Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Homeschooling Through Difficulties- (Is it possible?)

I actually wrote this several months ago, but thought I should post it to help encourage some of you who may be discouraged because homeschooling isn't going the way you planned. Sometimes giving our children an education doesn't look the way we'd expect.

It’s not a secret to those around us that our family has been through some difficult times the last 6 months. In the last 6 months we have had some BIG events- the birth of our precious baby girl Elizabeth Joy, serious medical problems, illness, moving 2 times, caring for my dad after a surprise triple bypass surgery, and trying to build a new home in the midst of all this. So people wonder- is it even possible to do school at home in the midst of caos? At every outing, I am always asked by someone how home school is going and if we have been able to keep up with school lately. Well, it depends on what you define as “schooling”. I tend to be a perfectionist at heart. I LOVE schedules and order and predictability! When I don’t have those I tend to feel a bit (a lot) freaked out. I have learned over the 6 years of home schooling that home schooling is a journey and is ever-changing. There are different seasons in life just as there are different seasons in home schooling and that’s o.k. One year you may spend more time on Math skills and the next on character development. Over the years I have learned that educating my children is much more than curriculum. This year home school has (so far) been a lot less of filling my children’s minds with facts, dates, and information and more of teaching them about things you can’t learn from a book- compassion, responsibility, hard work, seeing a baby as a blessing and not a burden, patience, love, faithfulness, serving others, and the sobering lesson that we’re not promised tomorrow with our loved ones. In saying this, I am not saying that curriculum isn’t important, but that there is way more to a good, wholesome education that can’t be purchased at a home school book fair. So far in this school year my children have been learning about life, not from a book, but by living it. So the answer to your question about how home schooling is going is that it’s going great! I love living daily life with my children and thank God that I still live in a country where home schooling my children is legal, and for the freedom to teach my children from a Biblical perspective. There are always those who are “concerned” that my children might “fall behind”, (I’ve dealt with those fears too) but I can assure you that I have seen the opposite. In Missouri it is optional to academically test a child, but I have chosen to test them each year for the last 4 years and am happy to say that their scores are beyond average on almost every level! Each one of my children have strengths and weaknesses, as do I. My 7 year old daughter’s test scores were saying that she was at a 4th grade level in a few things! I’m not saying this because I’m proud at heart, but to calm your fears that my children are not learning enough. I personally don’t depend upon my children’s test scores to tell me if we are excelling or failing as a home school family. God has given all mothers the ability to know how to teach and train their children without depending on man-made measuring. I honestly don’t believe a wholesome education can ever be measured. We still plan to use our curriculum this year and have been using it. Will you be able to find gaps in my child’s education? Yes, I’m sure you will. There are gaps in EVERY child’s education no matter if your child home schools, goes to a christian school, or public school. My ultimate goals in home schooling is that my children will have a life-long love of learning, be able to communicate well through writing and speaking, be able to financially support a family for the boys, be fully trained to be a keeper of the home for the girls, and to do ALL things for the glory of God as they live out their unique callings given to them by God.
So, is it possible to give children a wholesome education through difficulties? Yes, not only a wholesome education, but an education that they will remember for a lifetime!

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