Home Education

Thankful for the Homeschool Journey

Join Blog Contributor Cecselie as she discusses being thankful for the homeschool journey.

My son will graduate in the Spring of 2019. I have been looking back over our homeschooling journey, and while it hasn’t been easy, I can honestly say that it has been well worth the effort.

Homeschooling was definitely the right decision for our family.

When I look back, the only regret I have is that it took me a year or so to break out of the traditional public school mindset.

At first, our homeschool looked just like what a traditional day at public school would look like. I was very regimented and so afraid that my children would not get a good education at home. What I had working in my favor was a monumental love for my children.

So, I adjusted my homeschooling methods to meet the individual needs of my children. My two children are complete opposites. I had to create curricula that ministered to their individual needs. I am thankful that homeschooling allowed me the freedom to explore my kid’s unique talents and interests.

The Beginning of the Journey

Bible lessons have been a part of our homeschooling days from the very beginning. My husband and I created and managed the youth department at our church for many years. I can remember a time when I tried to get the kids to memorize scriptures. The parents revolted.

I was shocked that these “church folks” were objecting to their children being asked to learn scriptures. I mean doesn’t the Bible say that we should write the word of God upon the tables of our hearts and meditate on it day and night? Well, they were having none of that.

Memorizing the scriptures has been a part of our homeschooling journey from the beginning. I am grateful that homeschooling has allowed me to put my kids on the path to a lifelong relationship with God. More than anything that I have taught them, I feel this is the most important.

A relationship with God will sustain them long after I am gone.

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Part of the Journey

The stories on the news about teachers molesting kids and school shootings are becoming more frequent. Home educating my children has given them the ability to be educated in a nurturing and safe environment. I am so grateful for that.

It has been heartbreaking to witness what has been taking place in this country. People are becoming more hostile, making communities less safe. I cannot imagine what it does to the psyche of a child to see these stories on the nightly news and then, be expected to walk into the public school setting on a daily basis.

As a parent, the fear of the unknown would drive me crazy. I actually have some apprehension about my son going to college. When I was in college, a woman had a mental breakdown in class one day. She started quoting scriptures and shouting out in class. Then, she left the class saying that she was going to her car but she would be back.

I was an adult working on a graduate degree in a classroom filled with very young adults at the time. After a few moments of complete silence, I stood up in the class and said, “I am not sitting here in this classroom waiting for her to get back from her car. I am getting out of here right now. Class is dismissed!”

We all scattered! Later, we heard that she had a full blown mental breakdown and was sent away to get treatment. To this day, it makes me fearful to think about how vulnerable you are in a classroom. You don’t know what the person sitting next to you may be going through.

I know that I can’t protect my children from the world but, I am grateful that we have had this precious time where they could be at peace and feel safe in school.

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More Benefits of the Homeschooling Journey

Another benefit of homeschooling has been my awakening as a parent. I feel that I have been educated right along with my kids. I have learned that so much of what I was taught in school is not true.

We are fed lies from the cradle to the grave about history and so much more. I have learned to question everything, do my own research, and not just blindly accept what I am told. It has really challenged me and changed my worldview.

What’s the saying, “the hunter will always be the hero until the lion has his own historian.”

I am most grateful for the time that I have had with my children. I have gotten to spend each day loving them and getting to know who they are.

As a result, we are a very close knit family. We really enjoy being together. Recently, my family was at the movie theater. After the movie ended, a woman approached our family and said that she thought it was remarkable to see a family with teens together on a Friday night.

We thought nothing of it, but according to this precious woman, families are going in different directions and not hanging out together anymore. She thought it remarkable to see a family hanging out and enjoying time together.

So, I am grateful that God has blessed our family with precious time to just be together. Homeschooling has been a gift to our family, and I am so thankful for that.

CHIME IN: Share some of your memories made during your homeschooling journey in the comments below!

Blog Contributor, Cescelie, recently started a blog! Visit her at Reclaiming My Time!

Home Education

5 Surprising Benefits of Homeschooling You May Not Have Considered

Most homeschooling families have already started their new year, while others are gearing up for it. On the other hand, perhaps you are part of the many who might be thinking about homeschooling your children.

