April 13, 2010

Gratituesday – Lessons learned in our first year of homeschooling

Posted in Faith at 9:59 am by Stacy

As I come upon the close of our first year of homeschooling I’m enjoying looking back on what I’ve learned this past year.   The most important lessons learned are more I and my children.    The things that I thought were most important have become not so important and those things that I thought insignificant in our school have become vital to our education.   If I were to boil down the most important lessons that I learned this year they would be:  calling, obedience, discovery and support.

God has called our family to home school.  The success that I’ve had this year and the desire to continue homeschooling would not be there if it weren’t true.   I just didn’t wake up one morning and decide to home school.  It started as a slow desire that wouldn’t go away and many different “signs” that pointed the way for us to school at home.  I was content with my part time job and the benefits that it brought our family, but I also felt a pull to come home.    I was very content with Bethel Boy’s teachers and knew they were doing the best they could.  Yet, I was concerned about the lack of time being spent on students like Bethel Boy – middle of the road, not behavior problems or distractions (teacher’s time was being spent with students who were behavior problems or those that were either excelling or struggling.)  I was faced with two choices: either go to school each day with Bethel Boy to make sure he was doing his work and learning or bring him home and teach him here.   Talking with my husband about our choices made me realize there was really only one choice and that the gentle tugging of my heart strings by God was His way of saying “come home.”

Like all callings or decisions we are faced with challenges right away.   Sometimes those challenges cause us to not obey fully what God has called us to do.  As soon as our decision was made we faced cuts to our family budget due to my no longer working outside the home and the pay cut that my husband took in his job due to the State’s budget crisis.   I had our “core” but still needed a few pieces of our curriculum puzzle to be complete.   Someone told me the benefits of joining the Charter School.   I thought this was great, I would be able to home school and have someone else pay for the missing pieces to our curriculum.  I also decided to babysit for two little boys four days each week.  These decisions are not bad ones, but I know in my heart I did not fully trust the Lord to provide for us.   I ended up dropping the Charter half way through the school year; it just wasn’t the right “fit” for our family.   The child care will end with the traditional school year.  If I had trusted God and obeyed fully I know that money would have been there for the curriculum that was needed and the distraction to our school day would not have been there.

I’ve learned that I have awesome kids!  I’m getting to know my kids and what makes them tick.  They are getting to know each other.   One of the best things about home schooling is that my kids are becoming friends!   I never would have thought that with three years between my kids and the gender difference that they would enjoy spending time together.   I love the days when I hear them in the backyard playing together.  Since coming home I would say we are a more cohesive family unit, we are having fun together –learning and playing

I am so glad that I discovered the support and fellowship that is offered in my homeschooling group.   I didn’t realize how much that homeschooling is a lifestyle.  It helps to have those that understand that lifestyle surround you.  Having that support also helps when those moments come when you are forget why you chose to home school.  In December I had a few days of home schooling that were very tough.  I was at the end of my rope, ready to send Bethel Boy back to public school.   I went to the homeschooling group email list and sent out an SOS.  The love and support that I found there kept me going.  I wonder if I would be looking forward to our 2nd year of homeschooling as much as I am if I didn’t have the love and support of the group.   The lesson learned is that you need others to help you on the journey.   Home schooling can get lonely; especially on those long grey winter days stuck inside at home.  Knowing there are others that are going through the same things and are able to pray and support you is a wonderful thing.

I have always heard that it takes a few years to get into the grove of homeschooling.  I would say that it is true for us.   I look forward to our second year being one where we are obedient to the calling that God has given us, where I am continuing to learn to obey God fully.  I can’t wait to find out more about my children, especially as I start schooling Bethel Girl.   I also look forward to plugging in deeper to the support, enrichment and fellowship of my homeschooling group.

Head on over to Heavenly Homemakers for more Gratituesday posts.


1 Comment »

  1. […] Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers): This post about lessons I learned this first year of homeschooling. […]

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