I think I'm going to home school.
That's right - I'm a crazy lady! ;)
I don't even know really where to begin this post. In the past, when I thought about Greg and I having school-aged children, I always imagined I would be a stay-at-home-mom that was very involved in their school activities. It excited me to think about volunteering for field trips, and things like that. It also excited me to think about sending them off to school, and having the day to myself for a run to the gym, grocery store, dry cleaners, etc. Never ONCE did I ever think about homeschooling.
I think my first personal encounter with homeschooling was with my sister. She desires to home school her 4 children, and did so with her first in first grade. When she first told me she wanted to (this was a couple years ago) I thought she was absolutely absurd. I didn't condemn her for it. I didn't disagree with any aspect of homeschooling, but I do believe my response was something along the lines of, "I could never do that," and that was the end of my thoughts on it.
As Hunter has gotten older, Greg and I have talked a lot about when he goes to school and where we'll be geographically. How, when we finally decide to buy a house one day, we'll definitely need to talk about what the school district is like. Over time, those conversations evolved into looking into Christian schools, because of how liberal public school has become. Both Greg and I went through public schools K-12 grade, but it's not the same as it was even 10 years ago. There are so many things that public school is accepting to be politically correct that we are not ok with and don't want to subject our children to the idea that those things are ok. So, fairly recently, we came to an agreement that private school would be our choice for our children. Homeschooling had come up a time or two in these conversations throughout the years, but Greg never even entertained the idea of it. I think that had a lot to do with my stance on it too. If Greg didn't want me to home school, then why even consider the possibility? He doesn't want our children to be without friends and social skills. I think that was his main concern, and I don't disagree with him. I had that same concern.
As I've blogged about it in the past, I have "school" with Hunter and we do different preschool activities. He absolutely LOVES it, and he's so intelligent that I feel it would be a waste to not be teaching him things he'd learn when he enters preschool, when he is fully capable (and willing!) to learn them now.
Then, this weekend happened. We visited our friends in New Bern again. God was working from the beginning of planning our trip there, because I had called our Pastor from New Bern to see if we could stay with them for the weekend, but they had a crazy weekend planned so they couldn't have us (understandably.) Thankfully, the music pastor and his wife, Gary and Melissa, were willing to take us in. :) Throughout the weekend, we had lots of time to just visit with them at their house. Melissa home schools their three girls. She has a specific room in their house that is strictly the classroom. And it looks like just that when you walk in! She has been homeschooling her children from the beginning and they all love it.
We were able to talk a lot about homeschooling over the weekend. They both shared with us their personal reasons for doing it, and all the resources and activities that are out there for others that choose to home school. I don't know that Greg or I realized how much there really is, and how many fellow homeschoolers there are! Melissa and the girls have went on many field trips in groups with other local homeschoolers, and groups like this are all over the country! We shared with them our desire to send Hunter to private school, and that was that.
After we left, I couldn't help but think about hypothetically homeschooling our children. I didn't want to entertain the idea too much though, since I knew Greg would never agree to it.
Then Monday night, he came home from work, and homeschooling came up again...much to my surprise, he said he'd been thinking about it and would be ok with it if I wanted to home school. He said he would want me to be active in a homeschooling group so we are still doing activities with other children regularly, which I totally agree to. He doesn't want me to do it past 5th or 6th grade though. But that still gives me the next 8 years to home school Hunter.
Since Monday night, I have been doing lots of praying and as much research online as I can. I went to the library last night and checked out 6 books on homeschooling. I got a weird look from the lady checking them out for me. Greg said I should have told her I want to home school myself, since strangers still think I'm a teenager, haha. I know that look was the first of many, I'm sure. But that's ok.
I can't put a particular book down. It's called The ABC's of Homeschooling by Vicki Caruana. It's a Christian book designed to aid in the decision of whether homeschooling is right for you or not. She is constantly reminding throughout the book that if the Holy Spirit is calling you to home school, then you should. If not, that's ok. But just as Paul talks about in Romans 12 with personal convictions. If one is convicted to home school, then it's a sin not to. I have been researching and praying a LOT this week, and I do believe that He wants it for our children. And I'm so excited about it.
I know there are things I'll be giving up, like meeting friends for lunch, and running errands by myself. But I actually made a pro's and con's list to homeschooling. The pro's list was very long consisting of things like: having the ability to move ahead or spend more time on certain subjects as each child needs it according to their learning ability, being able to use the Bible throughout lessons in our curriculum, my knowledge and intelligence will be tested and be improved also. (I'm not proud when I have to ask Greg a geography or history question that I really should already know the answer to myself.) The list goes on. I had 2 things listed under Con's, and they were both selfish reasons. I think that's my answer right there. Homeschooling our children isn't about me. It's about them. It's about instilling the right, Biblical values in them that we as parents are responsible for doing. With our children home with me, we won't have to worry about what ideas someone may be putting in their head. I will also be fully capable of their intellectual abilities and will be able to challenge them accordingly.
So, as it stands, I will home school our children through 5th grade. And I know full well that if the Lord desires for us to go further with it, He will make that clear to both Greg and I. In the mean time, I will continue with prayer and research. I am super excited about this though. And I'm so thankful that the Lord changed this in our hearts when we weren't even looking for a change.