“I could never do that,” was a common response from women when I told them I homeschooled my children. For me it was never about whether I could or couldn’t do it, it was something I felt called to.
I heard about the concept of homeschooling on the radio. Annie and Tina were two and under but I knew this was the direction for me. There were so few homeschoolers at the time, I didn’t even know anyone taking this path. A couple years later I met Heather, her kids were a year or two ahead of my girls. She showed me what she used for curriculum, what worked and what didn’t. I felt thrilled. A newly formed homeschool co-op met regularly and boy, did we need one another in those early days. We would pack lunches on the first day of school each year. We'd walk around the block and back to the house to begin. This continued until we moved and the girls felt embarrassed to do our yearly walk. Honestly, I did too. Our neighbor taught at the public school and didn’t have the most positive attitude about what we were doing. Even after a difficult day, I still loved it, loved being home with the kids. At the end of summer when all the parents couldn’t wait for their kids to go back to school, I couldn’t wait to have my kids back and settle into our routines. We were all excited for the first day of school. It was a little like Christmas. I kept their supplies hidden until that morning. I loved the sun shining through the window on us as we worked. I have these special memories that make me happy. On cold, dark, wet days I could hear the school bus driving by and felt thankful we were home, safe and warm. The two oldest would be working at their school desks. The second two would be sitting on either side of me, while we finished their work and the youngest two sat on the floor by the woodstove playing happily with Legos. The sense of safety, peace and joy filled my heart and our home. I’m not the best teacher but I count it an honor to have taught all my kids to read, write, add and subtract. It’s amazing how well they turned out and how smart they all are, since I was never more than a mediocre student. I homeschooled for twenty years and all six graduated at sixteen. I’ve learned over the years, motivation is important. Not everyone should homeschool and for some people it's just a season of time. If you are only homeschooling because you are mad at the public schools, you’ll probably won't make it for long. It's not easy, it's a commitment, that doesn't work if you aren't willing to sit with them as they work. The investment is worth it. If I had to do it again, I would.