We start our sixth year of homeschooling on Labor Day. It’s hard to believe I’ve been homeschooling for this many years, more than half the number of years of my public school teaching experience. It’s amazing to see how quickly my children are changing, growing in beautiful ways, and learning to embrace the unique person God made them to be.
It feels like yesterday when each hour, each season of babyhood and toddlerhood seemed to have no repetitive end. I walked around in a constant state of exhaustion. I was barely able to think beyond the diapers and bottles. Some dreams were put on hold, some dreams exchanged with new dreams (dreams mainly of a good night’s sleep.) Survival mode seemed to be the only mode of my life. Oh, what a little perspective of years can bring! That most exhausting period of time was also the most transformation time of my life so far.
Interwoven in the surviving and thriving was joy, grace, and a lot of growth and love. Love and grace so powerful it was the fuel that kept me going. In the refueling moments, my foggy mind started to clear just enough to think in complete sentences again. It was in this time, new opportunities presented themselves. Opportunities to be explored, embraced and be experienced. New dreams were born.
Right around the time my daughter turned three, I started to think more seriously about what education would be like for my children and what my future place in educational system would be. I remember walking through our church with two homeschool moms and declaring something to the point of “I will never homeschool my kids.” One of the women laughed and looked to the woman and said, “She will. Just wait and see.” At the time, my pride was irritated by the thought that someone would dare think they knew me better than I knew myself. Yet, somewhere deep inside my heart, I knew there was truth (and love) in her statement.
The next few years proved her right! After much prayer, MANY discussions, more prayer, we decided to give homeschooling a try. Not only did I find what education would mean for my children but also what it would mean for me. A new teaching position in a new setting. My kids, my home. A position I feel I was being prepared for long before the thought of homeschooling ever crossed my mind.
Fast forward six years, homeschooling is without a doubt one of the best decisions we’ve made for our family. It is a full-time commitment, often requiring much sacrifice and patience. LOTS of patience. Patience and grace with my children and patience and grace with myself as we are challenged to learn, grow, and try new things. Education is a whole person, whole family, all-areas-of-life experience in our home.
At the beginning of each school year, I pray about a verse to focus on, memorize, and pray God will use in mighty ways in our lives. This year, our homeschooling theme verses are:
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31 New International Version (NIV)
It’s a new season, a new school year, new ideas are flooding my head, new dreams are being placed on my heart. In school, we have a newly organized school room, a new “schedule,” new books, new crayons (LOVE the those new crayons,) new skills to master, new challenges to accept, new ways to learn. I feel like this is a start of all things new and I’m praying we would be able to perceive the new things God is doing in our lives in very new, tangible ways. Here’s to a great new year and all it holds!!
Past School Year Pictures: 2017-2018