It was a quiet afternoon in the spring of 2009. Our daughters knelt on the tile floor of our kitchen and begged us to homeschool them! My husband and I saw it as a divine assignment.
Our daughters had been attending a wonderful Christian school in our area. They were doing very well. Good friends. Godly teachers. An awesome headmaster. All was good.
But how do you respond when your children make such a request?
During the time they asked, I was not in the best emotional state. I had recently shut down our construction company. The market crash of 2007-2008 affected the residential industry in devastating ways. We lost thousands of dollars. Many of my colleagues lost it all… some even their marriages. Thankfully, God kept our marriage together and sustained us during the most difficult time as a couple.
My husband suggested for me to take some time off work before making my next move. We decided to take the homeschooling journey one year at a time. Ten years later, we completed our assignment, from the fall of 2009 to the spring of 2019.
Loving studies myself and being a good researcher, I stumbled upon wonderful homeschool communities, fairs, families, and phenomenal curriculum. We started with the same curriculum used in their previous school (Abeka), did Classical Conversations for a few years, my daughter Nathalia took public speaking and violin classes at TAFA, and I even discovered a goldmine of online education to help our girls earn college credits while still in high school.
I found that Bryan College and Liberty University offered dual credit courses to high school juniors and seniors. Having an idea of what our girls wanted to pursue and the college they wanted to attend, helped me customize their schedule of courses ensuring they would transfer.
Our oldest daughter, Gianna, earned 30 college credits, graduated high school at age 16, and entered college as a sophomore. She graduated in the spring of 2020 with a bachelor of theology at age 19 and began her master’s studies the same year.
Our youngest daughter, Nathalia, earned 39 college credits, also graduated high school at age 16, and entered college as a sophomore. She is on target to graduate in 2022, Lord willing.
Gianna asked me one time: “How did you know to do this?”
I never in a million years planned or dreamed of investing 10 years of my life home educating our daughters.
Society had taught me to continually strive for more and sacrifice anything and everything to go up the ladder of success.
That’s NOT God’s way. It’s exhausting. It’s costly.
I am so glad my husband always reminded me why we were homeschooling. I may never know the headaches, bullying, emotional trauma, and tremendous peer pressure our daughters avoided. But I am so glad we were obedient to see our girls’ desire as God’s desire.
Do you know why our older daughter was so keen on being homeschooled?
At the young age of 8 years old, she expressed her heart to my husband: “Daddy, you know how me and you have a good relationship? I don’t feel the same way with mommy. But I think if she homeschools us, we could also have a good relationship.”
My daughters were hungry for connection. Even though we both ensured to give them time and attention, running the home construction company absorbed a tremendous amount of my time.
I’m glad we homeschooled. If we were to do it again, we’d do it in a heartbeat.
Following are a few lessons I learned.
1. Keep an open mind and be God-led
The beauty of homeschooling and being God-led is that you can customize an education program for each child. What works for one child/family does not necessarily work for another. Right now you see great opportunities, a few years from today other wonderful opportunities will surface that will best align with your child and suit his/her interests—after all, it’s about their education, their life purpose and calling God placed on their lives.
In our case, we did not plan out things exactly as they played out. It was one step at a time, from one open opportunity or experience to the next. As we look back, we see we were truly God-led in our journey. We are very pleased with the results and learning along the way.
My daughters say it couldn’t have turned out better than it did. That gives me peace of mind. Even the negative circumstances we experienced were actually a blessing in disguise because they led us to where we are today. Wee all learned from them, and our daughters could not be happier.
2. Don’t let guilt grip your heart
There is a myriad of ways to teach/do subjects and sometimes, even with our best intentions, something does not go as well as we’d like to. Guilt is the first attack the homeschool parent gets. It really helped that Nestor served as my anchor many, many times to help me stay focused as to WHY we were doing this in the first place. I learned to deal with the guilt and move on.
First of all, we did not seek this journey. Our daughters begged us to homeschool them. In her 8-year old mind, Gianna requested it because she wanted to be as close to Mom as she felt she was with Dad, and thought that homeschooling was the answer. We saw that as a sign from God and took the leap of faith. We did not understand everything as we do now, and in the years to come, we will further see the fruits of our labor.
3. There’s no perfect system or curriculum or parent
Follow your “gut feeling”—it’s a God-given intuition we women possess. If a program or curriculum does not “feel right”, trust your intuition. God has given us mothers a “6th sense”, I believe is our “Holy Spirit” ear. Sometimes we can’t put a finger on something that does not settle well in our spirit so we just have to move in faith.
If a program, curriculum, or community does not work out, switch to another one. If one works wonders, like our case with Saxon Math, stick to it. Math in particular is one of those very important subjects that once you find a curriculum that works, it is best to continue with it.
4. Take time for yourself and have fun
Take care of yourself. The happier you are, the less stressed you’ll feel. Homeschooling is hard work. Lots of work! Enjoy some quiet time for yourself at the end of the day. Meet with a friend. Go for a walk. Do whatever will help you unplug from the routine and recharge your mind and spirit. You’ll feel happier and will be a better teacher-parent. I wish I could have taken more time to have fun, enjoy the process, and not be so worried about finances or the future. I would have enjoyed homeschooling even more.
5. Trust that everything will be okay
As Christian parents, there is an element of trust we must exercise in everything we do, including homeschooling. God’s Word says that the just shall live by faith. Life does not always turn out the way we want. Worry does not add an hour to our day. Fear depletes us of finding joy in the wonder of simple activities, which we sometimes take for granted. You’ll get through this. Your kids will do fantastic. And you will have had the most amazing experience you could ever imagine.
Influence is impossible without presence. Your presence in your children’s lives will give them the stability and security that nothing else can. They may not say it, but when children are older they recognize and are grateful for our efforts and sacrifice.
Homeschooling can be the most exciting experience ever both for you and your child. You have the freedom to be selective, creative, and customize your child’s education.
One of the best gifts of homeschooling your children is the plethora of opportunities for experiential and outside-the-box learning. From trips to local museums, socializing with other amazing homeschool children, having group studies with other families, volunteering in the community, and developing their leadership skills, children get to experience the world around them in such a powerful way that expands their thinking, nurtures their imagination, and develops them into mature, disciplined, independent thinkers.
If God is leading you to homeschool, there must be a special purpose He has planned for you and your children.
Homeschooling not only enriches the life of the child.
Homeschooling also enriches the life of the parent.
Check out the homeschool curriculums my girls and I loved.