Thursday, August 09, 2007

Yes. Through high school.

One of the most common questions I'm asked about homeschooling, second only to the "socialization" question (which, ironically, is usually asked at an event where my kids are, well, socializing) is "Are you planning to homeschool all the way through high school?" To which I used to reply: "I don't know. We're taking it year by year."

But that's not my answer anymore.

When I used to have my "year-by-year" state of mind, I questioned homeschooling every summer, like clockwork. In February I would have my regularly scheduled breakdown, stuff my feelings, plow through spring, and then in the summer I would revisit my February freakout and wonder if I should homeschool the next year. In the back of my mind, I knew I would, or at least knew I wanted to. At least I wanted to want to. I would allow myself to imagine what a better experience they would have at school. I would imagine the perfect teacher, always well-dressed and friendly, daily challenging them with imaginative and thought-provoking lessons. Then I would imagine myself in my cute tennis outfit, cheerfully picking them up from school. (No, I don't play tennis. But I might, right?)

One summer, I settled it. With myself, and with God. I prayed, "God if you mean for me to quit homeschooling, I will expect You to reveal it to me through your Word and through my husband. Not my feelings of inadequacy, not my kids' attitudes, not the world's standards of what's "normal," and not my desire to do something easier. I commit to homeschooling all the way through high school, and fully rely on You to enable me to do so. I believe that You called me to this, and that you will equip me for it. Thank You that I have reached the end of myself so quickly so that I will more readily rely on Your strength and wisdom." I told my husband, "I'm in." (Bless his heart! I don't think he ever knew I was "out!") I said, "If we are ever to stop homeschooling, I will expect you to be the one to tell me, knowing full well that you are the one most accountable to God for how we raise these children." (He's been 100% in favor of homeschooling since the beginning, and has never entertained one thought of doing otherwise.)

I wish I could say that since I "settled it" I've never had one bad day of homeschooling or one moment of feeling overwhelmed. But I can't. What I can say is that since I "settled it" and committed to homeschool through high school, I haven't had my semiannual moments of thinking homeschooling isn't for us. I may wonder what I can change, or how to do things better, but I don't entertain ideas of quitting homeschooling altogether. Because I firmly believe this is what we are supposed to do, for many, many reasons (which are a whole 'nother post!) God has graciously given me JOY in homeschooling, even on the toughest days. Not the "holy jollies" but the deep abiding joy and peace that comes from doing what He's asked me to do. I love it.

Yesterday at the library, while the kids were perusing books, I sat with my laptop and typed up our high school checklist. I adapted it from our state's graduation requirements. (For my daughter's upcoming 8th grade year, we are doing a few credits that will count for her high school transcript and I want to be sure I begin my documentation now.) I found that as I typed words like "chemistry" and "physics," I was amazingly calm! I didn't flinch! I even felt a sense of excitement. And I KNOW it's not coming from my own self-assuredness in those subjects. I know it will be challenging, but not for God. He can do anything. And through Him, I can, too. "By my God, I can leap over a wall" (Psalm 18:29) even if that "wall" is helping my kids through a difficult school subject, or all of high school! He can give my children (and me) "learning and skill in all literature and wisdom." (Daniel 1:17) Including calculus! My confidence is in Him, and that's where it should stay! The glory's all His.

It's with confidence in my calling and in my God- NOT in myself, that I can boldly answer:

"Yes. Through high school."


Alycia said...

Cyndi, What a great post ~ it truly touched my heart. I entertained the same "February-freak out" feelings through much of my first year. I was constantly second guessing our decision until somewhere in the Spring, I gave it all up to God and asked my husband to do the same (as you asked of yours) in regards to continuing our homeschooling. People ask me all the time if we will school at home through high school. I know we will, for so many reasons, I cannot even imagine placing them in a public school anymore. We live right across the street from an elementary school, and come September as I see all the kids hurry off to their first days, I am not going to stress as I did last Fall. God has given me such a deep peace about our decision and our faith in following His leading for our family. Thank you for this post and for articulating in a beautiful way, how my heart also feels.

ColoradoDreaming said...

Alycia pointed you post out to me and it was a blessing to read. I need to find all of you homeschoolers on here and gather wisdom from you all. I have homeschooled many years but didn't last year and part two years before that for life reasons. But am doing it again this year and am so excited!!!! Thanks for the encouragement. I have homeschooled one child through highschool and it was great. My challenge is the child that is in 10th grade this year. He has some mental issues that make it challenging to have him home but I am going to try a different attitude on my part. And rely totally on the Lord!

Anne said...

Yeah! Thanks so much for writing this! You articulated just what's been on my mind lately. THANKS!

lize said...

Cyndi, thanks again for reaffirming my heart. I think your Heaven scent. Honestly, I know of you thru scrapbooking but think it was a God purpose to have met you. I started to entertain the idea of placing my kids back in public school a couple of months ago b/c we are moving to a better side of town and they would go to "choice" schools but only academically b/c all kinds of things happen in these schools anyway. But thanks in part to your encouraging words I know I can make it and so can my kids. I have a high schooler this year too and a jr. high. And yes calculas and physics seem daunting but WE will make it with help from friends and Him we will all make it thru this great commission we call homeschooling.

playingschool said...

Thank you for sharing your heart and prayer on this decision. I've been struggling for the past 6 months or so about continuing to homeschool my daughter. I will pray your prayer with you, that I will stay the course unless God reveals through my husband and through the Word that I am not to homeschool anymore. If I could just stop spending so much time worrying if I'm making the right decision, maybe I could be more productive and satisfied!

Tricia said...

That was very well said.

It is our plan to home school all the way through high school. I have one going into his sophomore year already! WOW!

The thing is I am almost scared to say yes, Homeschooling is all we'll ever do. God may call me to something else, or I may get sick or...fill in the blank.

But like you I'm committed. I love homeschooling and I pray God gives me the strength to see it through to the end. Or makes it clear that it is time for something else.

Because to me, being obedient to Christ is top on my list.

I pray that means making it all the way through high school, with all 4.

Christy said...

I usually get a progression of questions- first, "Oh, but you're just homeschooling for preschool, right?" No. "Oh, but you'll put them in regular school for high school, right?" No. "Oh, but what about socialization?" And you're right, they're usually socializing a
at the time!


LisaWA said...

Love the post on home schooling through High School!

My first born will graduate this year! He never went to school... until last year. He is enrolled at our local community college in a running Start program. He is already earning his 2 year degree!

I would not change my time with my children. I have such precious (and the not so precious) memories tucked away in my heart. *Ü*



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