Three Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Homeschooling
It has been nine years since I began homeschooling.
Nine years ago I had two children, an eager 4 ½ year old and a high needs 2 year old. My husband was deployed with the Army Reserves and I blindly stepped into the world of homeschooling alone in a small town, 2 blocks from the local elementary school. My only goal was to teach my 4 year old son to read.
Today, I stand amazed at where I have been, where I am going, and where the Lord has me right now. Looking back, certain aspects of this journey stand out as things I wish someone could have prepared me for. And while I am aware I could never fully prepare you for the impact homeschooling will have on your life, I still want to share three things I never realized would come from being a homeschool mom.
Three things that have changed my life forever.
1. You will never stop analyzing.
Every subject you teach, every method you use, every word you speak will race through your brain day and night. No matter how many homeschool conference speakers drill into your head that you truly are your child’s best teacher, you will still question yourself and worry about everything from teaching your 6 year old to read to making sure your high schooler is complying with state standards. You will pray and research and pray some more, tirelessly looking for the best in everything you do. And this will never cease, even after your last child is long graduated from your homeschool. However, all this analyzing will make you a better mother because it will teach you to capitalize on your strengths and rely on God to fill in your weaknesses.
2. You will learn much more than you will ever be able to teach.
You will learn to love history because you homeschool. You will appreciate the world around you more because you homeschool. You will become a lifelong learner because you homeschool. And you will never, ever be able to impart to your children all the things you want to teach them. You will own piles and piles of books in which lie pages and pages of projects and information you want to teach someday…a day that will never come. And hopefully, you will learn to let go of your need to be everything to your children, finally understanding you cannot possibly hold yourself responsible for teaching them everything they need to know. Besides, one day they might homeschool and learn everything you couldn’t manage to teach.
3. You will cry…a lot.
Homeschooling is a huge gut-wrenching responsibility. It is also a tremendous blessing that will leave you speechless. The first words your child reads will be because of you.
The outbursts of frustration that come from a difficult math problem will be spewed on you. The daily ups and downs of life as a homeschooling family will primarily belong to you. You will cry tears of joy, tears of anger and tears of exhaustion. God will bottle those tears and bless you for your faithfulness and you will cry at the beauty of it all.
Even though homeschooling brings anxiety and angst and tears aplenty, you will never regret being humbled and awestruck daily by the precious little children sitting round your dining room table. And someday when you wish someone had told you what homeschooling was really about, you will realize it doesn’t matter. You are changed forever. For the better.
Amy Roberts is the homeschooling mother of 6 living children and one precious little girl named Emily resting in the Lord’s arms. Her days are filled with giggly girls, rambunctious boys, and sticky baby kisses. At night she blogs about it all at Raising Arrows. It is her deepest desire that out of the overflow of her heart, her mouth should speak…and her fingers type.