When you’re on the cusp of making this choice it’s important to consider the benefits, especially when navigating through the negative. While some of the positives are obvious, others are a little more unexpected. So, let’s talk about five surprising benefits of homeschooling that you may not have considered yet.

No Longer a Slave to the School Schedule

One of the biggest benefits that parents often forget about homeschooling is that it means that you don’t have to wake up at 6am to pack the lunches and send the kids off for the day. You also don’t necessarily have to make sure things are completed by a certain time, and life can become more flexible. Of course, it’s great to have a routine, but if you need to break it every now and then, you can. Deviating from the schedule isn’t as bad as it seems, especially for making any much needed changes and/or to get through the homeschool slump. Not to mention, if you get ahead on learning, there’s certainly nothing stopping you from tweaking your schedule!

The flexibility of homeschooling allows us to take the necessary breaks for feast day observance, other special day breaks (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.), and for any unexpected mishaps. Breaking it down to day-by-day scheduling, there are times when we aren’t starting by 8am… some days we do! Being released from the public/private school schedule opens a whole new door of possibilities.

Keeping Your Kids Safe

It’s fair to say that schools have become more dangerous in these recent days, as well as the roadways. If kids are walking to school or going to catch the bus, they can be at risk of drivers on the road who aren’t paying attention. Ask any serious injury attorney, and they’ll tell you children are more at risk of getting hit by a car than adults. Several years ago, in my semi-small town in western Kentucky, we actually had an incident of a child getting hit by a car after getting off the school bus. While I don’t like to ponder on the what-if’s, I’d be crazy to be oblivious to the possibility of something happening to one of my children.

Another safety consideration that raises my mama bear alarm is the growing violence in schools. Parents of public/private schooled children hope that once their children reach the school gates, they’re safe, but the news proves otherwise. Homeschoolers may be seen as sheltering crazies, but one thing is for sure, school violence is avoided for us!

Individual Learning

Not to beat a dead horse, but a major problem with the current school system is the fact that individual learning isn’t really supported. Contrary to belief, not all children learn in the same way. Some kids learn by reading the textbook while others learn by being hands on. Many more find audio learning the most effective option. In schools, every child is filtered through the same system. At home, the child can use whichever learning method is most helpful for them.

I’m a huge advocate of going where the needs lead and could care less if any of my children take a standardized test ever in their lives. We are a unit studying, notebooking, YouTube and Netflix watching, hands-on learning kind of homeschooling family. These types of learning styles provide my kiddos with enriched learning and gives me lots of opportunities for working with them individually or collectively, no matter that age, grade, or level.

Spend More Time Together

The term stir-crazy may come to mind when you think about spending more time with your kiddos, but look at it this way… Once your child goes to school, you will lose a lot of time due to them being in the care of someone else for a full time job’s worth of hours. With homeschooling, you can be right there with them as they work their way towards college or entrepreneurship.

Outside looking in, our family thinks we are crazy because we are able to spend so much time together. But here’s the thing… we are a product of those we spend the most time with. I would rather my children be around me and their dad, learning from us versus learning the morals, values, and beliefs of others – especially if they contradict ours.

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Put the Focus Where It’s Needed

You might find that your child excels in math and struggles in English. Or perhaps they are awesome in chemistry but can’t stand physics. With homeschooling, you will be able to focus on the subject they’re struggling with and spend less time on the one that they excel at. This saves them from boring classes where they are well ahead of the rest of the class and stops them from being passed over in lessons where they could really use an extra helping hand.

Don’t be afraid to go where the needs lead! Most new homeschoolers get tripped up over trying to work in every subject, every day when you don’t necessarily have to! In Anita Gibson’s book, S.T.A.R. Finder, she goes into amazing detail about focusing on the areas that matter (weaknesses) all while continuing to fashion the strengths. (Check out our interview here)

When it comes down to it, there are many more benefits to homeschooling than what I talked about. My biggest piece of advice to you if you’re considering it, but haven’t quite made that leap yet is JUST DO IT. There is support through homeschool advisors (I’d love to help you) and support groups galore (join ours on Facebook)! Don’t be afraid to reach out and get help with getting your journey started.

CHIME IN: Are you thinking about homeschooling but haven’t made the leap yet? What’s stopping you? I’d love to hear from you so leave your response in the comments below.