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What I’ve Learned in the Beginning Years of Homeschooling

Homeschooling didn’t start as our “way of doing life” for our family. I started homeschooling when my daughter was entering the age of preschool. Looking back to that time, it was not easy but it wasn’t hard either. First of all, I don’t work full time and much of my time was dedicated to what most mom does at home. Full-time management of the household including paying bills, ensuring the cleanliness in every corner of the house, feed the people at home, organize and engage activities with the children. My son just turned 1 at that time and I, being stuck at home all day, while my husband was working in Cincinnati figured that it won’t be hard to just homeschool my daughter who was 3 at that time. The desire also came from the deepest part of my heart. However, I do not have the confidence to execute it.

These are the things I’ve felt or sometimes communicated to me which sprouted my insecurities in homeschooling:

  • I’m not a college graduate (While I went to college on a full ride scholarship, I didn’t complete my bachelors).
  • A lot of people I know were against it or have stories that supported why they’re against it and they don’t ran out of stories.
  • I’ve heard from people also that my kids won’t have friends or “learn to make friends”.
  • What will happen to my kids “social life”?
  • Homeschooling was an old way of teaching kids. We need to think progressively.
  • Are we qualified to educate our children?
  • My husband can’t really defend it with me (don’t worry, this was just the beginning years).
  • What do I do, if I run out of resources?

In spite of these reasons, I did home schooled my daughter before she entered 1st grade. But when we moved to another state around the time my daughter was entering 1st grade, I stopped and we started sending her to the public school. Don’t get me wrong, the public school in the town we moved in was wonderful! She struggled with her reading in the first year and second year also, so to avoid being blamed with her learning struggles, I thought it’s best that she just goes to the traditional school. After all, it’s just the beginning years of traditional school.

I let go a little bit of the notion to homeschool, even it kept coming back to me. In 2014, our family decided to move to the Philippines. We sold “almost everything” and move our family across the Pacific. But before we flew out to Asia, My husband and I prayed and made a decision that changed our life (if not forever), the path of our way of life.

Remember those thoughts that kept coming back to me? I asked God why I kept having those thoughts. Then I prayed that if He wants our family to homeschool, that He’ll guide Tim, not just me through this journey. That if it’s His will, He’ll make him the leader of our homeschool journey.

That’s some prayer request, because first of all, Tim is not “for it”. There are couple of reasons that affects his decision. That is why I don’t want to force it into our family, but instead, I asked God to enforce it.

As Tim and I had coffee over one afternoon in Indiana, we started conversing about where will we send the kids to school in the Philippines. As if something shifted within his mind that all of a sudden, he feels homeschooling is the best way to educate our kids when we move to the Philippines. We considered also some options, like private schools or hiring a tutor to supplement our homeschool. In the end, we decided to home school again.

As we navigate through this journey of homeschooling, we realized that it will get harder. Yet, it will be for a time being. Failures and challenges are a way of life, but we pressed on. In keeping with our goal, we find the word of God as a bedrock of our decisions.

We held on to so many verses, like this ones:

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. – Deutoronomy 6:7

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved. – Psalm 55:2

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

What I learned from the beginning years of homeschooling, is that it’s important to surround yourself with Biblical truths first. This will ground you on the “WHY” you homeschool.

While there are some voices around us that come against what we do in homeschooling, we learned to respect, listen and turn off anything that doesn’t connect with Biblical truths.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:33

Ultimately, with God’s help, those insecurities are almost gone. My husband is the main teacher of the kids and I come in to help here and there when it comes to, Computer, Science and Math subjects. He double majored in Counseling and Communications. He actually thought for a while that his degree may have been wasted for not pursuing a job that relates to his educational background. But I think what he has gained from his academics played an important role on what he’s investing now on our kid’s studies, spiritual and moral growth.

These are seeds that are being planted and nurtured…and hopefully in time can withstand the troubles and challenges in life as well productively contribute to our society.

Here are the main points on what I’ve learned in the beginning years of homeschooling:

  • Surround yourself with Biblical truths to ground you onĀ  “why you’re homeschooling”
  • If you are married, make sure you are both in agreement to homeschool. Homeschooling demands partnership between the husband and wife.
  • Listen and respect those people who come against homeschooling, but turn off anything that doesn’t connect with Biblical truths.
  • Pray always.

May this help you in your homeschooling journey!

Chie Carroll

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