School started last week in our area. Summer break is getting shorter and shorter. The stores have been packed with shopping carts full of folders, pens, pencils, tablets, and more. Parents have started posting on Facebook about their excitement that the kids are going back.
My kids didn’t go.
That may come as a surprise to some of you. I have only recently started saying it out loud. The last person I said it to told me she wished she had homeschooled. So far I’ve only been met with support. I know that’s not always the case, and I’m sure I will hear from those against.
It’s not a decision that was made lightly. It’s something that has been on my heart since before I had kids. It’s something that has been covered in years of prayer. It’s a God led decision.
With homeschooling, we can work at our own pace. There’s no rushing to cover as much as we can as fast as we can to start preparing for a test. We can study whatever makes my crazy little boys light up and gives them a love of learning. We can start our “school” day with prayer. We can read the bible and talk about God’s influence in everything.
My kids are special (as are all kids). They learn differently (as do all kids). My 6-year-old loves to take things apart and figure out how they work. He can look at something and figure out a better way to do it. My 4-year-old loves animals. He uses words like carnivore, herbivore and omnivore correctly. As I’m writing this he has his animals all lined up and his brother just used a screwdriver to “fix” a toy so he could play with it the way he wanted.
We would miss out on these joys and countless others if they were sitting behind a desk. Sometimes my 6-year-old finds it easier to remember things when he’s standing on his head. He calls it his best thinking. That’s certainly not allowed at the brick building down the road.
Yesterday as we were working on writing our letters, my oldest insisted he needed quiet to do it properly. He made the first line down for the A and then the second line down. He then announced that to make the line across he needed it to be LOUD! His brother was more than willing to accommodate that request. Suddenly the house went from quiet to loud, the line was made followed by several more loud A’s and we ended the lesson in a fit of giggles at the silliness of it all.
We don’t have a classroom in our house. We have a living room floor, a dining room table, a couch, a bed, a front yard, and a backyard. Maybe it doesn’t look like what people think schooling should look like, but it works for us. These boys are learning, sometimes more and faster than I realize at the time.
We love the freedom homeschooling gives us. Both of their birthdays fall during the school year. We have the freedom to take those days off and do whatever we want together. If we want to take a family vacation in the middle of September, we can. If we had to get up at 6 in the morning to get to school in time, the boys would have to go to bed earlier. If they had to go to bed earlier we would miss that family time we get in the evenings. How many kitchen dance parties would we miss out on?
This is what works for us right now. If your kids are in public school, maybe that’s what works for you. Maybe that’s where God has led your family. And that’s okay with me. This decision, as are all decisions about our kids, is a personal one and what works for us may not work for you.
This is not the post I thought I was writing today. This isn’t what I thought I would be sharing. But it is what was on my heart.
I was hiding, but I’m not going to hide anymore. I’m going to be proud of the decision we’ve made because I know that it’s the best one for our boys. If people ask what grade they’re in or where they go to school, I’m not going to be afraid to answer honestly.
We are homeschooling, and we are loving it.