LIFE CHOICES

The “Why” Behind The Mess By Kristina

My decision to homeschool was not an easy one. Homeschooling was not on my radar. I didn’t know much about it except all of those “stories” you hear. The idea to homeschool came to my husband. His sister started to homeschool her children with much success. I still was reluctant to the idea.

So we weighed our options. Public school was a big no. We both went to public school and did not have wonderful experiences with it. Plus the influence of the other kids was a big factor. The next option was private school, which costed an arm and a leg. We were already tight on money. So really the only option we saw was to homeschool.

I had a lot of doubt and worried. I was a dropout GED kid. What could I offer my child educational wise? But with a lot of prayer I finally accepted to try it for at least a year. I mean it was only kindergarten.

Then the other tough decision had to be dealt with. What curriculum to use. I really didn’t have a clue where to start. It was a whole new world to me. I didn’t have any homeschool friends to lean on. I really didn’t have any friends to lean on. So I did the big mistake. I googled curriculum….. And spent half a night being overwhelmed with all the options. At least I knew I wanted christian curriculum. That narrowed it down a little bit. But I was getting overwhelmed with all of the options. And which one is “best”. And what subjects should I teach. What is cost efficient. How does this even work! My head was spinning. So I finally did what I should have done in the first place. I prayed. I asked for guidance. I put it in God’s hands. Let me tell you that this should always be the way to start. Because within 30 minutes I found the curriculum that was perfect for us. I had peace about it. It was an amazing weight taken away!

I went with My Father’s World. It was a Charlotte Mason based curriculum. A lot of hands on crafts, and experiments. Lots of nature. Perfect for my growing boy! A wonderful curriculum to start exploring this world and all of God’s creations.

Now that I am on my 5th year of homeschooling things are not so simple. A lot has changed. I now have 3 kids. I basically have triplets! We adopted twin girls the same age as our son. So basically three 10 year olds. Because of the girls backgrounds that brings on all new challenges. Ones that I never saw coming. My son doesn’t have that spark for school anymore. Now it is fights to get him to do his work thoroughly. The girls have learning delays that take more hands on to get them to understand. And then the next day they completely forgot EVERYTHING, so we have to start over. This is on top of doing 3 loads of dishes, 4 loads of laundry, dishing out chores, running to groups and activities, making 3 meals, plus snacks, and trying to keep my sanity every single day! I seem to get lost in all of the daily struggles. I start to ask why did I choose the homeschooling life. Would it be better to just send them to school?

It gets hard to take a breathe and look back at why I decided after the first year that homeschooling was for us. Why I chose to never have a moment to myself! But there are days I need to remember. I need that bright eyed, hopeful look that I had those years ago. I sometimes feel like if I can just hold on to those ideas then I can make it!

So here it is. The reasons why I chose to continue homeschooling. After the first year I looked at me and my son’s relationship. And we were better than we had ever been. We were on a whole new level of bonding. A whole new level of trust. I got to see when a lesson finally “clicks”. Those eyes of excitement when he learns something new. Those days that we just got to go to a park because it was beautiful. Or the days that we just went to a museum for fun. We get to explore the world together. I get a whole new journey of learning. I get to have control on what influences are allowed in my children’s life. I don’t have to deal with my kids coming home from school telling me all the inappropriate things they learned from other kids( I had this many times with the girls before I was able to homeschool them). Instead I get to hear about what they learned about the bible, or what amazing animal fact they stumbled upon. I get to experience new things with my children. We make each other better. My kids get to learn what hard work is. They get to learn integrity and honor. And I get be be there to see all of it.

There are way too many days that I forget about the “why”. Most days it is hard to take a step back and see the whole picture. But I am pushing myself to take more breaths and see the everyday wins. Those wins are how I know we are learning, even if my children just continue to look at me with that blank face! Those wins help me realize I am not failing at this homeschool thing, because most days I feel that I am.

So I encourage you to take a step back on those hard days. Everyone has those days. Take some time and remember your “why” behind homeschooling. And hold on to that.