Can I Really Homeschool???
When I first thought about homeschooling my four children (ages 4, 6, 11, and 15), it didn’t seem logical. At the time I was working two jobs, and my husband was working full time and also going to school full time to change careers. To say our family was busy was an understatement. How would I make homeschooling work? I had many weeks of restless sleep and internal battles, but every time I pondered and prayed about it, I felt like homeschooling was the right choice for our family. I recently read notes that I wrote in my journal during that time of decision and found what I had written to still be true:
“The heart is the most important thing. Educating the heart is our best chance for success, happiness, and peace. Keep your heart open. Depend on God and trust His strength and wisdom.”
With those feelings etched in my heart, I decided to leap into the unknown world of homeschooling.
If you’ve ever Googled “homeschool ideas” or “homeschool curriculum” before, then I’m sure you can relate with the complete information overload I experienced next. I felt completely overwhelmed and unqualified. There is so much information to consider—curriculum options, philosophies, and countless other choices—when it comes to homeschooling. I finally decided to narrow it down to my reason for homeschooling: to build strong relationships with my children through learning and spending time together. As I created my homeschool plan, quality time became the focus. My family had previously spent several years just getting through the day that we hadn’t spent much quality time together, and I knew that homeschooling could provide an avenue to accomplish that. I knew that my family was hurting, and I was ready to help in the healing process.
Since beginning homeschooling, my family has had poems over pancakes, unplanned trips to the park, stories read while cuddled on the couch, impromptu dance parties in the kitchen, and volcanic eruptions at the dining room table. I’m not saying that a family can’t do all these things without homeschooling, but I know for me, I wouldn’t have these experiences were it not for homeschool.
Before you think we’ve become the picture-perfect homeschool family, let me say that there is no such thing. And when my kids aren’t getting along because they’ve seen each other all day, I remind myself that there’s a lesson in that too. My kids are learning how to cooperate with each other, process strong emotions, lean into difficulty, and forgive each other.
You may feel like you’re underqualified or that you don’t have the time to homeschool, but when God puts the desire in your heart, He qualifies you and helps you make the time. Consider this quote by President Thomas S. Monson:
“When we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help.”
I have been slowly letting go of fear, following my heart, and seeking inspiration from God. In the process I’ve discovered things I didn’t even know my family needed, and I am so very grateful for the experiences I’ve gained through this journey so far. It has not been easy. It has not been carefree or stress-free either, and I am still learning. However, it has been full of joy and beautiful memories with each one of my children that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
- The Mindful Heart