I have always loved school. I remember when I was young, one of the most exciting days of the year was the first day of school. I loved the school supplies, the new shiny books, the colorful posters on the wall that hinted at the exciting themes in the year to come. So naturally, in college, I chose to major in Elementary Education. I loved my homework- to create lesson plans and thematic units! I graduated and began teaching junior highers at a small Christian school. In my three years there, I taught a variety of classes, including Bible, English, and Math. I enjoyed creating lesson plans and seeing the progress my students made from the beginning of the year to the end.
I knew quite a bit about homeschooling- my mother had homeschooled my younger brother and sister in elementary school due to some difficulties in their school system. I saw first-hand that they had a rich education that my mother provided for them and some really amazing experiences. She placed them back in school in junior high and they did extremely well. I had a few friends in college who had poor opinions of homeschooling and I would argue with them how it could be extremely beneficial- it truly was the best thing for my brother and sister. However, despite this, since I loved school, I always assumed I would send my children to school. I wanted that wonderful experience for them that I had myself.
I married a wonderful guy year after I graduated. Our early conversations about children and education were abstract and dreamy. I discovered, when I was dating him, that he had been very impressed by the homeschooled kids that he knew in high school. He was impressed by their character, their maturity, and their opportunity to go as fast in math as they wanted to! He began to think then that if his future wife was willing, he would like his kids to be homeschooled. In my conversations with him about this, I mentally brushed this opinion aside. I wanted to send my kids to school; I didn’t want to take such a wonderful experience away from them.
After my three years teaching junior high, we moved. I secured a part-time job teaching at the homeschool co-op at our new church. I taught Bible, English, and History to 2nd-6th graders. I was in the office one day, preparing some material for my class, when I overheard a conversation the administrator of the school was having with a prospective parent. The first question the administrator asked this mother was, “Does your husband support this decision to homeschool your daughter?” This question- this very first question she asked- struck me powerfully. My husband had never pushed this issue, but I knew that homeschooling would be his preference for his children, if his wife was willing. How could I casually brush his opinion aside as if only mine mattered? I felt incredibly convicted to consider the idea. In the following months, as I did just that, I fell in love with the whole thing. I began researching and reading up on homeschooling and since I was teaching in a homeschool co-op and surrounded by the homeschooling community, I went to their houses and saw what they did. I did see some things I wouldn’t personally choose to do of course, but altogether, I got so excited about this adventure and I became very convinced that educating my children was the best thing I could do for them.
As I reflect on this journey God has taken me through to call our family to homeschooling, I am so incredibly thankful. I am an emotional, passionate girl who can get carried away by my excitement for some current idea. Therefore, I have found that it is best to take my emotions into account but yet not base my decisions on them. It is a gift to me that he first convicted me as a matter of submission to consider homeschooling and then graciously provided me with passion and enthusiasm and excitement over the prospect. Therefore, I have the conviction of God’s calling when things are hard and I doubt myself and my abilities. And I have my excitement and passion to make this homeschooling adventure fun! What a gracious and wonderful God we serve!