One thing that I love about the homeschool community is that most of us love to encourage others with our stories. In this post Joyce, a homeschool mom, shares the story of her two sons so that it will encourage each of you. You CAN homeschool high school!
Wow! I can’t believe they are graduated!
We put our twins, Devin and Michael in the public school system from kindergarten thru 2ndgrade and when they were not learning to read, I found myself spending a lot of time after school with them each day trying to help them. They would get home from school around 3:30 in the afternoon and I would sit down with each one of them and get through their homework and work with them on their reading. We got used to having dinner around 6:30 since I couldn’t really start working on it until about 5:30 after I got done studying with my twins. (I also had a two year old running around interrupting us as well – so it took a little longer then it probably should have.)
We decided that since we were putting so much time into educating our children after they came home from school that we might as well take them out of the school and do it ourselves. That way I could teach them at a time that was a little more convenient for our family.
Since I used to say that I would never be able to homeschool my children, the plan was to just get them “caught up” and put them back in school when they were “ready." Well the rest is history. We never did put them back in traditional school, and the two babies that followed after our twins have never stepped foot in a public school. We have just found that we love having our family home with us and learning together. We saw all the benefits of having our children at home with us, not to mention that the socialization at home was far superior to the “socialization” that happens in the public schooling environment.
As we schooled through the years, I always wondered if I was doing enough. I was bothered by the fact that we weren’t memorizing all the facts that I had to memorize in public school as a kid and constantly wondered if we were doing the right curriculum. I worried that we didn’t have a biology lab where we could do the official experiments that all kids should have access to. I worried about our children having a “well-rounded education” that so many education experts talk about. But learned that no one is really “well rounded." Everyone is gifted by God and given certain “bents” that are God given. Why focus so much on being well-rounded when the God of the Universe has a specific (or a few specific) things for you to accomplish. He doesn’t expect you to be great at everything! All of my children’s’ specific “bents” were towards music. They all loved playing music and since my husband and I love music too, it was perfect for our family. Don’t get me wrong. We didn’t completely “blow off” all the other stuff and just do music all day long, but it was a good leverage to use to get them to do their reading, writing and arithmetic before we brought out the guitars and drums.
Like I said above, I was always worried that we weren’t doing enough for our boys, but I guess we did okay, because one of our boys qualified for our local Running Start program and will be getting his AA degree earlier than usual and my other twin was just accepted into a college where he will be getting his degree in fitness. So far the one that is in the Running Start program has a 3.4 GPA and would like to get a degree in Business so he can own his own business someday. Both boys love the Lord and are frustrated with the college environment but we are talking a lot about it and I am glad they have such a strong foundation from their homeschooling days that will hopefully help them navigate those challenges that they will and are coming across in the secular college environment.
We just had a wonderful graduation with our boys. We didn’t have any other kids in their class (from the homeschool co-op we are involved in) that were graduating so we had a ceremony just for them at our church. Our church let us use their facility and it was beautiful! We had about 100 of our friends and family join us in our celebration. We were able to share a great video of their growing up years and present our boys with their diplomas and words of encouragement. They each had some words of encouragement for us and it was very heart warming.
Someone asked me if I had to do it all over again, would I do anything differently and I think that I would probably have looked for more ways to get college scholarships for my boys so they could attend a private Christian college, but I am proud of the way they are handling themselves so far. We have a good relationship with them and it makes for good/honest conversations.
We prayed all the way through their homeschooling years for them daily. I believe that is why we don’t have many regrets on what we did. I believe that God guided us in curriculum choices and what to really spend our time and money on for them. God was very clear with us on what we should focus on and I am very thankful for His leading in our homeschooling.
We also joined a homeschool cooperative that made a huge difference in our continuing this journey. Whenever we were frustrated and ready to quit, the community of other homeschoolers were there to help us and support us. I think that was a pretty important thing for us. There are so many resources and support networks out there now. You don’t have to do this alone.
Obviously, we are not a perfect family and we have had our challenges and warts, but I am truly amazed at how well homeschooling works. It’s not nearly as scary as I thought it would be!