I vividly remember as my first little babe sat in my lap I was searching homeschooling books. That was almost 15 years ago. In the back of my head I just always thought I would.
When #1 was old enough for school we sent her. She loved it and really thrived. Same the next year when #2 started. Then we moved. The move was actually awesome – we got the kids into a district wide charter school. It was wonderful. The principal knew all the kids, several of the teachers went to high school with me and a ton of the parents. My two first graders at that school both had my third grade teacher. It felt like home.
A few years later I had a very strong impression while in the temple that j would homeschool. I thought “sure, at middle school because life is good.” Six months later we moved.
This move turned out to not be then eat choice for school but other perks are priceless. When I took my kids to register them at the school I felt as though I was completely inconveniencing the administration. I understand bad days happen but it went from bad to worse as I heard the two women in the room with me make fun of the woman on the loud speaker. Seriously? If they will openly mock the adults, what do they do to the children?!? My mother-in-law was with me and totally agreed which made me feel better that I wasn’t just over reacting.
The next day we were homeschoolers. I had a wonderful friend lead me through the steps of getting established (she had gone it just six months prior). She was a gift from heaven. I worry so much about abiding by the rules and doing things right so she helped ease my fears.
We signed up and ended up joining an umbrella school. Homeschooling was SO much fun. We did all kinds of parties and crafts and it was perfect. Six months into our adventure, my mother passed away very unexpected. At the time, my father was having problems with his eyes and could not drive. One year prior I was prompted I would homeschool – it was such a sign to me that the Lord really knows us and if we follow Him, He will lead us wherever we need to go.
Homeschooling was a challenge but so with it! The first convention I attended was when I was pregnant with #7. I was so sick and miserable with kidney stones and constant infections because of them. I actually chose to go to my room and sleep part of the time. That year was the turning point. Number 6 was five and starting school. I was juggling six school aged children and my worst pregnancy ever.
Family dynamics continued to change as the baby came. I ended up needing three lithotripsies to get rid of the mega stone and all those appointments and surgeries made homeschooling tough. But we pressed forward.
I remember the kids sitting at desks as #7 would go around and pull their papers and books off laughing. They were so frustrated! All I could say was “imagine next year when there is TWO of them!” Yep, #8 was on the way. Later came #9. They each add challenges and incredible JOY to our homeschooling and life!
I have made thousands of charts, check off sheets, schedules, etc. in fact I wonder if that is not my calling in life 😉
We have switched up curriculum and style and still don’t feel totally settled. But I will save all that for another post. The point is we have had ups and we have had downs. I have often felt like the friend of a friend who always said “I have public school on speed dial.”
In the end, my husband reminds me that no one will love these children as much as we do. Sending them to school may not fix their behavioral issues – they might get worse and then we have to work with a teacher and principal. But the best reason to keep my kids at home, is making the Gospel of Jesus Christ first in our life. We have time to study scriptures and really enjoy them. I can assign them anything I want for school. If they are interested in earthquakes that day – great. If they need help in s particular attribute of Christ, I can assign them a project about it. Not to mention the relationship I have with my children. I was an involved mom and helped out in their classes as much as I could but now I really know them. And I hope they know I am giving my whole self to them – everything I have. I really want the best for them. Their potential is great – the world wants them to feel inferior. I want them to know their divine potential! So in the end the blessings far outweigh the hardships.
So in short