In the next few days we will officially call it an end of our first year of homeschooling. And I am going to celebrate! For so many reasons. A little over a year ago, as parents, Andrei and I made the decision that for the upcoming year I would homeschool our oldest, Nadya (1st grade) and have Nolan do some pre-K work.
Nadya was attending a private Christian school that we absolutely loved. They were so incredibly helpful and we got a lot of scholarship money. In spite of that, we had moved farther away, on pretty much the opposite side of town and I was driving 50+miles a day, that’s 250 mile a week for school. As we all know, gas is not cheap these days and that alone was adding up. That one expense would help out with our budget. Besides that, I just genuinely WANTED to give homeschooling a try. I must confess, ten years ago I would have laughed in your face if you had told me I would homeschool my children. But I thought who better than me to teach them while they are still little and young and hang on every word I say. I just saw it as an opportunity to really share a lot with my kids and instill in them principles I want them to know along with reading, writing and math.
So how did our year of homeschooling go?
There were definitely some tense moments. There were tears shed, teeth gritted, days ended abruptly, and harsh words spoken (by me and children). There was frustration and fear – had I made the right choice? But there was also grace and truth. Apologies spoken and hugs given. Wonder and total abandonment of our plans to enjoy whatever exciting topic we found ourselves intrigued by – (who knew Nadya and I would both want to live in the underground houses in Tunisia). And, there was a lot of learning. Thinking back on where Nadya was the first day in terms of reading and how well she is doing it now gives me great pride and joy. Nolan (4) has learned so much just from listening in and surprises me sometimes with the things he knows. I learned their strengths and weaknesses. I learned even more about my own. Homeschooling, or really parenting in general, is truly a work of sanctification in the parent. If I ever thought I had a temper, homeschooling brought it out even more. Same with impatience, laziness, lack of discipline, selfishness and I could go on. Due to all those bad qualities in me, my kids saw it and I hated that. There were also days of very little academic training but more character training. But it brought us closer together. Mama had to apologize for wasting the morning by reading (though, it is good for kids to see us relish a good book, there were definitely days I escaped in that.)Mama had to apologize for raising her voice. You get the picture. But we also got to celebrate some pretty fun milestones together. We learned some cool science facts together. And we had deep conversations that I’m not sure would have surfaced had we not had all day everyday together.
With the good and the bad we have decided to homeschool again this coming year. Surprisingly our reasons this time around a bit different and I’ve learned and grown a lot that will lead to changes I will make in our upcoming year. There are also things going on, potential travelling that is playing a role. I’ll share about those later, but for now, I am going to enjoy these last few days as we wrap up a pretty incredible year in my books. I am so glad I did this.
If you’ve ever had the smallest yearning to homeschool yours I encourage you to really think long and hard about it. It will be hard, there will be days that you decide you were indeed crazy to try it, but for us it was the right decision and it has been well worth it. Let me say that I in no way think homeschooling or even Christian schooling are the only options. There are so many options when it comes to schooling these days and I think each family has decide what is best for them. So many people have said, “Oh I could never homeschool my kids.” To that I say, If I can you can. If the desire is there, I think there’s a reason for that and you should consider it.