I am so excited for Part 2 by my bud Lis. Her parents are my next door neighbors and make me a STRONG believer in homeschooling. Enjoy her wonderful perspective as a child in their home. And, if you are also a homeschool family (child or parent) – feel free to add your two cents at the end for those weighing their options. – Courtney
Part 2 by Lis
I had the following conversation more times than I can remember when I was growing up:
“So, you are………homeschooled?”
“Well, yes. Why do you ask it like that?”, I would often respond.
“Because you seem so…..normal”
I learned early on that people not familiar with homeschooling were convinced only weirdos and hermits were homeschooled. Only parents who didn’t want their children to have any friends or ever leave the house would choose to educate them at home.
From my perspective, homeschooling is much more about learning as a family in a safe, constructive environment than it is about preventing your kids from having a social life or friends. Of course some homeschoolers are a bit weird. But lets just be honest, there are plenty of weird people in public and private schools too.
I had a very normal childhood with normal parents, (mostly) normal siblings and real live friends. We argued, fought and called each other names. We also laughed together, watched TV and even *GASP* rode our bikes around the neighborhood. Outside. I kid you not! 🙂
Homeschooling for our family began when my oldest sister was old enough for kindergarten. She was still taking naps periodically during the day and around that time public schools went to full school days for her age group. The thought of her going to school when she still sometimes needed to nap worried my mom. A simple decision, based on my moms understanding of what would be best for her oldest child, began a life long journey in home education for the Werner tribe.
Fast forward 30 years. My parents founded Circle Christian School, the largest registered private school for homeschoolers in the state of Florida. I have 4 grown and married siblings. Everyone of us was homeschooled from K-12th grade and every one of us is, by all accounts, pretty much normal.
Often people asked if I was sad about all the things I “missed out on”, but honestly the only things that I can say that I missed out on were the things that I didn’t want to be a part of anyway. Why would I want to go to stand at a bus stop at 6am when I could wake up at 8am, do my school in my pajamas and be done by lunch?
Eventually, I graduated from Circle Christian School and, with 72 friends in a non traditional but very personal High school graduation, recieved the same Florida high school diploma as all of my private and public school friends.
Not all of us chose to pursue higher education after high school but those who did were very successful. In my family, one of my brothers even graduated cum laude from the University of Central Florida. As a side note, my husband, also a homeschooler, not only played 4 years of college baseball on athletic scholarship, he is now in his 3rd year of medical school. His younger sister attended a private university on a full ride academic scholarship and is now pursuing her PhD in literature. Not bad for a bunch of weirdos.
Now that I have a 2 year old, when people find out my educational history I am regularly asked if I plan to homeschool my kids.
Of course I do not know for certain all the plans the Lord has for my family but, as of now, that is our plan. My fondest memories are sitting around the school room table with my brothers working on a project or laughing because of how they are dancing around the room to a rhythm doing their spelling words.
People thought my mom was a little nutty for making the decision to home school, but she was confident in the path God laid out for her life.
I’m sure it was hard for my parents at times to educate 5 of us at home, and I’m sure it will be the same for me. But I’m 100% sure it’s worth the effort if that is the story of my life, too.
Homeschooling allowed me to develop a relationship with the Lord that laid a firm foundation during critical periods of development in my life. I didn’t have to be confused about evolution because all my science books were based on the amazingness of the creation story. Bible reading and devotions were part of my school subjects that had to be completed every day, which in turn created a habit I follow to this day of starting the day with Jesus.
Home schooling also allowed us to do a lot of work at once in order to enjoy extended vacations or holidays. We worked hard to be caught up going into the Winter season of sports because my brothers and I all played basketball. Late night games made early mornings more difficult, but when we didn’t have nearly as much work to do, we could wake up at 10:00am and still be able to complete our days work.
I found in high school that I did my best work in the afternoon and evening opposed to the early morning. Even though my mom is a morning person, she was tuned in to my personality and needs and often didn’t require me to be up at a certain time, as long as my work got done. The rule was as long as I completed my work by Friday night, she did not care what time I got up. But if i failed to do my work, I would be required to get up at whatever time she set. It taught me responsibility and time management that was critical for me when I moved out on my own.
When my parents set out to homeschool my sister, it began as a semester to semester commitment. It wasn’t ever set in stone. Try it. See how it goes, and then re-evaluate. Find someone to do it with you, or a group, or co op. Especially early on there were a lot of subjects that my mom didn’t feel like she taught us very well, but she connected to a network of home schooling moms and one them was always able to fill in the gaps. If homeschooling is something you are feeling led to, do not let Satan discourage you. Pray through your fears and talk to someone who is already walking down this road. You can do this and, if this is God’s calling for your life, I pray that you will!
GREAT STUFF LIS!
Hear ye. Hear ye. This school decision weighs oh-so-heavy on many hearts. We mothers can easily heap guilt and judegment in all directions when this topic comes up. So know we are praying carefully before we write and we hope you’ll do the same with comments throughout the week. Today is homeschool day, tomorrow I’ll share thoughts on private school and Thursday is public school discussion. Keep remembering – not a one-size fits all decision. Each child, each season.
IF YOU HOMESCHOOL OR WERE HOMESCHOOLED…
What are your favorite benefits?
What sold you on this decision?
What are your favorite resources and websites that you might share as some visitng might be considering this option?
THOSE MOMS WEIGHING SCHOOL OPTIONS…
Ask your homeschool questions here!
I want today’s post to be a great place for discussion for moms considering homeschooling for their kids. Success stories to questions to resources shared.
Go for it!