11 October 2011

Our Journey into Homeschooling

So, why are you homeschooling?  I have to say, though I am often asked this question, I honestly do not tell people the full answer that you'll read here.  Why?  Because quite frankly, most of the time people are not really interested in your answer, they are just making conversation.  So for their sake and mine, I keep it brief.  For my kindred homeschoolers who visit my blog, here is how our homeschool journey started ;-) 

In 2001 our first child, a son, was born. Sometime before Joel's third birthday there was pressure from our social circles to send him to play school.  I had a deep sense of sadness about this, and wanted to keep Joel at home.  I was surprised that other parents were so keen to send their children off to school at such a young age.  Already I was the only one left who had not returned to work.  But I was loving my time at home, enjoying every moment of learning alongside my little one. 

Everyday, whilst I nursed his sister, my son and I would read books.  Then we would go for walks in the veld, and discover new birds and plants.  I really learned a lot more than I had ever learned because my little guy asked so many questions.  We did crafts, and also just "mucked about" in mud or sand or water ;-) it was glorious.  My daughter was a most obliging baby, always willing to join in. 

Around this time, my husband read a book, in which Dr. James Dobson called for parents incertain states of the United States to pull their children out of school, and home educate them. The books is called Bringing up Boys.  When my husband suggested that we homeschool our child, I thought it was a ridiculous idea.  Surely, only weird people and those living in the sticks homeschooled?  And, in any case, was homeschooling in South Africa even legal?

Well, the Lord certainly had a lot to teach me. Because of my husband’s insistence that I at least look into homeschooling, I began a season of intense research. This endeavour was less fruitful than I had hoped- I had expected there would be some sort of National Council for homeschoolers’ and of course books. 

Despite the lack of information, by the end of 2004 my husband and I both reached a place where we knew the Lord was calling us to homeschool.  And so we stepped out in faith and began.

From our first days of parenting, this verse from Deuteronomy 6 was laid on our hearts:

6And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
 7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 

We had often wondered why, but now we felt  this was precisely the type of homeschooling we were being called to, a complete way of life, a walk with our children, workingalongside our children, from sunrise to sunset, so that we could impart our beliefs on our children.



Though we have tried many things over the years we are back to what the Lord led us to initally and we regret the time spent (and money wasted) in curriculum searching.  We use the Weaver curriculum, a Bible based unit study which teaches multiple levels, with hands-on methods to teach all three children at once.  The older two children use Christian Light Education Maths, Reading and Language Arts.  And my preschooler does a little Rod and Staff Preschool and a lot of playing.

13 comments:

  1. It's great to hear how different families have been led to homeschooling. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

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  2. I'm enjoying reading about these experiences of home schooling moms in the carnival. It's interesting how many similarities there are in the stories. Like enjoying being with our kids and wanting something different for them. It's encouraging to read of a dad who liked the homeschooling idea first. :) I know only one other. Thanks for sharing and for your hosting the HomeschoolSA eloop :)

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  3. What a wonderful faith-led journey! I love your homeschooling approach as "a complete way of life". It is a wonderful privilege to share our lives day-by-day with our children.

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  4. Lovely post! I really enjoyed reading your experiance and faith-led journey. Very encouraging. I think you have a lovely blog and a lovely way of writing! really have enjoyed my visit and look forward to visiting again ;o)

    Blessings
    Shirley

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  5. Enjoyed reading your post. And so good to read how God leads other people on their journey. I too feel that way about sharing the reasons for hs. I use the "easy" one. And every time I do use the others I get a mouthful back about it. So, I became silent about it.
    Esther

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  6. Funny, how God works sometimes... my husband was nagging me for 3 years to homeschool our boys, ut I resisted. Thought I'd kill them within a week. Little did I know reducing the stress of school would make them such different children. Now I'm glad I finally adhered to his request...

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  7. Love your blog! I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award on my blog ;o)

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  8. A very encouraging post. I will be bookmarking your blog and "visiting" often. :)
    Blessings,
    Lisa

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  9. Hello!
    I love reading your posts.This one on homeschooling in particular.How awesome that you're husband set you on the path!I do not have the patience to homeschool but I too love being my childrens' first teacher!I too felt sad seeing my 3-year-old off to day care recently for the first time.Infact i pulled him out!Only because I felt he is learning more at home with me.He is only 3!And I love being there as he learns about snails and climbing trees and drawing a cloud or bird!.

    Lots of love from Oz:)

    xx

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  10. Lee, I know exactly what you mean, it's those things that mean so much to them, I want to share those moments, and actually, I'd say that counts as homeschooling ;-)

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  11. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story of how God lead you to homeschooling! I wish you and your kids well! God bless!

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I love hearing from other families, please leave your comments ;-)