Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Are You Called to Homeschooling?

I ask this question because I truly believe that homeschooling is a calling.  It is a calling because it isn't something you do for a few hours a day, it pretty much encompasses your entire life.  I don't say that to scare anyone away, but I think veteran homeschoolers would agree that you really don't ever get away from it until all your "students" are grown and gone.

When we made the decision to homeschool, we first looked at all of our other options.  I only knew one person who homeschooled, a good friend of mine that I grew up with and loved dearly.  Despite all of that, I pretty much thought she was crazy.

My husband grew up in the Catholic school system and I grew up in the public school system so we had a perspective on each option.  We decided right off the bat that the public school wasn't really an option we wanted to take, so we looked into the Catholic school option.  The nearest Catholic school at that time was a 20 minute car ride one way, which was something I didn't relish doing twice a day.  Besides the car ride, we had to factor in the cost of the schooling.

Once we really started to consider our options, I began to think that maybe my friend wasn't so crazy after all.  Well God took that little opening and ran with it because it wasn't long before we found a homeschooling group, rearranged our family room and bought our materials.

We've been homeschooling now going on our 14th year.  While it hasn't always been easy (actually, I don't think it has EVER been easy :) I am so grateful that this option was available to us and we took it.  I can't even begin to count the blessings that have graced our family over the past 13 years because we have homeschooled.

If you are contemplating this call to homeschool, my advice to you is this:

1. Pray with your spouse. Consider doing a novena together
2. Talk to veteran homeschoolers
3. Find a  support group in your area
4. Start out slowly!  If your children are young, don't dive into the hard core subjects and load them down with workbooks!  Get them to enjoy learning at an early age and your job later on will be much easier.
5.  #4 also applies to families who are pulling older kids out of school.  Give yourself and your child(ren) time to adjust to this change.

Homeschooling can be a very rewarding experience.  Take your time in discerning whether this is the right step for your family and each year reevaluate this decision.  Things change in families all the time so understand that this might not be a life-long path for your family.  As long as you keep prayer at the center of your life, you will be able to discern God's will for your family as it pertains to homeschooling!