Monday, August 11, 2008

Learning at Home ~ Part 1

This week we will be doing a series on homeschooling. Even if you do not 'school' your children at home you'll want to follow along and tap in on ways to make the most of the time when your children are at home with you.

I thought I'd start with our story as briefly as I can.

When Jeff and I were married he had a 3 year old daughter which he had custody of. So I jumped head first into the roll of mom. Her birth mom had very little to do with her and by the time she was 5 her birth mother had completely quit using her visitation rights and nver contacted her. There were constant behavior issues with her at home and at school. If I could go back and relive those early years of our marriage I would so many things differently, not that I regret marrying my husband but the way we parented her would be different. That's a whole different story for another day.

So she was in public school because that was all we knew. It was a CONSTANT struggle as she was in trouble at school all the time...just like at home. We even changed schools when she was in 4th grade.

I knew there were people that homeschooled in our area and I checked a couple books out from the library to read up on the subject. Jeff and I prayerfully considered teaching her at home and half way through her 4th grade year we took her out of the public school.

By this time we had two more children and within 4 years we had another one.

I spent that first semester teaching our daughter and we were both in tears. It was HARD!!! I had MANY, MANY days wondering if we were doing the right thing. The following school year our son would be starting his 'kindergarten' year. I WORRIED myself sick all summer if I was going to be able to teach him to read...after all how in the world do I know HOW to teach reading?

Something you need to know about me: As I grew up I HATED school, and that is putting it mildly. I struggled some when I was younger and my bother was a wiz at everything, thus my brother was labeled the "smart one", and me? Well, I was not so smart. By the time I hit high school I could not care any less and did the very minimum to pass. On graduation day I was placed second at the bottom of my class. I really didn't care! I served my time and was out of there!!!

I am confessing all of that to you just to say not only was I struggling with teaching my kids but I also had the curse of always feeling like I was not smart enough and just flat out not able. Family members had lots of raised eyebrows. :o/

Jeff was so encouraging, so supportive. He wanted what was best for his children and our family. He NEVER, EVER doubted me. In fact when I went into my worrying mode he always reminded it was because I knew I was weak that God would prove Himself strong and faithful.

Here we are, over 15 years later...still learning at home. I have NEVER regretted our choice. There are things I wish I had known when we first started, but I also feel like it was all part of the journey to get us where we are.

Our motives when we started home schooling are not our reasons we continue. Our convictions are so strong, but for different reasons. God has brought us so far and it is TOTALLY by His grace and glory, for which I am so thankful! This week I will share some of my favorite resources and more about the things I wish I had known 15 years ago! :o)

You won't want to miss Friday's installment of this series, I will have a special interview with a mom who was a public high school teacher and is now a homeschool mom with 7 beautiful children. I think you will be amazed at what she has to say. I admire her vision for education and life!


rcsnickers said...

I am so glad you are talking on this subject and I look forward to learning from your experience!

I too hated school growing up. Now I love it! :) What a joy homeschooling is even on the hardest of days!

oh yeah! I made my first fondant cake if you want to skip over and see it! :) It was fun to work with!!!!

Dana said...

Your timing for this series is perfect! Public school starts here tomorrow. Katie keeps asking when her school will start and I keep telling her "after Labor Day--when school is SUPPOSED to start!"

Seriously though, I worry about the responsibility of teaching the girls to read, among other things. One day at a time...that's all I can think about right now.