We have chosen to homeschool Madison for Kindergarten and Kenzie for preschool next year. Madison was homeschool for preschool this year, and while we may not have had a curriculum, I like to think that she came out of the preschool exactly where she needs to be. She loves God and seeks to obey him. She loves her sisters and is generous and loving with them. She has a beautiful and creative spirit. She knows how to write all her letters, uppercase and lowercase. She knows most of her numbers to 100. She loves to learn. She asks about 1000 questions everyday and is always seeking to know more. She loves to spend hours each day "reading". We didn't quite make it through her reading program (my goal now is to have that done by the time we leave for Disneyland in July), but she is well on her way to reading. She doesn't know what boyfriends are, she isn't caught up in television shows far beyond her years, she still possesses the innocence that every child should, she seeks to know the Lord, she isn't exposed to behaviors and situations we don't feel she can handle yet, she is conscious of dressing modestly, she loves being a little girl, and she loves life and recognizes that it is a gift from God.
I didn't always want to homeschool. In fact I always wanted to not homeschool. I never imagined that over the course of the past couple of years God would have such a dramatic affect on my heart as to give me such a desire to homeschool our children. While I am still leery of some of the stereotypes of homeschooling and I am not all that excited about being lumped into the "homeschoolers" group, I know without a doubt that I am supposed to homeschool. I am confident that this desire of mine is directly from the Lord, because it definitely was not my own doing. It took me a while to get to this place. I pleaded with God to let me have the same desires as most of my friends, to feel led to put them in school. But alas, this is what He has called me to.
6 Reasons we are Homeschooling
(not an exhaustive list and in no particular order)
1. God has called us to Homeschool the Girls
I don't know if He will continue to call us to homeschool every year, but for next year I am confident that this is what He has for our family. Coming to this realization has been an long, stretching, but wonderful experience. Knowing without a doubt that this desire is directly from the Lord is comforting and inspiring. Seeing His hand so clearly directing this path is awesome!
2. God has called us to raise our Girls
I don't think there is one pattern for raising children. I feel that God has a different plan, agenda and parenting plan for each individual family. To best raise our girls to love the Lord whole-heartedly, we feel that we need more than evenings and weekends to do so.
3. We want to provide the best education possible
It is no secret that schools are being forced to make budget cut after budget cut in recent years. Bluntly put, we feel that the 1:1 student to teacher ratio that our girls will get at home will provide them a better environment for learning that the 35:1 ration that they would get at our neighborhood elementary school.
4. I like being around them.
I can't imagine my kids being gone part of or all of the day. And I am not ready to be a taxi service yet either. The conversations and experiences I get to have with the girls as a result of them being home are priceless.
5. We want them prepared for life
Our desire is that our children grow up to be mature, confident, intelligent, effective women of God. In a classroom setting, children learn so much from their peers because they are around them so much of the time. We want our girls learning from people all around them, all different ages, and different settings and we want to be able to have a hand in the things they are learning and the behaviors they are modelling. It has taken me five years to figure out my five year old and I still don't have her figured out. Josh and I have lengthy discussions about the best way to approach certain sitiuations, behavior issues, or character issues according to how we feel the Lord has called us to raise her. If I don't even have her figured out, how can I expect someone else to know how to best approach, guide and direct my child all day.
6. We want to enhance their God given gifts and interests
Even at 3 and 5 years old, the individual gifts, personalities, strengths and weaknesses of our girls is so evident. We feel that it is a full time job to help nurture the girls, work on their weaknesses, build up their strengths and enhance their interests.
(I know that many who read this do not homeschool. I would never think to judge you, remember, just months ago I was pleading with God to give me a desire to put my girls in private school. This is where I feel God has called me, but I would never dream of judging you for where He has callled you)