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You know even though, I had been granted peace this was still oddly theraputic.
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We had briefly contemplated homeschooling before Logan entered Kindergarten. Although Don was behind the idea and I saw many advantages educationally, I also felt that public school would give me my own personal time and space; something that has been seriously lacking in my life for now 7 years. I was going to clean my house, be a room mom, scrapbook, take a couple of art classes, workout and finally lose this extra 80 pounds that I’ve gained in the last 7 years. It was going to be blissful, I tell you. And eventually, I’d go back to work and earn some extra money for the household. So Logan went to Kindergarten.
The last Sunday school class of the season came and at class end, Don, 2 home educator moms, and I gathered in discussions. Many topics were discussed, but Don & I both went away feeling that God was leading us to move closer to the church and ultimately to homeschooling (although I really didn’t think that I’d go there). At the end of the public school year, Logan asked to be homeschooled. I said I would think about it, not really planning to. Then he asked Grandma to help him convince me to homeschool him. Grandma’s first reaction was, of course, to tell him that he didn’t want to be homeschooled; he’d miss out on so much. Everything she could think of to say. I knew then that if he was asking a trusted adult for help, he was serious.
Summer of 2009, I call it, the summer that wasn’t. We were looking at houses and planning to move (we were actually outbid on our favorite one that we all loved), having a birthday celebration in the middle, and then we decided we would stay put, so we redid the family room and adjacent bathroom, finishing (mostly) in time for birthday party number two. And every other spare moment of that summer was spent pouring over homeschool books and then curriculum. In July I knew I was going to give it a try. What could it hurt to try? I have a niece who teaches preschool, and is a certified elementary teacher; I could lean on her now. If I’m successful, I have a sister-in-law that teaches high school English that would be a resource in the older years.
Decision made, curriculum bought, and home education started. Then it became increasing clear that my sister-in-law, Kate, and her husband, Dan, were not in favor of this endeavor. Don and Dan are more than brothers, they are best friends. We have always been of the mindset that if you don’t agree with a family member or friend, you let them know your concerns and then allow them to make their decision, but once they make that decision you support them regardless of how you feel about the decision. Dan has made several work decisions which we have advised differently on, but supported him regardless. Dan told Don that he didn’t support this decision and didn’t want to talk about it. Don was upset. How could he (his own brother) not support us in this decision (our decision, not theirs)? I was mad. I was upset. Knowing this mostly stemmed from Kate and she had said nothing while I was reading the homeschooling books at the lake. It was never discussed and she had ample opportunity. She didn’t ask my reasons for it.
Our main reason is that we do feel education is important and want our children to love it (Logan wasn’t). The curriculum also was a reason: we can choose curriculum that suits our beliefs not the mass of politically correctness. We can use a chronological history that teaches creationism not evolutionism. We can incorporate bible study. We can teach phonics and not only sight words.
Logan and I were having our own growing pains, trying to figure this whole thing out. Then I had my moment. We were studying even and odd, I watched Logan give me the correct answers, knowing he didn’t really get it. Then after about a week, I saw it click. He got it. It was AMAZING to be there. I thanked God that I was able to be there doing this.
As I was speaking with my father-in-law in October, he said he couldn’t bring up homeschooling with Kate or he’d get a diatribe. Now I was angry. It was a source of distress with my husband. He felt betrayed by his brother’s lack of support. He had no one other than me to talk to about concerns or ideas. Family functions were becoming strained.
I asked my home educators group to pray about it. (We share prayer requests.) Then one day at church, a week or two before Christmas, with nothing to do with the sermon, a peace came over me. God had heard those prayers and answered them. I can only do what is right for my family, or where I think God is leading us. I cannot worry about how others perceive our decisions. I’ll just pray they may overcome their feelings.
| Date: Tue January 26, 2010
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