pyramids at the same time!  I can see him growing both mentally and spiritually as I teach him, and the added benefit is that Hannah is learning right along with him.  I’m not doing anything formal with her, but she sits with us for phonics and even sounded out a few words the other day.  It’s really neat.  There aren’t strict grade divisions!  We’re all going to learn together!

Anthony’s favorite thing about homeschooling is that we are free to be a family on our schedule.  Like last night’s spontaneous sleepover: it wouldn’t have happened if Jonathan or the cousins had to be at school the next morning.  And because Jonathan was there during their school time this morning, he learned with them and it was no big deal.  Tomorrow morning is Saturday, but we’re going to do a bit of school anyways, because… why not?  A family from California that we’re really close to is planning a trip out here in September and Jonathan won’t have to miss a second of his best friend’s visit because he’s in school: we’ll just catch up another week.  We aren’t slaves to a school district’s calendar.  We are free to plan school around our family.

As far as how long we’re planning on homeschooling, I don’t know.  I loved finishing high school at home.  I had plenty of time to do normal teenage things and be with friends and I don’t regret not going to prom or any of that (Anthony reminds me that our huge wedding was way better than any prom!).  For my brothers, they really wanted to play sports, so they went to public school as freshmen and they did really well socially, academically, theatrically and athletically.  My youngest siblings have done a mosaic of independent study and charter school education for the last few years.   For this year, this is what we’re called to.  We’re going to pay close attention to what the Lord has planned for our kids in the years to come, because we figure He’s got it planned out a lot better than we do!

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About daniellaindie

I'm Anthony’s wife, and mother to Jonathan, Hannah, Joshua, and Isabella. When not making PBJs and cleaning, I like to write, immerse myself in a good book, play my piano, or plan epic couponing trips.

Posted on August 27, 2010, in Homeschooling, Mothering, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I love this post. Your thoughts reflect my own at this stage in life. Homeschooling is a privelege…one I’m not ready to miss out on, you know :-). And it dawned on me the other day that my oldest is going into 6th grade! HOW on earth am I this old??? And the schooling’s gone great. Both girls just got their STAR reports back and guess what? They seriously rocked them! See…I can say this with some excitement because–like every homeschooling mother, I assume–I spend the majority of each year wondering whether I’m ruining my children for future education (the socialization aspect…I’m not even worried about :-)). Which…only makes us try harder :-). So this year I go into things feeling more confident, and assured that I’m doing what’s right for my kids for this year. Next year perhaps they’ll be in public school, who knows. Although, I do find it funny that having been homeschooled much of my life, I NEVER wanted to homeschool my kids. And my public schooled husband…REALLY wanted us to. And while I don’t think homeschooling is for everyone, it’s where we’re at. And for the record, I think myself and every one of my siblings went to Prom. You didn’t miss much. ;-).

    • I don’t think that you are old… just your daughter! 😛 Of course your kids rocked their STAR tests, they have an awesome teacher! Aren’t you glad to be done with that pile of work from last year? I was having heart attacks looking at how much you had to pound through! I do have those moments of worry, too, but usually when I’m reading about some other 5-year-old homeschooler who’s memorized all the Latin declensions and is working on writing Hebrew.

      Are you actually considering putting the girls in public? No judgement, I’m just surprised, since you manage “it all” so well. 😉

  2. LOVE this post!!! We are right there with you with feeling we are called to make it soley our responsibility to teach these kids at home where God’s love, grace, mercy, etc. can be taught in every subject. We also love the flexibility of our schedule–we are going to the local art museum on Sunday to look for any art form that includes a horse (we’ve been studying horses and their place in history and science) and we may just make Monday an “easy” horse movie day. LOVE IT!! Thanks so much for putting my feelings into words.

  3. Good words, Dani, thought provoking, full of passion! John & I were talking just the other day about how FREE we were as homeschooling parents..free in schedule to travel, SHOW the kids places they would otherwise only view in a textbook or see on a tv screen, free to train them in character even before/as we taught and educated their minds (there’s a difference!), free to follow the Holy Spirit in how’s and what and ways we were to do things.

    Congratulations! Reading about “pioneers” is one thing, BEING one is another. Homeschooling parents are pioneers, finding the routes and pathways that work well for THEIR child’s individual style of learning. It’s such a privilege! [Plus, WE get to relearn all the “stuff” we were taught and forgot!! 🙂 ]

    Love ya!

  4. I’m not “seriously” thinking we’ll put them in public school next year, it’s just that I try to keep that possibility open. I don’t want to be so “set” in what I think is right or is working, that I miss what God has for us–even if that looks completely different than what I plan (or perceive as best). Just like I cater the kids’ education to fit their personalities and strengths / weaknesses…I always want to be open to the Lord catering my kids’ education in light of MY strengths and weaknesses. If that makes sense… 😉

    Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

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