27 Aug 2014

I’ve been homeschooling since 2009 when my oldest daughter was in the second grade, my middle daughter was three years old, and I was pregnant with my third daughter. I wish I had known then what I know now. If I could go back to 2009, here’s what I’d tell myself.

Hey there, you. So you are thinking about homeschooling, huh? Well before you make such a huge decision, you need to know the truth about homeschooling.

1. It will be hard. Actually, hard is an understatement. There will be days when you want to call the public school and see what time the bus can pick up your children. There will be days when you can’t stop crying. Some days, you will text Aaron multiple times explaining why you can no longer homeschool. There will be days when you just want to give up.

2. Say goodbye to your free time. It will be non-existent. Remember those days of dropping Annagrace off at school and Madalyn at preschool and spending the days doing whatever you wanted? You can kiss those days goodbye. Your days will now be consumed with multiplication tables, phonics, history facts, messy art projects and playing chauffeur. Spending a day alone with no children will be a rare luxury.

3. Homeschooling will take over your house. Remember your clean, beautifully decorated home? I don’t. You will have history timelines on the living room wall, science projects brewing in the kitchen, books scattered in every room of the house and the laundry—oh, the laundry! There will be clutter; you will rarely have a day without a sink full of dishes, and home projects will take three times as long to complete as usual. You will have less storage space (because it will be taken over by homeschool curriculum), and your crafts and scrapbooking room will be renamed the schoolroom.

4. Family nights will take on a whole new meaning. Your family nights will turn into finish up the schoolwork that we didn’t complete during the day nights. History lessons will become the subject of your supper time conversation. Movie time will often be a documentary about the ocean or some historical figure. Night time stories will no longer be about Barbie but will be about King James and Pocahontas and John Cabot (wait, maybe that’s not such a bad thing).

But more than anything, I need you to know this:

5. Homeschooling will enrich your life.

Because there will be no greater joy than hearing your child read for the first time—and realizing that you were the one who taught her how.

Because God will use homeschooling to teach you about grace, patience, sacrifice and perseverance on a daily basis.

Because you will appreciate the daily newness of God’s mercies more than you ever have before.

Because you will blink and your children will be taller than you and maybe even a little smarter than you. They will grow up in an instant. And despite the difficulty, the tears, the arguments and the lack of free time you will realize that every single second spent with your child has been worth it.

So self, forget the naysayers. Forget that little voice inside telling you that you can’t do this, that you aren’t smart enough, that you don’t have the patience for this. Forget that certain public school teacher who thinks that you can’t possibly teach your children because you don’t have an official teaching degree. Forget all the people saying your children are not going to be socialized. Forget them all and rest in the knowledge that if Jesus led you to this, He will see you through this.

Homeschooling will change your life, and for that, you will forever be grateful.