June 9, 2010

Homeschool ~ Why Did We Begin?


We are not a perfect family. We are not perfect parents. AND we do not have perfect children. BUT we DO have a perfect Saviour! The Lord Jesus Christ IS perfect ~ and He does ALL things well. How graciously He leads us along. How patient He is with us. We are constantly in a state of change (hopefully for the better) and He NEVER needs improvements ~ HE is perfect! What a wonderful thing to REST in His all-sufficiency...we certainly need HIM each step of this journey!
AND it is because HE has redeemed our lives from destruction
that we desire to raise our children for HIM ~ only HIM.

Where did our journey to homeschool begin?

We began (prior to having children) in the "public-school-is-best" camp.
That was how both Howie and I were educated ~
consequently we assumed our children would be educated in the same way.

No question!

No worries!

No further thought was given to the matter.

When our first baby came along, we began to question, to worry and to think more on the subject. We had five years before it would become an issue ~ which, at the time, seemed like an eternity! Meanwhile, friends of ours began homeschooling their children.
We knew some on this path already, but it didn't grip our conscience.
We thought they were all CRAZY!
AND we thought that God would NEVER call us to do such a thing! :)

When the time came for Kindergarten, we enrolled our fistborn in the little local Christian school.
This, we thought, was the very best option for our family.
In the background, my heart was pulled in the direction of home education. Quietly and steadily I was being drawn, but Howie was not. He was in no way leaning toward homeschool.
It was not an option.

Babies continued to be welcomed into our home. At the rate of about one every two or two and a half years. I was always either nursing or expecting ~ demands on Mum were high. Year after year our children went to the little Christian school. Year after year I was relieved, but NOT settled. My heart strings were continually being pulled. I was being prepared. AND along the way and through the years Howie was being changed.
The wisdom of it all was dawning on him.

Austin was 11 and we realized how quickly those 11 years had flown by.
How much more quickly would the next 11 pass?
He would be 22!

OH. MY. HEART.

Would he be ready? Would we have taught him all that we desired to? Would we have instilled within him the REAL REASON for life and living? The time was flying by and we wanted to capture some of those teachable moments that would soon be behind us!

One of the things that frustrated me the most as a Stay at Home Mum with kids attending classes at a physical school building away from me was the mountain of chores the children left in their wake. They would get up, we would have devotions and breakfast and RUSH out the door.
A HUGE mess was left behind.

I also was committed to bringing the children home for lunch. It was very important to me as long as it was feasible. So I cleaned up and prepared food for the lunch run ~ snatched up the baby and the toddler and rushed out to retrieve first and second born to come home and eat together. Off to school again and rush home to another MESS. Get toddler and baby to nap and up for pick up and bring oldest two home for a couple hours of play, supper, devotions and bed only to wake up and do it all over again. The weeks and months and YEARS melded into one and it felt as though we were on a never slowing TREADMILL.

Do I believe that ALL
should home-educate?

NO.

Do I think you are a
bad parent if you don't?

NO.

Do I see the
"other side"?

YES.

Is it a personal
choice and conviction?

YES.

Are there "seasons" that the LORD leads
us through in our journey?

YES.

This is just our story.
Yours may, or may not, be different.
We are all still "in progress".

More to come (Lord-willing) on the "how" of our homeschool
and a few other thoughts on home education.
May the LORD guide us all in this journey of parenting ~
for HIS glory!

For the next post in this series ~
Click Here.

Many Blessings,
Camille

16 comments:

ThyHandHathProvided said...

Thanks for sharing- I love hearing others' stories about how they came to homeschool. I love that post of Ann's as well- so well put.

Patty said...

Thanks for sharing this. I too believe it comes down to a personal conviction and choice led of the Lord. We are currently homeschooling our youngest son. There have been difficult days but there are many blessings.

Have a blessed day.

Lady Farmer said...

I do wish I would have considered home-schooling. Both of my girls had a combination of public and Christian schools. But, thankfully, we all survived!
If I had school age children today, I would definately homeschool. My oldest daughter wants to homeschool her children but SIL is not so sure! We are praying he comes around!
Blessings, friend!

Camille said...

