You can bet ‘cho booty that I never thought this post would happen. That I would be a HOMESCHOOL mom. That this would be my actual life.
Y’all. I didn’t even know what homeschooling was until I was 21 years old. Growing up, my Dad was a respected public school teacher and coach. My Step-Mom ran the Pre-K program for that same public school district. Education, teacher’s unions, school vouchers — these were all part of dinner table talk.
It was instilled in me at a very early age the importance of education: to excel in my studies and do the best I could with whatever I had.
Throughout my school years, the highest of grades, extra curricular activities and a high social importance was central to my life. I knew that other kids went to private school, but literally didn’t know the homeschooling option existed until I married my husband.
Jason grew up in a far more conservative family than mine. This is not to say that one was better than the other, they were just simply different in world view and overall approach to life. In the circles Jason’s family ran in, many friends homeschooled their kids and this was totally normal.
Over the years working in youth ministry, we have encountered just about every type of parent, student and parenting philosophy. We’ve seen parents who would die on the hills of public school, Christian school and homeschooling, respectively.
We’ve seen parents do each of these options less than stellar (ahem) and parents do outstanding jobs with each.
The theme I’ve seen repeatedly with Christian parents in-particular is it’s not as much which schooling option they chose, but rather how they chose to raise their children.
Some of the homeschooled kids have been the most social inept, awkward and difficult students to teach. Some of the public school kids have been the most lovely, teachable and caring students we’ve ever encountered.
After 12 years of working with students, one thing became clear to Jason and I: it’s not so much which option you choose to educate your children but how you (and if you) disciple them.
Not too long ago, I was totally the “public school is the only way for a Christian” mom. It’s true. I used to think that if you really wanted to be a witness for Christ that you would go where the most non-Christians were: public school.
I still believe that public school (and most Christian schools for that matter) are the greatest mission field a student will ever be on. However, I now look at the schooling choice as just that — a choice for each and every parent to make in the best interest of each individual child every year.
Weird as it may sound, while we were on our anniversary trip to Mexico, I was reading a book authored by a homeschool mom. The point wasn’t the homeschooling itself, but it got my wheels spinning. Could I do this? Would this be a good option for my kids?
Jason and I spent two and a half months thinking, praying and processing with godly people we admire and know us well. We both came to the conclusion that at least for this school year, we were going to homeschool our children.
We actually started school three weeks early, and are now in our third full week of school. Since I am a far cry from a precious, Pinterest-y, make-up-your-own-lesson-plans mom, we went with a fantastic Christian curriculum that we couldn’t be more pleased with, My Father’s World.
Everything is pretty much plug and play. Done for me, I just needed to pick a math curriculum that I thought best suited our kids (we went with Horizon’s, which has also been perfect for our family) and added extra reading materials/lessons for Aiden (Pre-K) and Charlotte (1st grade). We chose All About Reading for this, and it’s worked pretty well for the younger two.
With Landon (2nd grade) being so advanced in math, I was able to order him book two for math so he is started the subject right where he needs to: where his peers in public school will pick up in January of this year.
As I’ve needed additional time to work with Charlotte on reading and Math, Landon has stepped up to the plate as big brother and teacher extraordinaire. He works with Aiden most days between subjects, helping Aiden review his letters and reading to him aloud on the couch. Today Landon told me that he loves being a teacher to Aiden and that it’s “SO much fun!” This warms my heart to no end. To see their relationship flourishing in a whole new way is a blessing I didn’t know was possible.
We are currently spending about 4 hours each day doing school. Sometimes we take breaks and go to the gym so I can workout and the kids can play in the childcare. Other times we watch educational YouTube videos as a break, have a snack or go to a park.
Homeschool has been such a blessing to the four of us and we’re really loving it. I’m very aware of what a privilege it is for me to be afforded the time and finances to be at home with my kids and be their mom/educator. For this, I am grateful to God and doing my Young Living business, helping other family’s just like ours and allowing me to be at home with my babies.
It’s not like we don’t get upset with each other or have struggles. I always want to paint a real picture for you guys. If I can’t keep it real, what the heck am I even doing writing, right??
I think the biggest blessing in all of this is seeing my kids’ eyes light up when they learn something new; the extra time we get to spend together and how we get to have even more conversations about Jesus and His great love for us throughout the day.
Who woulda thunk it? Laura Loewen, homeschool mom of 3 and less judgmental about schooling choices (and dang well everything else) than ever before.