What Homeschool has Taught Me

In March 2020 I, like millions of other parents across the world, received a notice that school was closed for the reminder of the year.

I cried.

Fast-forward to July and the public schools were still unsure what the fall semester would look like. One day they would be back in person. The next, they would be 100% remote. Then they would be mixed.

After a few weeks of uncertainty, Josh and I decided we would choose our own curriculum and homeschool the boys ourselves. We figured it would provide stability for the boys and end the back and forth anxiety for me.

Homeschooling was never part of the plan, and I’ve talked before about how much I like a plan. I loved sending the boys off to school to make new friends, learn to work with others, and be taught by someone else. That gave me an outlet. I volunteered at the school a couple days a week. I loved it. I also had time to get things done without three someones right behind me getting into something else.

However, half way into the year, I can say that I love this too! It took a few weeks to admit that, and I don’t enjoy every day necessarily, but that’s ok. I can see how God is teaching me to be flexible. I need to keep growing in that.

What I Like

Flexibility. Even do we do school every day, we are change things up occasionally to keep things fresh and new. If it’s a nice day, we go outside to read. free to change up our schedule when needed.

Teamwork. Josh and I have been able to work together in kids’ education. Josh did a lot of the research and ultimately picked out the curriculum we use while I do the majority of the lesson planning and teaching.

I teach four days a week and he teaches one. It’s really nice to have a break one day a week so I can work on some of my own things–like a podcast and blog for example. Letting Josh have a day (he asked for one) isn’t always easy for me. That sounds crazy to say that, but it’s hard to accept that he has a different method. It helps us work together more.

Freedom. We dig deeper on our interests. One of my boys knows nearly every fact about every animal. We’re able to encourage that passion with more trips to the library and YouTube animal adventures. We complemented our curriculum’s coverage of the westward expansion with extra reading and videos talking about how kids lived during that time.

Growth. We’ve been reading through the New Testament and I just love the opportunities we’re able to take to apply God’s word to what we are studying. I get to witness those lightbulb moments when the connect truths about scripture. I wouldn’t have those opportunities if they weren’t at home every day.

I’ve Learn Some Things

First off, the responsibility of teachers is extraordinarily underrated! I didn’t assume homeschool would be ‘easy’ per se, but I did go to school for elementary education. Some of that should transfer, right? No, not really.

The prep time for lessons is more time-consuming that I expected. Our curriculum even lays out a lesson plan, but preparing for class still takes a lot of time.

My kids are also very, very different. Not everyone wants to learn what I want to teach or when I want to teach it. Adjusting lessons to the different learning styles can be exhausting, and I’m only teaching two of them right now. It’s hard for me to imagine what three grades would look like next year.

Education is personal. It’s an investment. Some days it feels like they are sucking the life right out of me. Am I ready to give? Have I filled myself with God’s strength? Am I working on my strength (and failing miserably)?

They see me all day, everyday. They see my good and my bad. I’ve been humbled by that. This is a challenge for me to truly seek Christ and reflect Who He is. Walk the walk.

What’s Next?

Nope. This isn’t what I had planned; but God is not caught off guard by pandemics.

We don’t know what next year will look like yet. We’re taking it one day at a time and trusting God to fill in the details. As much as we’ve all grown to love homeschooling, there is still so much we miss about public schooling.

We’re excited for the next steps in their education, whatever they may look like.

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If you liked this, you may enjoy my weekly Coffee Chats. Each week, I send out a few words of encouragement or a challenge for wives and mothers who need some love. I hope you’ll join us for a minute every Wednesday.