It was almost a year ago to the day that I told my husband I didn’t want to go back to work and instead stay home and homeschool our children. I had been thinking about it for weeks and just knew he would have a million questions for me.
How would I homeschool my 1st grader with a newborn and 3 year old to look after as well?
Did I know how to teach 1st grade?
Why would I even want to homeschool?
I mean, I managed customer relations and social media at Nordstrom. I wore designer shoes to work everyday. Homeschooling my 3 children was about as polar opposite from my current life as I could get. And then there was the matter of whether or not we could afford for me to walk away from my job with the company I’d spent 10 years of my life working for.
No questions? No maybe we should think about this? I don’t even think I’m qualified to do this! I haven’t even been inside our son’s school more than three times all year! I’m the parent who never has time to volunteer. And, I’m about to have our third child! Who even has three kids nowadays? Oh, what have I just done?
I think part of me wanted him to challenge this idea because even though I was so sure I wanted to homeschool, I was so unsure in my ability. But I played it cool and charged ahead learning everything I could about homeschooling, unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, Montessori and every other homeschooling method out there. I poured over books, blogs and Pinterest boards but still couldn’t put into words why I wanted to homeschool when someone asked me.
I usually ended up giving some generic answer like “I just want to spend more time with them.” But honestly my desire to homeschool was based solely on faith. Faith that it was in the best interest of my children and our entire family.
- I want my children to learn compassion for those who need it most – the homeless, the outcast, the addict, the mentally ill.
- I want them to know about the millions of orphans, the children forced into slavery and those without a voice.
- I want them to know that every purchase we make has a real cost that goes beyond our dollar spent. The cars we drive, the kinds of clothes and food we purchase, the plastic toys we buy have a real affect on others and our planet.
- In a world obsessed with media, consumerism and overconsumption, I want to teach them less. Less TV, less Internet, less radio, less toys, less greed.
- I want to teach them our country’s true history in all of its ugliness and the injustices we still witness today because of it. I want to teach them to spot those injustices and take a stand against them.
- I want them to know that our nation’s farmland is in crisis and we must fight by supporting our local farmers.
- I want them to learn how to become self-sustaining, to farm and hunt, but above all respect and cherish our Earth.
- I want them to know that while we have fresh, organic food at our table every day, there are millions in our country that live in food deserts with very few choices or healthy options and even more that are literally starving in our own city and throughout the world.
- I want them to know they have the power to demand change for our country.
- I want them to discover their true passions, the things that make them feel alive.
- I want to teach my children to take pride in all that they do whether it’s writing a letter, helping their sibling or cleaning up trash at a park and know that when they do, they are glorifying God.
- I want philanthropy to become a way of life for my children. I want them to know there is always a way to help with our money, our voice or our time.
- I want to teach them that Christianity is not about being concerned with what others are saying or how they are living but about their own personal relationship with God.
These are the reasons I felt so compelled to homeschool but couldn’t put into words until now. The things that truly matter. The reading, writing and math will come but nothing can replace the time we spend together focusing on their hearts. As our first year together comes to a close I’m amazed at how many of these things we have been able to discuss at 6 and 4 years old. I’ve grown to admire my children so much in their ability to listen thoughtfully and ask questions about how and why things are the way they are. My hope is that our homeschool environment will continue to challenge them and in turn push them to challenge themselves and the world around them.