“You’re going to homeschool?!?” (insert bewildered look) “Being around my children all day, they’d drive me crazy!”, ” I don’t think I’m smart enough to teach my children all they need to know, I’m afraid I’d mess up!” These are just a few of the comments I hear when I begin to explain that we have chosen to homeschool our children. My favorite comment though, is the following; “Aren’t you worried about them getting enough socialization?”
I know that those I have spoken with make these comments with good intentions but I am truly taken by surprise at how passive parents can be in regards to their children’s educations. Not that I think they do not care, because they do! Or that I don’t think that there are some wonderful teachers, because there are! But because, at the end of the day, who do you think is going to be more invested into your child? You of course!
I have always loved the idea of homeschooling, I myself, went to public school and my husband was homeschooled. Even as a little girl I would play teacher with the kids in my neighborhood. I would spend hours planning lessons, setting up a school room in our three seasons porch and even making permission slips for parents to fill out to go on “field trips” to the park. (ok, I was a goofy kid). It wasn’t until I found out I was pregnant with my first son that I realized I really could homeschool him!
So, from early on I was obsessed with the notion of homeschooling. My husband on the other hand, wasn’t so excited about it but through some crazy turn of life events, strengthening of our faith and marriage we easily agreed that for this season in our lives (and our children’s) homeschooling would be the best fit. Now the question was, how to go about it. As I researched homeschooling I realized there are SO many different methods and theories for education that it became overwhelming!
I am very thankful for my oldest sister-in-law (SIL), as she has paved the way for homeschooling and has been a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. It is she, who loaned me a copy of “For the Children’s Sake” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. After I devoured the book in just a few days, my head was filled with beautiful ideals about mothering, my children and the direction in which I wanted to set course for our homeschool journey.
Since then, I’ve soaked up other books, podcasts and blogs on the Charlotte Mason Method and I feel quite confident in my ability to mother and homeschool. So, when I am faced with questions on our decision my answers are as follows: “Yes! We are homeschooling and I am SO excited about it! Yes, my children drive me crazy too after being home with them all day. But the second I kiss their little faces, tuck them into bed and shut the door, I instantly miss them! I usually spend the rest of the evening reminiscing with my husband on the events that happened that day. No, I don’t think I am smart enough to teach them everything they need to know, but I am willing to learn along side them. There is a big chance I will mess up along the way, because I am merely human.
This is an adventure for our whole family, to savor these little years, a growing time to establish our family culture, our values and build character. A chance to cast a vision of who we want our children to be like when they are adults and to literally lay the path brick by brick. To parent with an end goal in mind. For us, it’s to love God with all of their hearts, and that they will be sensitive to His leading.
And lastly, NO! I am not worried about them getting enough socialization. HA! I am by nature, a outgoing and social person. I often times find myself having to painstakingly decline invites because our family is burnt out from going places and visiting friends. Maybe if I were more of an introvert, this question might cause a little alarm but it does not.
I truly do believe that our children are a gift from God, and we are entrusted with the privilege of raising and stewarding over them. It is my deep conviction, that homeschooling is the method in which I am being called to do fulfill my duty and God given responsibility as their mother.
I’ll end my first blog post with this exert from Charlotte Masons’s “Home Education Series”, I hope it may encourage and even inspire you to consider home educating your child.
Mothers owe ‘a thinking love’ to their Children. “The mother is qualified,” says Pestalozzi, “and qualified by the Creator Himself, to become the principal agent in the development of her child;…and what is demanded of her is- a thinking love…God has given to thy child all the faculties of our nature, but the grand point remains undecided- how shall this heart, this head, these hands, be employed? to whose service shall they be dedicated? A question the answer to which involves futurity of happiness or misery to a life so dear to thee. Maternal love is the first agent in education.”
We are waking up to our duties, and in proportion as mothers become more highly educated and efficient, they doubtless feel the more strongly that the education of their children during the first six years of life is an undertaking hardly to be entrusted to any hands but their own. and they will take it up as their profession- that is, with the diligence, regularity, and punctuality which men bestow on their professional labours.
That the mother may know what she is about, may come thoroughly furnished to her work, she should have something more than a hearsay acquaintance with the theory of education, and with those conditions of the child’s nature upon which theory rests. Charlotte M. Mason, Home Education, Vol. 1 pgs. 2&3