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Perspective

A Cautionary Word

I'm a homeschool mom.

This is a title I have claimed for over a decade, through two graduations and countless joys and tears—mine and my pupils'.

Homeschooling, like most parenting decisions, can be a sticky-wicket. I also chose to breast feed my first baby when it was just regaining popularity, had two of my six babies in a birthing center, stayed at home with my six kids for the most part, ground my own wheat for bread and attempted to make yogurt.

I tend to be idealistic.

Celebrating the Teachable Moments

What is your favorite thing about a to-do list? Is it the calming pursuit of listing; all the necessary tasks to be accomplished; the knowledge that you will not forget something important; or maybe the sheer symmetry of the bullet points? My favorite part of making a to-do list is crossing off items. In fact, I like that so much that I sometimes add things to my list that I have already done, just so that I can cross them off.

The Power of Gifts

Imagine a beautifully-wrapped box lovingly set in front of you. Carefully pick up and examine this mysterious gift. Here are the clues: Your name is on the label; the person who has given it loves you deeply; whoever wrapped it did such a marvelous job that you are certain that the gift contained inside must be even more spectacular. Now, wait. Stop and consider the kind of anticipation this would create inside of you. Would it bring a warm rush of delight, an awe of being the recipient of not only a gift but of the love that motivated it in the first place? Are you with me?

God’s Plan for My Homeschooling Journey

We started this journey eighteen years ago. Through a series of circumstances, we found ourselves in a situation we never could have predicted. The system had failed us, and we had pulled our oldest son out of public school.

The ensuing years have been bumpy and blessed. Some of the bumps have been more like huge mountains, seemingly insurmountable. Some days have been too short and others too long. But the blessings have been more than anything I could have imagined.

I am officially ready to confess the following:

In the Dreariness of Winter We Wonder: Is there Life after Homeschool?

A friend used to say that the hardest thing about homeschooling was January and February. Isn’t that the truth?

Hal’s about It: So you’re homeschooling?…Wait, don’t answer yet.

Homeschooling is one of many routes to educating our children. When my family started homeschooling eleven years ago, there was no question about which highway we were on—the public and the private schools were on totally separate roadways, and the homeschool path had only been paved for a little while.

Now there are many places where the roads converge. Homeschoolers have more classroom opportunities, and students in traditional schools are finding ways to study at home. More and more students can be found at their kitchen table "doing school," yet not all of them are following the homeschooling route.

Homeschooling the Only Child

I soon began to notice that I was alone, in a sense. I never saw an only child on the cover (or the inside) of Teaching Home, or any other resource I found. I began to observe that homeschoolers are a prolific group—most of my friends had three or more children, and they weren't slowing down.

Yet, despite doubts from without or within, I returned to the comfort that God has ordained all our circumstances and His calling and provision still stands. My son truly enjoyed his own company and had no problems being an only child. We were able to go on more adventures using fewer resources, than anybody I knew, and we greatly enjoyed our years together at home.

Hal’s about It: Peace or Freedom

The government couldn’t depend on controlling a population that had freedom to choose, so the task was to limit their choices first, then condition them to prefer their constrictions rather than seek out their future in a world without guarantees.

Just be wary of the call of “peace and security.” Freedom is a risky thing, but it’s what allows parents to effectively educate kids with special needs, precocious readers, those gifted in mechanics or dance or music, who may be all in the same family!

Reflections of a Reluctantly Retired Homeschool Mom

There I was, two years after my youngest had graduated from high school, walking through the annual NCHE Book Fair. This was the third NCHE conference that I’d attended with no one to buy for and nowhere to apply my new knowledge from all the wonderful workshops. What torture!

How Do You Spell Homeschool?

Whether we spell home school as two words or one—the new way according to Webster’s—our goals and vision for our children are determined by our vision of homeschooling.

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