When you’re a person who likes to be in control, the idea of surrendering is intimidating and overwhelming. I like to plan my way out of things, do too much, take on too many projects … it’s just my way. So when I realized last year that I was really disappointed in the influence that public school was having on my 6 year old beautiful and intelligent sponge, I knew that homeschooling needed to happen. Now, I’m not a stranger to home schooling. Let me tell you my story.
When I was four, my one year older sister was diagnosed with cancer (for those who need to skip to the last page in the book, this has a happy ending). Because of her compromised immunity due to treatment, me, a JK-er had to come out of school for her safety. My mom started to homeschool myself and my sister over the next two years as she calls it “out of necessity”, because let’s face it, I’m sure my mom, a mother of 4 small children would have liked to see us load onto a bus each morning for her own sanity.
Anyway, she used a combination of her insane talent as an artist and the ABeka program to teach the two of us — and we thrived. We were reading and writing and excelling together with her instruction. I was enrolled into public school at Grade 2 after that, and despite my teacher’s best efforts to differentiate the instruction in the class, I was so bored. A year later, my parents found a small Christian school which used the ABeka program, so we enrolled there for the next three years. I really enjoyed this environment, but having four kids in private school is costly, so by then my mom decided to homeschool us all again. We picked up with the same program and my mom taught me for the next couple of years until I finished grade 8. I went to public high school and attended university on full scholarships.
Let’s just say homeschooling was really good for me. I love independent work and study and am good at motivating myself to work from home.
My turn to surrender
Back to present day. I know that homeschooling will be good for my older girls, and I’m a qualified highschool business and music teacher for heavens sake, so it’s not like I can’t do it. But I really like my work, and I really like the feeling of dropping my kids off at school! So… I prayed about it. It went a bit like this: “God, if you want me to homeschool, you’re going to have to transform my mind. You’re going to have to make me WANT to homeschool.” And almost forgetting about that simple prayer, months later, my mind begame firmly focused on the possibilities that homeschooling would have for us. Dane and I had talked about him taking paternity leave if we ever had another baby and travelling for an extended period of time. Once I became pregnant with our son last fall, the dream got real, really fast! Homeschooling was going to be the best way to accommodate all of this. Then I remembered that prayer! (Shock — be careful what you pray for).
So here we are… no magic or tricky formula. My tip for surrendering is to pray and let it go. Ask God to transform your mind and see what will happen for you. Sounds too easy huh? I know that homeschooling is not easy. We get annoyed with our kids. We get frustrated. We yell. We are not perfect. But, we do know that we can pray together and we can receive some supernatural help. And, we have a really amazing community locally with tons of cool programs.
The curriculum is unpacked, the school supplies are all laid out. It’s go time.