Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Our Journey to Homeschooling--The Decision

In the fall of 2000, my husband and I made a heartbreaking decision.  We decided that spiritually and emotionally speaking, we needed a change of scenery.  We decided to leave our little church in our part of town and find a new church home.  There were so many reasons for this decision.  But you know, what we see in hindsight is that God had a plan and He knew where we needed to be in order for the next chapter of our life together to take the direction He had for us.  And so we left (home) the church where we had met.  It was where he had proposed to me.  It was where we were married on an August Sunday immediately following the morning service.    

We joined the fellowship at a large congregation in the west part of town.   There were so many aspects that made it feel like the right fit from the beginning.  I saw familiar faces which included one very special elderly lady whom I had known all my life.  She had served as my spiritual mentor during a disastrous first marriage and single mom days.  The irony of this is that we were in a larger city 100 miles from the hometown where I had grown up and known her.  I could go on and on but that's for another post.

A couple of years after we had gone to our new church home, as I continued getting to know more and more people, I became aware of a few families who were homeschooling.  Instead of being "backward" or weird, they were bright and intriguing.  I wanted to get to know them better.  Slowly, I began to think about considering this way of life for my two youngest children.  My two oldest were nearly grown and had been in the public school system their entire lives.  As a single mom, I never even considered homeschooling.  I was too busy working and trying to support us.  My oldest child, my only girl graduated from our local high school in 2003.  She enrolled in a local community/tech school to become a nursing assistant.  She had her eye on becoming a registered nurse--she had decided to be a nurse at around age seven.  

In late summer of  2003, my next child was beginning his senior year of high school.   Our seven year old had finished his first year of school, kindergarten, in a wonderful elementary school just down the road about two miles from our house.  He had been blessed with two wonderful kindergarten teachers due to the maternity leave of his primary teacher.   Our four year old was scheduled to begin preschool at our local high school.  The high school had a superb training class for high school students interested in early childhood development/education. Those students got hands-on experience by inviting families of the community to enroll their preschoolers in a three day per week class.  

But my mind had been more and more drawn to this concept of homeschooling.   So literally, in the week before school started, I chucked all other plans and sought counsel from my friend Gina.  She became and still is my number one homeschool mentor.  She had graduated all four of her children and they were all successful college students and young professionals.  Given her success, I wanted to pattern my homeschool after hers.  So, I immediately went and purchased a very popular boxed curriculum, first grade in its entirety.  After all, this was the curriculum that Gina used schooling her kids.   I also made the decision to do homeschool preschool with my four year old.  For that, I just bought a very large preschool workbook from our local warehouse store. 


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