March 30, 2008

Home Education Week: B.H.E.

Today is the first day of Home Education Week! Dana at Principled Discovery has set up a week of writing prompts and activities for anyone who wants to participate. The writing topic for today is "Looking Back:"


Looking Back
Share your personal history…before you were a home educator. What was life like? Think about things you miss and things you and your family have gained.

B.H.E. (Before Home Education)

Was there ever a "before" I was a home educator? It almost seems like I've known nothing else. :-) Looking back, I'm so glad that God didn't let me have the final say in my decisions!

As a know-it-all teenager and young adult, I was quite sure that I never wanted to get married or have children. I wanted to be a "career girl" and that career was going to entail travel, although I had no clue what I wanted to do. I changed my mind quite often. I would have loved to get paid to be a full-time student. :-) Well, immediately upon entering college, I met my husband-to-be... and I knew immediately that he was going to be my husband. He knew it too - we were engaged several months later at the age of 19 and married at the age of 21. I still hadn't finished college, having taken time off to work and figure out what I wanted to do. I went back and forth from work to college until we had our first son. At that time, I was presented with the opportunity to work at home as a medical transcriptionist, so I was able to stay home with him. I still took college classes off and on until I got pregnant with our third child, when it became too much to handle the children, work and school.

When oldest was four, we sent him to preschool. Rob wanted me to homeschool, but I didn't think I would be able to teach the children while working, so the next year we sent him off to an all-day kindergarten at a charter school that we really liked. I wasn't thrilled about the all-day kindergarten, but we really liked the school and that was what they offered. That was a pretty difficult year. It went well until December, but then Nathan really started to get burned out. It never occurred to me to pull him out halfway through the year. I was busy at home working two transcription jobs and taking care of a preschooler, toddler and baby. Hindsight is definitely 20/20, isn't it? I don't know why I was worried about being able to teach him kindergarten stuff! I guess I wasn't thinking at all... My poor son came home exhausted and feeling like he was missing out while everyone else was at home. That year is one of my biggest parenting regrets.

Towards the end of the next summer, we knew we couldn't put Nathan back in school. We had been praying about it quite a bit because I was really unsure about working and teaching. The registration deadline kept getting closer and closer, and we had no peace about registering him. That was the beginning of our journey into the world of home education.

What do I miss about that short period that we had a child in school? I can honestly say that I don't miss anything about it. I felt guilty most of the year.

I think we are much closer as a family because we homeschool. Things are far from perfect, and we have a lot of struggles relationally, getting schoolwork done, and just juggling everything. However, I wouldn't trade it for anything. We also have the opportunity to be quite involved in our church, and our children are able to help serve with us. I may not always feel like we are "caught up" as far as school subjects go, and I am often too hard on my sons, but I think they are able to learn so many things that I wouldn't have time to teach them if they were in a public school all day. We have time to read the Word and pray together, clean together (not their favorite though), cook together, and serve together.

As I already said, there are a lot of struggles, but that is part of what is so valuable about home education: struggling together to work out relationships and work together as a small community. I definitely can't think of anything I miss from the B.H.E. days.

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Mar. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

It's been neat reading how everyone began their journey into homeschooling. There are many challenges along the way, for sure(!), but the blessings outweigh them :-)

Tammy ~@~

Mar. 30, 2008 - Looking Back

Posted by Morning Rose

In college, I was also very career-minded and didn't expect to be a stay-at-home mom much less a home educator. We had our older son in a Christian school from pre-school through first grade. It wasn't too bad in pre-school (three mornings a week) or Kindergarten (three full days a week), but we noticed a difference in first grade (five full days a week). He was quite burned out, withdrawn, and bored, and we knew we needed to make a change. I don't miss much about our before-homeschool days either. :)

Mar. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Ellen

That's wonderful that your children serve with you at church. One day, I wrote a post about all of the learning experiences my kids were having at church. I was sure surprised to see how much was on my list. The volunteering and service projects are really important ones to me.

Mar. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by lahbluebonnet

I am sure that God has used that year in kindergarten for've already mentioned some. It motivated you to try something a little scary (homeschooling). I'm sure it helps you to persevere. I wouldn't be surprised if the memories help your oldest to hang on to homeschooling too. You are right about all the opportunities available for homeschooling, like working at church. That is great!

Mar. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

I got my Mrs. degree in college, too. However, I was married at age 19. :) I enjoyed reading your journey.

Peace to you,

Mar. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by HomeForHeavensSake

Thanks for leaving me a note earlier! :)

I never pictured myself as a homeschool mom, either. But now, I can't see myself as anything but!

Mar. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

I never was carreer minded knowing all along I just wanted to be a SAHM. But I never expected to homeschool. That was an unexpected path. I loved reading your story!

Mrs darling

Mar. 31, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

You know, I am glad you talked about how even though homeschooling is the way the Lord led your family, you still have troubles. This comes on an especially challenging day, so it was good to hear some hope!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

Karly @

Mar. 31, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

Your first few sentences sound so much like me! Travel, career student wannabe, not sure about getting married...

And the closeness of family is high on my list of pluses, too!


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