What does it cost to homeschool? Well, the simple answer to this question is ...
If you decide to homeschool your children you will quickly find that homeschooling costs you much more than just money. Here are several things homeschooling has cost me over the last three years:
1. My time- all of it.
Whenever my two older children used to attend a Christian school from Monday-Thursday I had ample amount of time for myself. I only had 1 baby at home and was able to maintain a pretty clean house, invest many hours in photography, blogging, studying the Bible, and leisurely reading. I felt like I had everything under control and enjoyed having control (so I thought) over my home.
I never once considered homeschooling as an option for my children until the Lord began speaking to my heart. He spoke through books, people, and scripture. I told God that I didn't know how to homeschool and didn't even have the desire to do so. I asked the Lord to create in me the desire to homeschool my children if that was what He wanted for our family. It wasn't long after that when my heart was turned to my children and the desire to truly invest in the lives of my children was ignited. After much prayer, and then much, more prayer, I decided to obey the Lord and homeschool our children. It was no longer about my preference anymore, but about obeying the Lord and His will for our family. Once I began homeschooling, I quickly learned that my time is not my own. Instead of spending all my extra time reading by myself, I now spend that time reading to all of my children. Instead of spending hours learning new photography techniques, I used that time to teach my4 year old daughter how to read! Instead of studying the Bible on my own, I now spend each morning and evening studying God's Word with my family. Instead of blogging each day about my life, I am now truly living life to the fullest with my children as we grow in the Lord. My time is not my own, but it never really was my own. I'm so thankful that the Lord is helping me redeem the time because life is too short to waste hours on things that do not matter. I will never look back on life and wish I would have had more time for myself.
"Only one life 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last."
2. My friends/families approval.
I lost that all in one single day.
The day I announced I was homeschooling, I was instantly opposed and attacked. I wasn't prepared to answer a million different questions about socialization, my kids missing out on prom, sports, among many other things that I consider a blessing for my kids to miss out on. Thankfully, most of the ones that opposed me in the beginning, now actually support our decision. Perhaps they now see the many blessings of homeschooling. I have learned that it's not my job to defend the reasons we homeschool. I just simply tell them that this is what the Lord has called me to do.
3. My self-sufficient/proud spirit-
Homeschooling is SO MUCH MORE than academics. It is 24/7/365.
Homeschooling brings every hidden thing to light- pride, self-sufficiency, laziness in disciplining children, lack of patience, selfishness, among many other different sins. Homeschooling has been one of the biggest instruments the Lord has used to bring me to Him and to purify my heart and the hearts of my children.
Without my relationship with Jesus I could never homeschool. Seriously. There is absolutely no way I could have the patience or the love that drives me to lay down my life day after day for the lives of my children. I no longer look at prayer as something I should do, but something that I MUST do, that I DESIRE to do each day. Spending time with the Lord each morning is something I look forward to doing. Gone is my self-sufficient spirit that tries to homeschool and train my children in my own strength, although I still fail at times and am reminded quickly how much I need Him and His Spirit living through me enabling me to do the impossible.
I'm sure there is much more that homeschooling has cost me over the years, but the cost of not obeying the Lord would have cost me much more. I may have given up a few things to homeschool, but have gained much more in blessings than I can count!