A couple years ago, we attended an open house for a group of local homeschooler’s. They offer resources, materials, support, and social gatherings, etc. It was filled with people from all ends of the homeschooling spectrum, and there were some good things being offered. One question we received, as we moved from booth to booth and they learned we were just beginning our journey into the world of schooling at home, was “What made you decide homeschooling was something you wanted to do?”
Tough question to answer while standing there in a few seconds. It’s not the sort of thing we decided instantly, so how would I go about answering such a question politely enough to leave time for others to encounter this booth?
But the answer came quicker/easier than I would have expected.
“We became parents.”
Granted, not everyone who is a parent makes this decision, so it’s hardly a complete response. But for me, it carried a lot in the walls of it’s vocabulary.
We. My wife and I together, our family. Sure, she has a degree in education, and knows a ridiculous amount of things when it comes to teaching. To the point where I’ll probably have to remind myself that this involves me also. Not only “can involve me”…but must. One of the main reasons we are homeschooling…guaranteed parental involvement on a deep level…by both parents. With our completely different personalities and strengths, Sarah and I will definitely have a variety of learning experiences with our children.
Became. It’s not just a title given to someone who has a child. Becoming a parent transforms you in ways that are hard to explain. It involves effort, purpose, and you are never the same. There are things I understand now, that I could only imagine before…that are both incredibly hope-filling and excruciatingly heart-wrenching at the same time. I believe that we are still becoming in many ways, as our daughters grow and age one day at a time.
Parents. Not just “people who have children in their house and keep them alive.” God has given us some pretty hefty instruction all throughout scripture (Deut. 6, etc.) on what it means to raise a family. The amazing gift we’ve been given to join God in bringing about His Kingdom even within our home…is more than a bit humbling. Since becoming parents ourselves, we’ve been surrounded with others who are further along in the parenting journey. We’ve seen it done well, both in regard to public schooling and home schooling. We feel that who we are, and are becoming, fit very well with the freedoms, challenges, and beauty that come from home-schooling.
It definitely takes sacrifice. We’ll have to wait another year or two before purchasing our second home or that yacht. (read – we won’t buy cereal with marshmallows or get extended cable) Doing life as a family of 5 on one income that isn’t going to grow anytime soon – takes commitment. But it’s worth far more than a second income could ever buy us.
Like I said earlier, we are “heading this direction”. As advised by home-schoolers more experienced than ourselves – we take it a year at a time. Who knows, maybe we’ll get to 2nd grade and think “whoa. what are we doing?” But we like what we see each step in this direction, and are praying for God’s guidance and Spirit as we move forward as a family…