This can be a tough question to answer right? It was for my husband and I for sure. Here is a little background on our experience, I hope might be an encouragement to you.
We have 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys. Our oldest just turned 29 and our youngest is 11. Yes, we know we have a very wide age spread. It can be fun and challenging but it is our life and we love it.
Our decision to homeschool was not something we knew from the beginning when we had our first child. In fact just the opposite my husband was very confident we would never educate our children in this manner. Well, never say never, a statement that has proven to be true for us on more than one occasion.
Over the years of raising our children we have used I believe every arena of education that is available. We have been in private christian school, public school, homeschool where we chose the curriculum ourselves, private online homeschool, public online homeschool and finally and currently we are enrolled in a private hybrid homeschool which has proven to be the best fit for us overall. Our kids attend 2 days a week for classes, where they have teachers just like in 5 day a week school. The administration chooses the curriculum. And the 3 days they are at home working my role is to facilitate. I am here to make sure they complete the assignments, and assist with their work when needed. Of course, this diminishes as they reach the higher levels.
So you can see we have tried it all. And you may actually be wondering at this point are we just a little crazy? (Side note) did I mention we also have 4 dogs? So that bit of info might clinch the crazy question for you:)
All joking aside. Yes, we have used many forms of education for our kids. And all of them have been in some or all of the areas I mention above. We did however settle on the fact for our family home schooling was the option we preferred and as I mentioned earlier the hybrid solution has proven to be a perfect fit. Now let me assure you that no matter what option you settle on for you family you will encounter struggles, that is just part of raising a family as I am sure that you already know.
I want to stop now to give you a few very loving and caring prompts that I wish someone had given me many years ago. And honestly someone probably did share these ideas with me but I didn’t listen. I was probably too busy trying to be the “perfect parent” Funny I know. Somehow, I thought I could come up with the right formula that would produce the perfect family.
Here they are:
#1 throw the idea of perfection out the window now! It does not exist here on earth. Learn to accept your imperfections and actually even embrace them. Look for joy in those imperfect days as a home school family. Oh and they will come I assure you. But don’t look at these days as failures and get stuck trying to analyze and figure out how to keep it from happening again. Instead, if you can stop yourself in the midst of whatever is going on and just ask the Lord to show you the joy in these moments, I can tell you from my experience sometimes they are the sweetest moments.
#2 don’t compare! You are the only one that knows your kids and your families needs. So no matter what someone else might be doing or how you perceive it, do your best to not get sucked into that comparison game. No one ever wins in this game, trust me.
#3 enjoy the journey! Truthfully this should apply to every part of our lives. Our lives are a gift. And if we aren’t careful it can be easy to get focused on and caught in the mode of just wanting to check all our boxes, And this is especially true when we are home schooling and responsible for our child’s education, believe me I have been there. We are so afraid we are going to miss something and they will not learn all they need to learn to succeed in life that we can miss so much of why we chose to home school in the first place. Make sense? I mean it is a good thing to remind ourselves often why we chose this form of education. If we took a poll we would find many different reasons but the bottom line for most if not all is because we want to spend this time with our kids. And please know I am not by any means suggested or implying that people that don’t home school don’t want to spend time with their kids. I don’t want to be misunderstood. I am simply saying for those that made the choice to educate your children by means of home schooling, you will need to remind yourself often why you made this choice and then embrace that fact. You will have challenging days. But just like a rollercoaster has all its ups and downs and twists and turns, so goes the life of a home school family so enjoy it, ALL OF IT!
Lastly, as the parent of kids ranging in age from adult to adolescent, I can promise you the time does pass quickly. I still have those days that I think will never end, but they do. And all of the sudden you find yourself as I did this past week, watching my 17 year old have senior pictures taken and then the next day singing happy birthday to our son who turned 29. But it is all so good, every piece and part of each of their lives is precious no matter what the age or circumstance. And believe it or not they are not the only ones learning in the process. You will be amazed at how you grow along side of them in the journey. Happy schooling!!