Thy Hand ~ Oh yes, it is encouraging to hear how others have come to homeschool and how they manage in the "day to day" outworkings of it! Don't you think Ann Voskamp put it into words beautifully? :)

Patty ~ Yes, there are "those days", but they are there in whatever educational path you choose! How wonderful that you are able to have your boy home with you for these precious days! :)

Raeann ~ If the LORD is calling your daughter and husband into this way of life it will become clear to them as a couple. How wonderful that we have the LORD to turn to in prayer to ask for HIS guidance and perfect leading and timing in all these things! :)

Blessings,
Camille

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

Oh how I share the same convictions Camille! My oldest boy only went to school for one year. It was my husband who was convicted first about homeschooling. I wasn't sure I was ready to add teacher to my list of roles in the home. That was just all in my mind. I am so glad I chose to follow the desire God placed on my heart. When my son came home it did not take long for him to become the happy little boy I used to know. I had not realized how the long trip to school on the bus was impacting on him and the race to be ready for a 8am pick up was frazzling me! He did not get home until 4pm - a long day for a 5 year old. He would fall asleep before dinner and still had homework to do.
I can't believe he is 18 next month or a third of the way through a degree when he should be in his final school year. But the greatest reward for me is knowing he is steadfast in his faith. I really do believe homeschooling works!

Camille said...

Oh what a wonderful testimony Ann! I am sure it will be a blessing to all who read of your journey! The LORD is good and gracious...HE never gives us more than we can bear WITH Him! And through it all the JOY comes as well...how precious that is. :)

Blessings,
Camille

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I agree that God calls each of us to different paths of education. I'm so grateful that he called us to homeschool. I think the most appealing aspect is the lack of rushing around and be able to be consistent in chores and discipline. I also love that the kids can sleep in as long as they need to. I love the "character before academics" motto. Awesome post!

Camille said...

I agree with you Jackie ~ it is a blessing to have this opportunity. We so desire for the LORD to have the hearts of our children first and foremost! Thanks for your input here...I am sure it will be a blessing to those who read it. AND thanks for your encouragement...it is a blessing to me! :)

Love,
Camille

Cinnamon said...

I enjoyed reading your post about "why"~ I found many of your reasons were our reasons. I've never regretted a minute of it~

Thanks for sharing~ Cinnamon

Camille said...

Cinnamon ~ We have no regrets either...how wonderful that our dear LORD has allowed us each these precious, fleeting days with our children! Thanks for your encouragement! :)

Blessings,
Camille

Amy in Peru said...

yay! welcome to the 'in' crowd! hahahahahaahaha! we very much love that the Lord has made it possible for us to homeschool! we LOVE learning!

it is fun to read you :)

thanks for leading me here.

amy in peru

Camille said...

Welcome here Amy! Lovely to "meet" you! Isn't our Great God WONDERFUL to give us these opportunities with our children??

Thanks for your sweet compliment! :)

Blessings,
Camille

Teresa said...

Camille,

It's nice to hear your story. We are homeschooling for some of the same reasons, although, like you said, we don't condemn those the Lord has led to do otherwise.

I taught music for one very difficult year in public school right after college. Later, when our oldest daughter Anna was 2, we went to a homeschool conference and the idea of discipling her through homeschooling really rang true with our hearts. Then, as missionaries in Africa, we had her go the one-room schoolhouse the other MKs attended there. While it was a good (and in some ways hard) experience, our hearts were still in homeschooling, so we picked it up upon our return to the states and continued all the way through high school, although we had not thought we would do that. We have now homeschooled our 2nd dd (who is 10)from the beginning. We haven't regretted any of it, although it has been hard at times. The Lord always gives the right solution at the time needed! And even though she has finished her third year of college away from home, Anna's heart is still at home and true to the Lord. We praise the Lord for His presence and guidance each day, and wouldn't want to be homeschooling without Him!

Camille said...

Teresa ~ What a great testimony of the schooling journey your family has been on! I love to hear about homeschool grads and how it has been used of the LORD to shape them into the people they have become. How precious that you see the fruit of your labours with your Anna! May the LORD give us all HIS wisdom as we seek to raise these chidlren for HIS glory ~ for, as you rightly point out, we wouldn't want to homeschool without HIM! :)

Blessings,
Camille

Family Snodgrass said...

Hi Camille! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your sweet comment. I'm enjoying reading your blog, and loved this post on homeschooling. The possibility of homeschooling is definitely on my heart.

Camille said...

Welcome Family S! ~ So lovely to "meet" you! Pray about the homeschool possibility with your husband...it is a JOY and a privilege, but you MUST be on the same page with it! :) I plan to post more this week...Lord-willing.

Blessings,
Camille