Tuesday morning Elizabeth begins first grade: in the dining room, on the couch, in the kitchen - depending upon the task at hand.
I love this.
My heart delights that I won't wave good-bye to her as she boards the school bus; she'll wake up, have breakfast with the family, get dressed, brush her teeth, and then we'll sit to begin the school year together.
How did we get here?
If you click on the "homeschooling" label in the list on the right, you can learn a little about how we got started. The short story is that I began thinking about homeschooling when E was about 2.5. I never, NEVER, NEVER imagined I'd homeschool; I was a public school teacher in my former life, for goodness sake! But as E entered an age where I could do crafts with her, teach her things, and read longer stories to her; my heart said, Hey, this is great! Maybe I should teach her at home!
Without a clue where to begin, I read "Homeschooling For Dummies," got a little overwhelmed at all of the different styles, and shelfed the book ... and the idea.
When she turned 5, we needed to make a decision about school.
I read a lot more that summer and we settled on homeschooling, mostly because in Cambridge Kindergarten was full day (8:30am - 2:30pm) and it didn't sit right with me. Funny how God works, huh? If they had offered half day, we probably never would have started homeschooling from Kindergarten.
Throughout last year I learned, as I went along, the beauty of the homeschooling lifestyle. And that's what it is. It's a lifestyle. My kids are with me all the time, and while I do plan lessons, there's an attitude that life is our classroom.
Why are we continuing?
We currently reside in my in-law's home, in the best school district in the state. People think we're nuts for homeschooling.
Yes, of course my life would be easier if I sent E to school and I know the teachers do a great job! But we've gotten the taste for home education, and we won't be quitting any time soon. You can read some about that here. I love the fact that E is not only learning the 3 Rs, but has free time to play and explore, develop her relationship with B, listen to good literature while we cuddle, learn hymns, and pray for missionaries. And mostly, I love that I get to disciple her through this crazy little thing we call life.
Am I always so confident?
N - O, NO!!!
In fact, writing this post is reminding me of why we homeschool. And my soul is dancing.
The last few weeks I have been plagued with doubt about my ability to get organized or teach my kids anything useful at all! But the Lord has us on this unexpected journey, and we're going along for the ride.
Your journey may have you at home, working, kids in public, private, or charter schools. Please, please, please be assured that I don't think you're a bad parent if you're life doesn't look like ours. I DO NOT. Regardless of where we find ourselves, let's remember first and foremost to rest in the arms of our loving Father, and seek His guidance in prayer and the Word as we raise these precious ones He's given us to nurture and love!