Our Unexpected Homeschool Journey
Over the years, I have seen a lot of people give reasons why they can’t homeschool their children.
I understand it, I really do. Before I started homeschooling my son, I was convinced that I would never be able to do it, either.
Two weeks before my son asked me to homeschool him, I was talking with a couple of ladies I’d recently met. When I found out that they homeschooled, my first reaction was something along the lines of, “I’m sure it’s great, but y’all are nuts.” (Yes, I live in the South!)
Our Unexpected Homeschool Journey
Fast forward a couple of weeks to my son’s first day at his new school. We had recently moved to a new state, and in the process, had vetted a number of schools in the area. We chose the one we felt would be a great match for him.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
It turned out that the educational laws in our new state were very different from those in the state we had moved from. (The first allowed progression by readiness, the second solely by age.) As a result, he was required to repeat almost two full years of school.
He left for his first day of first grade excited to learn; he came home crying and begging me to homeschool him.
I was caught off guard, to say the least. I thought it was probably just the first couple of weeks of school being review and getting a baseline for where all the students were at.
So, like any helpful classroom mom, I offered to tear out worksheets and put them in folders for the coming weeks. You know, to help the teacher out, so her focus could be on her students.
I took all the workbooks home and spent the morning organizing all the pages. I found out my son really had learned all the material two years before.
When I returned that afternoon, I asked the teacher if this was for the first quarter, first semester, or if she had a different schedule.
She proudly announced that the bundle I’d brought back was the work for the entire year and thanked me for getting it done so quickly.
She then took me aside and told me, in no uncertain terms, that my son was “an extreme problem child” and “severely ADHD,” and that he “will be medicated if he is to remain in my classroom.”
I was speechless.
On the way home from school, I told my son that I would be happy to homeschool him. I would need a few days to research the legalities and find materials, but I was willing to do it.
The following week, we started homeschooling. That was 14 years ago, and we have never looked back.
Is Homeschooling Worth It?
I can’t say that the past 14 years have been easy or smooth, but honestly, what parenting journey is? As parents, we are raising our children to be able to take on challenges, learn from mistakes, and do whatever they can to make a difference.
Those are not things that come easily.
Homeschooling encompasses all of this. I like to describe it as “parenting with academics thrown in.” Again, this does not come easily.
It is, however, worth it in every way.
My son is now 20. He is a senior in college, preparing for his future and pursuing his goals. His path is not a traditional one, but it is one that fits him perfectly.
He has successes and failures, like anyone else, but he actively learns from them and seeks to use them to grow. He also mentors others to do the same.
In choosing things to pursue, the first question he asks is, “God, is this what you want me to do?” If the answer is a clear “yes” or “no,” that is the path he takes. He may not always be comfortable with it, but he is obedient to God’s call.
If the answer is unclear, his second question is, “Is it worth it? Will it make a difference?”
He chooses to spend his time doing what will bring the truth of Christ to the people he’s given to reach. That is something that is rarely easy, but it’s always worth it.
To me, this is worth every minute of lost sleep, every headache over which curriculum to choose.
It is worth the in-depth discussions that kept me researching and the silly times of just hanging out.
The Most Important Job
There is no more important job that I could have been doing over the past decade and a half. I wasn’t always sure of it at the time – we never are in the midst of the task – but looking back, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that homeschooling my son was well worth it.
Are you “in the midst” right now, wondering if you’re making a difference? Please, let me be the one to tell you that you are.
Everything you do, whether it seems large or small, is making an impact on your children’s lives. This is an impact that will go far beyond what you can now imagine.
You’ve got this, mama. You’re making a difference that will be felt for years to come. Be encouraged, be strengthened, and be present with your kids. It’s worth it.
Written by Jennifer Duncan from Helping Hand Homeschool