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Friday, May 17, 2013

On the Fence about Homeschooling?

Before I even begin this post, let me assure you that I am by no means an expert in the art of homeschooling. We are currently finishing our third year around here. I still search reviews, muddle through curriculum decisions and poor choices, and ask my 'mentors' a million questions I am, however, somewhat of an 'expert' on my own children--thanks to the good Lord above--and what I do and don't want their precious minds filled with. Cough-indoctrination-cough. I take seriously these words:

  • Proverbs 22:6~ Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. (NKJV)
  • Exodus 18:20~ And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. (NKJV)
  • Deuteronomy 6:7~ You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, and when you rise up. (NKJV)
You see, mama, the Lord gave you these precious children. Many of you cannot homeschool for financial reasons or others and I completely understand. Let me assure you, I didn't think I could either, and would never judge you (see our start here). However, I am thankful and blessed that not only has the Lord called me to do it, but He has blessed that effort, and carried us through every situation (that story is here). Even when I felt that I couldn't go on another moment. That I couldn't teach or discipline them one more moment, He stepped in and gave me strength. 2 Corinthians 12:9~ And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (NKJV)

The fruit from only three years? A close bond with all four of my kids. I KNOW them. A close bond BETWEEN the four of my kids, even though they are spread apart in ages--my boys are 12 and 14, my girls are 4 and 5. We learn together. We read and discuss our Bible together. We learn about God in Science, not just 'another theory' that changes three years later-we don't avoid those either, rather we use our Biblical 'lenses' to view them by. HE CREATED IT ALL. We learn about God in History--last year we did an amazing sweep through Ancient History, using the Bible as one of the main 'texts' for History with Heart of Dakota. They REALLY dug into the Old Testament and the New both--to see prophecy fulfilled and to 'see' Jesus in the Old Testament. My kids get to stay 'kids' for a little while longer-not worrying about who is allowed into the bathrooms with them, writing a sentence about giving up their constitutional rights, and learning about the socialistic agenda in Math. 

Best of all--they are coming to know God in a way that I never did at that age. My little girls amaze me. Even when they get a boo-boo and it heals, the say, "God healed it." Their childlike faith really inspires me. My 4 year old has had some issues with her eye. One day while flipping through her Children's Bible, she said, "I wish Jesus was still on earth so He could heal my eyes with mud." Wow.

It amazes me and humbles me that the Lord not only picked me for their mama, but that He always provides in our homeschool--even when I make the wrong choices. He redeems those. He carries us.

The 'learning' part? Well, both girls started writing at 3. The oldest started reading at 4. They can do a mean 'oral narration' or storytelling using pictures. The 5 year old STARTED they year doing simple addition, and now she can occasionally do some fractions. Geography? They got that down pretty good-where certain animals live, etc. The older boys? Same thing. They really seem to retain what they are learning. The 12 year old reads adult Christian fiction and inspiring biographies about Christian sports stars (he loves Basketball). No super formal writing program, but they can write a mean research and argumentative paper, as well as speech. I CANNOT keep them in books-I have had to acquire two additional bookshelves just to contain them. That brings our total to 5!! I DO NOT say this to brag--Math is awful around here--but rather to show you how the Lord provides for ME, a mama with a degree in Nursing, not Education, the ability and strength to teach my kids.

The most important part however, is their relationship to God, to their parents, and with each other. They have had numerous opportunities to serve in the church, guitar lessons, the Drama Team, and my oldest recently attended his first prom! Not a 'formal' public school prom, but one put on graciously by parents. They are surrounded with a loving community in our church-many whom are homeschoolers themselves.

I can't tell you what to do, but I can point you to the One who knows your heart. Who knows your kids and who loves all of you. Seek the Lord. 

I can say that it has been an enormous blessing in our lives. And the fun part? We go on awesome field trips whenever we want! Clearwater Aquarium, Battlefield sites, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, the beach--where we have seen/touched a live sand dollar, live starfish, and saw a dead jellyfish and sea turtle nests. Everyday, every moment is a learning opportunity for us. The girls studied a lot of ocean life last year and it was so amazing that they got to see it all LIVE to help the learning process. The 12 year old did some marine biology this year, so it helped him make connections too. It also helped us to 'avoid' the things we needed to avoid!!

If you are on the fence today sweet friend, seek the Lord. Call out to Him and ask Him to help you. To guide your path and to direct your steps. He is faithful to answer.

Have you considered homeschool? Do you currently homeschool? Share with us!

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  1. I currently home school my two older children. We are pulling our youngest out of school when the school year ends this year.Our oldest duaghter is in high school. Her biggest issue with school right now is that she would not have a prom or graduation. I know this is difficult for her because we live in a small there aren't many homeschoolers her age.The idea that you gave for a homeschool prom sparked an idea that may just work for my daughter and her youth group. Thank you.

    1. That is wonderful to hear! The prom was put on by a former homeschool mom whose children are now in public school. Members of the high school youth group, public and homeschool friends were invited as well. There are so many options available. We moved from a small area to a new state and where we are now, homeschooling is very common. God bless you!!

  2. I love sharing this journey with you, Jennifer. Please pray for us as we continue. I have lot of questions and uncertainties, but I know the Lord knows the way we'll go already.

  3. I love sharing it with you as we'll and consider you one of my mentors. The Lord knows your heart. He knows your questions and uncertainties. And He promises to direct your steps. Love you!

  4. Hi, Jennifer!
    I LOVE reading about your family :) You are right on about all these things and will bear the fruit with the help of the Lord! Stand strong and joy...and ask for wisdom for everything!! Praise God for what He is doing!

    1. Thank you so much! It has been an amazing journey to say the least. Yet when I listen, He guides. Blessings to you!

  5. We began homeschooling our two youngest children two years ago (the older ones are in college). It has been such a huge blessing to our family, too! God has been so faithful to us on this amazing journey!

    1. That is wonderful! What an amazing privelage-to homeschool!