Our family recently made the dive into homeschooling. Hit the 'Read More' button to follow along on the "why" of our actions.
Once upon a time, a young 18-year-old teen truly believed herself when she said, "I'll never get married, I'll never have children, and I'll be married to my work."
That teen was me. I was very, very wrong. Obviously!
Marriage and two children before the age of 25 was definitely a stretch from the original plan, but I am loving every minute of it.
When Maverick was just 2 years old, we decided to place him in a private Christian school's 2-year-old program. We chose this specific program because it wasn't 'daycare' but rather a highly encouraged learning facility that taught him so much. I suffered from post-partum anxiety with Maverick for a long time, so the separation helped us both. The teacher at the time was such a blessing to my family. Maverick knew his alphabet, letter sounds, colors, animals, sounds, basic math, all kinds of random stuff before he stepped into his pre-k program. I take zero credit for this, Maverick and his teachers flourished together.
Soon it would be Montgomery's turn to step into the program, he began at 18 months old. Montgomery is not my social child, like Maverick is. Montgomery would rather stay at home. He would rather ride the horses, go fishing, or work on the tractor with Dada. We stuck it out for the entire school year, one in Pre-K and one in the 18-month old program.
Meanwhile, for the four years that Maverick has been alive, my brain wanders constantly. 'What if I could homeschool? What if I could do this is? There's no way I could teach them. There's no chance I am patient enough.' So many negative thoughts flooded my brain every time I would begin to consider homeschooling.
The good Lord doesn't stop. The good Lord is persistent, constant, and gets His way. Multiple times, by multiple people, the Lord found me. He found me in my business, He found me at my part-time job, He found me through my friendships. Constantly, people were somehow coming into my life and suggesting this idea of homeschooling. I am not one to believe in coincidences. I truly believe that God find's ways to reach us, even when we are running from it!
After some great conversations with friends, role models, parents, and some looooong conversations with the Big Man upstairs, we did it. Very recently, we unenrolled our kiddos from private Christian school in the middle of the semester. Maverick was about halfway through kindergarten and Montgomery was in the 2-year-old program.
I was told by a great mentor that when I began homeschooling, I needed to write down our "why" story. She told me that some days I would question this decision and I needed a list to remind me of every reason. So here ya go. Here's our family's why:
1. Actually raise our own kids
- Our family was seeing each other for about 2-4 hours per day, only 4 days a week. On a very planned out good week, we would see our kids for 16 hours a week. How terrible is that?! When you mix adding more time with our kiddos, you see a transmission of our values, family bonding, and learning from each other.
2. Remove the "rush"
- Oftentimes, the morning rush to school led to yelling, anger, tardiness, stress, and unneeded tension in our household. While I pride myself on always being early, my husband was not raised the same way. I love being a morning person, and I've passed that down to only one of my children.
- What better way to balance the madness of a farm and children than the flexibility of schooling whenever we can. We love that we can wake up and do school first thing. Sometimes, if there's a coyote in the field or the cows are out, school in the morning is not an option. I love that we can be independent of the regular school system's calendar and vacation when we want as well.
4. School at their pace
- Maverick is a fast learner. We've seen this from the get-go. He wants to do school on the weekends and every day in between. He loves to learn, but he loves to learn quickly. He gets it honest.
5. School in their learning style
- Montgomery is a hands-on learner. He is bound to be a farrier, mechanic, construction worker, or the like. He loves to work with tools and fix everything. Ask that boy to color a picture...oh if looks could kill. He is still very young, so we don't push it.
6. Learn more real-life tasks
- If I had a dollar for every time I said "I wish I would've learned that in school" I wouldn't have to run the farm! One of our many goals is to teach them real-life, applicable knowledge to help get them a little further in life.
7. Grow good men
- I will NEVER downplay the role of a teacher, especially that of a public-school teacher. They have their hands full, and I pray that the Lord blesses them for their hard work. I went to public school my whole life; I turned out okay! However, children aren't allowed to be children anymore. Kids are exposed to so much. I had the privilege of SRO duties at a local elementary school for a while. I loved my time there, and I love the students, teachers, and staff. But God bless those children. Moms and Dads- we are not all on the same page. Electronics are raising these babies. Kids know far more that what they need to know at the elementary age. If I can bless my children with a childhood free from exposure to soooo many terrible earthly things, I feel that I'm doing my job.
I am going to stop here and get off my soap box! We hope to learn and love through this entire experience. I have enjoyed these first few days and can't wait to update you guys soon! Do you homeschool? Do you have any advice? Are you on the fence? I would love to pray with you over your decisions!
Tammy shares about life on the ranch, homeschooling two kiddos, and making marriage work in the craziness of owning a business.