We will start our tenth year of homeschooling after Labor Day. It’s hard to believe that my kids and I have been learning together for that long.
Those exhaustive years of babyhood and toddlerhood, the ones that seemed to have no end, are finally fading into the background as new challenges of intermediate, junior high, and high school arrives. Gone are the days when I constantly walked around exhausted and could barely think beyond the diapers and bottles. Back then, I put my dreams on hold, and some dreams were exchanged with different dreams (mainly of a good night’s sleep.) Survival mode seemed to be the only mode of my life. Oh, what a perspective years can bring!
This new season of motherhood is marked with more free time for me to pursue some of those dreams I put on hold back when the kids were little. The challenges are not as physical, like getting enough sleep or making sure your child was eating enough, but are much more emotional and spiritual, often fought in prayer in an unseen arena. There is more mentoring and coming alongside rather than directing and telling what or what not to do. There is compromise and companionship. For some strange reason, teenage years get a bad rap, but quite honestly, these are the most wonderful years I have enjoyed with my kids yet.
Joy, grace, growth, and love have been interwoven through all these years. Love and grace are so powerful it is the fuel that keeps us going. Every year, new opportunities present themselves, and we do our best to explore, embrace, and experience them. We can’t wait to see what this year holds- the good, the difficult, the challenges, the victories. Therefore, I am claiming this year to be one of great courage and perseverance as we keep our eyes focused on our academic tasks and community participation and continue striving to love God and others well.
Our homeschooling beginnings…
When 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 the educational system would be. I remember walking through our church with two homeschool moms and declaring something to the point, “I will never homeschool my kids.” One of the women laughed, looked at the other 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, and more prayer, we decided to try homeschooling. I found what education would mean for my children and 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 ten years, and homeschooling is undoubtedly 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, their patience and grace with me, and patience and grace with myself as we are challenged to learn, grow, and try new things. Education is a whole person, family, and 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 it in mighty ways in our lives.
This year, our homeschooling theme verse for 2022-2023 is:
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. ” Luke 18:1 (NIV)
Past School Year Pictures:
I love your theme verse chart! I want to make something like that for next school year.