Homeschooling is a journey! Once your child hits school age it’s a journey of 12, maybe 13 years. That may sound like a long time, but in reality, it absolutely flies!
I was a homeschool mom for 18 years. I loved every minute I had with our girls. Then one day, I looked at our oldest in her cap and gown and cried. I admit it; I went to my room and cried like a baby. With tear-filled eyes, I am here to tell you it goes by far too fast. She graduated with her homeschool co-op, went to college, and earned her Master’s in Nursing.
When the Lord blessed my husband and me with children, we knew we wanted to homeschool. We figured if our children were going to spend eight hours a day in a school setting, why wouldn’t we be the ones to do the teaching? Think about it: eight hours a day, five days a week, 40 weeks a year, for 13 years. That equates to 20,800 additional hours for us, not the world, to pour ourselves into and educate our children.
If you are not convinced, let me paint a picture for you. Your five-year-old is sitting in a classroom and begins to read for the first time. She looks up and sees her teacher, and in that moment of excitement, she shares a huge smile and a hug. Wouldn’t you rather have those little arms around your neck and share in that joy of her newfound reading skill?
Moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, we only have our children for a short while. Eighteen years seems like such a long time, but it is only 20% of your child’s life expectancy, if they live until they are 90. We will forever be their parents, but we only have a short time to leave an impression that will last them forever.
Homeschooling is not easy, and it is a commitment. But it is a commitment to the most precious gift you will ever hold: your child. It does not have to be all or nothing. Life happens. A spouse passes away, and you must go back to work, or you lose your job, and it doesn’t work out financially. Let me encourage you to take it one year at a time. We did. That was our commitment to each other. We evaluated our family situation every year. Then, when our second child was in 4th grade, my husband’s company closed, and we needed to transition to me going back to work. It was the most challenging decision we had to make, but that is what needed to be done, and we closed that chapter of our homeschooling journey.
I can reflect on those 18 years and recount the times we had the flexibility within our schedule to focus on their interests. We developed a work, play, and study balance that, in turn, allowed our children to be lifelong learners. I am so grateful for a husband who encouraged me to homeschool and the Lord who provided daily direction for schooling our children. Was it perfect? No. But it was the opportunity to invest in and teach our children and know exactly what they were learning at the end of the day.
Don’t underestimate what you can do. If God calls you to do something, He will equip you. We only have our little ones for a short time. Invest in them, teach them, love them, but most importantly, point them to Christ. We will fall short whenever we attempt things within our strength.