It’s such a strange thing to type, “we chose to homeschool.” Have you ever stumbled into a life you’d never choose for yourself but know beyond the shadow of a doubt it’s what’s right for you, right now? That’s where I find myself. I still wouldn’t be able to say I “chose” to homeschool, but I can say this with full confidence: I have been called to homeschool this year and I’m going to offer my desires, ideals and fears up every day to see what the Lord has in store through this year with my guy.First, let me say that I don’t believe homeschooling is the right option for every family. Not at all. I believe God will lead us so clearly in the direction we should go as it relates to schooling.
Growing up, Homeschool was all but unheard of. I heard stories and stigmas about homeschooled kids, mostly that they were weird, socially awkward, sheltered or any synonym to those three unfortunate labels. I had 6 siblings, all of us two years apart. By the end of summer (or even a long weekend) my mom was practically kicking us out of the house. She was SO productive while we were gone! She cooked, she cleaned, she watched daytime television and kept up regular appointments at the nail and hair salon. She had a quiet house for nearly 8 hours a day. I couldn’t wait for days like that! It was my actual “stay at home mom” dream-the reward for all the diapers and lack of sleep hours on end with a baby suction cupped to my body at all times. Guaranteed free time when they turned three made up for all of it.
When we moved to Virginia after three months of marriage and three years before we’d find out we were pregnant, The Lord started gently whispering homeschool to me. Our pastor’s wife, Ms. Cynthia, had homeschooled their 7 children for 20+ years. It was the first glimpse I had into what it truly looked like and all the myths I’d heard of homeschooled kids as a child were immediately debunked. O wasn’t subtle about telling me how badly he wanted me to do the same, so to express to everyone and make it suuuper clear, I was as vocal as possible. I had to throw in a reminder to let him and anyone listening (yes, even Him) “I would never homeschool.” “I wasn’t meant to homeschool!” “I’m not a homeschool kind of mom!” “I don’t have the personality!” I declared it all- all the time- just to be safe.
But then, as time went on I felt an agitation in my spirit. That sweet peace I’d had all my life dreaming of long days of “free time” and “me time” were becoming more sour than sweet. Like that time in college when I knew I wasn’t supposed to eat McDonalds again but I pulled up to the drive-thru anyway because they’re just fries! And everyone eats the fries!
But the salty, magical fries didn’t taste the same.
They were the same as they’d always been, but knowing they weren’t for me anymore robbed me of any enjoyment in them at all. And that was that.
I’m not one of those moms laying on the carpet snuggling and playing trains with my babies all day. That vision I get of watching a mom in slow motion, laughing as her child dumps out a bag of flour just isn’t how I’m wired. I’m more the drop my kids off, cry thinking of how much I miss them, then blissfully go workout, work and finish my chores while listening to podcasts type of mom while wondering where the time went type of mom. I was actually terrified at the thought of not having that alone time worked into my day and just couldn’t move past it until one day when Ms. Cynthia explained something to me that went through my ears and right into my heart.
It was enough to shift me from saying “I’ll never homeschool,” to “I don’t want to homeschool” and finally, “I’m homeschooling.”
So here we are. And guys, it’s hard sometimes. I so love spending time with my littles. We’re using The Peaceful Press Preschool Curriculum and it’s just lovely. A few days in and my sweet boy is already thriving. None of those things are the hard in all this-it’s the post from each and every mom I know talking about classrooms and teachers. Playdates and birthday parties. Christmas recitals and field trips. It’s the loneliness of it all. In a season where in everything from my body and health to time and how it’s spent seems to be handed to me already decided, this was the bright, heavy cherry on top. But already, one week in, I’ve grown. I’ve been made aware of my own shortcomings and had to face things I didn’t even know were in this heart of mine. I have this wave of peace coming over me in finally seeing that Oshiolema will thrive wherever he goes- it’s me that needs this lesson.
He is beaming with pride, reminding Keogena this is “his school day!” and “his important work!” And as he teaches me about seeds and how bees transfer pollen I’m just amazed by God’s kindness. For an often too-busy, always present but not actually present mom, homeschool is my speed bump. My reminder that if I didn’t slow down, I would miss it. And this is exactly where I’m meant to be.
It’s exactly where I want to be.
We plan on joining a field-trip group here in Dallas and with Soccer starting next week, his KidStrong class and Keogena’s gymnastics, I know the loneliness wont last long. If you’re homeschooling as well, I’d love to hear from you! All the tips, please and thank you!