I still remember the first time I felt called to homeschool. It was not something I had ever planned to do. I only knew one homeschool family, and truthfully they were a bit eccentric to say the least. I was working as a nurse supervisor in a long term care facility, my son was in a great school, my husbands hours worked around mine so that we didn’t need to use childcare for our two year old. Everything seemed perfect.
However, things began to change as we left “1997” behind and entered into a brand new year. I found that my oldest son was not making the forward progress in Kindergarten that we would have liked. As I began to work with him in the evenings my heart began to be drawn to my home like never before. I would walk away from our “Hooked On Phonics” sessions with a deep satisfaction that my career had never offered me.
About this time, I was leaving church one Sunday afternoon when I saw a flyer for an upcoming homeschool orientation. I decided that I would go just to satisfy my curiosity, nothing more. I walked in hesitant but curious, and walked out forever changed. I knew that I knew, that I KNEW, that this is what I was supposed to do with my life. I came home and my husband and I had deep discussions. He was in total support and thus we began to make plans to bring my oldest home the following school year.
I couldn’t wait to pick up the phone and share the exciting news with friends and family. I had no idea the reaction this decision was to illicit. My grandmother who is my very best friend, but also a retired school teacher let me know in no uncertain terms that she was displeased with my decision. I remember her telling me a comment one of her retired teacher friends made about how I would now get to sleep in everyday. My mom and dad didn’t say much, but would voice their concerns every time Brandon couldn’t answer their pop quizzes which were given frequently. They often made little comments about how my children were “sheltered”. My girlfriends thought it was a “phase” and predicted that I’d want to pull my hair out after just a few weeks of being home with my kids all day. Yet, nothing anyone could say would sway me because I knew that for our family homeschooling was the absolute right choice.
Fast Forward twelve years later and you would see a totally different picture. You would think it was my grandmother’s idea that I begin homeschooling, to hear her talk. (giggling as I type) Just this past weekend we had a big birthday bash for my 18 year old son and all 100 + of his homeschooling friends showed up in full force. My mom and dad were there and when we talked the next day mom shared how much fun they had and how they couldn’t believe all the friends Brandon has. It brought tears to my eyes because even though we have to do what we are called to do as parents, it just feels good to have the support of your family.
What is the lesson in all this......, Give It Time! Live your life, be gracious when they don’t understand. Know that this is a big shock and that it’s something many of our families never even considered. The media is so biased and has done a good job of painting a picture of homeschoolers holed up in their houses with our curtains drawn, afraid of the world around them. The ONLY thing that will ever change that perception is when we disprove that “lie” through our example, our life and that takes time. Stay the course, stay connected, stay committed!
How about you? What type of reaction did you get when you began your journey?