One of the things I struggle with in my mind is our homeschooling. I have been at this for 16 years. Seriously, 16 years. Is that not forever? Shouldn’t I be an expert by now? I know how my views and beliefs about h.s. have changed over the years. But I still struggle with envy or the “they’re doing more than me, their kids are geniuses” idea. Truth is, these 5 kids were given to us for a purpose. Their life has a purpose. My life has a purpose. I have to fight off Satan in my thought life because I get scared and worried. My oldest daughter did not attend college. She nannied fulltime for 2 years and now works at an independent spa/health center. She is a hard worker and is completely content with her life. She has a beau and wedding bells will be ringing sooner rather than later. I don’t believe she needs college at this time in her life. Certainly, going into debt for thousands of dollars isn’t the same as it used to be. Schools are outrageously expensive. Entrepreneurs and independent thinkers as well as home based businesses are thriving. I have always said my goal is for my children to know God in such an intimate way that He will help them determine their life’s direction. Does it scare me that she never went to college? A little, but that is not God’s will for her life. Did I mention she’s marrying a worship pastor?
My oldest adopted daughter is now 20 and we have no contact with her. After leaving our home for RTC our relationship fell apart because of misguided and hostile social workers and therapists. Plus it was just easier for B to shut us out rather than work to come home. We fought for her while she fought against us. But she did manage to get her GED along the way. She had a job in a grocery store which she lost when she stole money from the cash register. So having good character and morals was not something she claimed as part of our family. I homeschooled her for four years and valiantly tried to light the fire of learning. It almost did me in. Not understanding the RAD games she was playing with school absolutely blew me away. Now I understand because her two younger siblings are the same way, just not to such a great extent.
My oldest son is 17 and will be a high school senior next year. We’ve always told our kids that they were on their own in paying for college. We have a very modest income with a no frills lifestyle. I don’t feel deprived in any way because the sacrifice we make is worth it. Hopefully our kids understand we’ve made the choice for me to stay home and educate them because of our desire to be obedient to God and to give them a solid foundation for their lives. Joshua felt God calling him to Christian ministry when he was only 11. And still believes this is God’s will for him. So college is a definite for him. He works part-time at our church for our worship pastor, an amazing God-given job that has blessed him and given him some great tools and mentors. Homeschooling has allowed him to have this job during the day and do whatever schooling is leftover at night, which suits him perfectly, my little night owl!
One of the many perks of homeschooling is tailoring it for your family and your lifestyle. I usually wake up 1 1/2 to 2 hours before my three I’m still schooling. This gives me time for personal devotions, computer updates, exercise (if I’m not walking with the kids) and a shower. If I’ve had a bad night and need to sleep a little longer (assuming I can sleep) it’s possible if we don’t have anything else scheduled. The kids have breakfast (and yes, they sleep until 9:30 or so and don’t get out of bed until I let them), do chores, group devotions and whatever book we’re reading and maybe exercise (skateboard, scooter, bike or roller blades for them and walking for me). Sometimes there is computer work or going over corrections with me then lunch and possibly some outside time. The afternoons are for their book work and educational reading while I rest if possible or take care of calls for my mom or any other minutia of daily living. Late afternoons are math corrections, playtime, helping with dinner. We always eat together as a family (except for my oldest who is working). It’s nothing special in terms of what we eat (though I’m a fair cook) or what we talk about or whether we talk much at all. It’s the fact that it’s our habit, our tradition, what brings us together each day. I know one day when the kids are gone I will miss this so much. After supper is sometimes a sports practice, kids Bible study, church or just hanging out. M and S are allowed 30 minutes of computer (fun games) a day at the most and sometimes 30 minutes of a video before bedtime. They head to bed for quiet reading time and dad usually reads to them for 30 minutes. Lights are out at 10. Yes, I know this is late, but guess what, we don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn. And my RAD kids need this consistency of quiet times interspersed with school/family time throughout the day. No two days are ever the same.