My daughter is going to turn 5 in a few short months. Yesterday she placed an enormous, glittery, pink , princess, backpack on herself and loaded it up with junk. She said, “I’m going on vacation,” but all I could think of was her eventual first day of kindergarten.
She is going to need to attend school and that scares me, for a few reasons. For one thing, I don’t want her to get bigger. I’d like to invent a child “pause” button for both of my children.
Secondly, the decision of where to send your child to school can be a daunting one. I have friends who have struggled, prayed, been put on waiting lists, been rejected by schools they liked, only to start all over again.
There is also the issue, however, of homeschooling. This word used to sound like a dirty word to me. Homeschool. Still sends shivers down my spine. My husband and his brother were both homeschooled through high school and all things considered, are two of the most normal, healthy, Godly guys I know.
But I’m no homeschooling mom. I imagine all homeschooling moms wear denim jumpers and have hair down to my butt. I don’t have a baseball team worth of children or drive a mini-van. Do those things automatically disqualify me or is there more to this homeschooling thing than I assume?
For starters, I’ve discovered that the days of the stereotypical homeschooling mom are long gone. They don’t all reside in Nebraska, Missouri, Montana, nor birth an average 6.8 children.
Instead, many homeschooling moms are actually kinda cool, not that I find this a requirement, but it helps (and not that you can’t be cool from the above mentioned states or if you have a boat-load of kids).
I have also been reminded numerous times by my mother-in-law that once you decide to homeschool, nothing says that you only have to homeschool for the rest of your child’s school life. You could do it for one year or two years, then stop, if you felt that’s what God had for your family.
The problem is, I have a visceral reaction when I imagine myself at my kitchen table playing teacher with my daughter. The thought makes my head want to explode. It sounds to me like one of the most not-fun things I could possibly do. Actually, it sounds more like a nightmare….like a long, drawn out, painfully uncool, nightmare.
I am sure that I have neither the patience, or the perseverance to teach my child on a daily basis. The bad news (depending on who you are) however, is that, as of right now, I think that is where the Lord is leading me.
I have had a few dreams and words from the Lord that homeschooling may, in fact, become my gig. Eek! It makes me want to shout “God, what are you thinking?”
I had the realization, for instance, that as my husband and I have set out and started a house church recently, soon enough our life will be filled with ministry. I used to think that sending my kids off to school would afford me more time to “do ministry” during the day.
However, the realization came when a friend was praying for me about something totally unrelated and I was struck with the notion that ministry does not happen between the hours of 8-5. Usually, it actually happens in the night or on weekends– at times that could even be perceived as inconvenient.
If I was home with my kids homeschooling them, then actually I would be buying more time away from them, so to speak. Having spent all day with them, each day, when I did need to leave to “do ministry” I would not feel as though I did not see them. They too would not be gone at school all day only to have me leave.
At any rate, school is right around the corner and I don’t feel peace one way or the other. I am open to whatever God has, but I sure hope He starts changing my heart if He wants me to homeschool because as of right now, it still makes me cringe…that and the thought of driving a mini-van. May it never be! But hey, if God handed me a Toyota Sienna, I wouldn’t say “no.”
What are your thoughts on the topic of homeschooling? In favor, opposed, neutral? Got any amazing (as in bad or as in funny) homeschooling stories to share with me? Advice too, I’ll take it.