I’ve known since I was in high school that I planned to homeschool my children someday. I probably assumed it even earlier, but I think the decision was conscious and concrete in middle or high school. My own experience of homeschooling was so wonderful that I had no intentions of letting my kids miss out on what I had.
That intention has never wavered. It was an important question I asked Sir K before I got engaged, especially because he was not homeschooled. He responded that I myself was a good argument for the lifestyle, and he has supported my desire from the start. I’m very much looking forward to the day when I begin teaching my own children, while at the same time I am still a bit intimidated by the enormity of the task.
I probably have a head start of a lot of moms who weren’t homeschooled themselves, and quite a few of those who were. That head start comes from being the daughter of a homeschool mentor. My mom has helped numerous other moms get started, whether they were starting at the beginning or pulling kids out of school systems. I also got to see a lot of the inner working of her eclectic system (although we incorporated from some of the more well known prepackaged curriculum, my mother did all her own planning). As the eldest, I was trusted to check my younger siblings’ work when there was an answer key, and in high school she even let me check some of my own work. Not like I was going to cheat by then, I really wanted to know the answers!
Mom also included me in the process of choosing curriculum for myself and my siblings. Letting me help choose my own materials meant that when I had a strong negative reaction to one history textbook’s confusing page layout, she was able to look for other options before the school year began and not wait till the second week when I was suffering through my lessons. Part of helping children learn is being able to choose curriculum that suits their individual learning styles, and I got exposure to that early on.
Even with all this background, however, I still sometimes think “how on earth am I going to get started!” What I remember of homeschooling is mostly the last five or six years of it, not the first. Teaching a child while also keeping track of smaller children sounds like fun of the exhausting kind. On the other hand, I know from experience how wonderful homeschooling was, and I would never think of quitting, especially not before I’ve begun. I know that when the time comes in a few years, I will rise to the occasion, just like I did when facing what seemed like tough problems or subjects in my schoolwork. I’m not always going to swim well, but I know I have a support system that won’t let me sink.
Those few years are going to go by faster than I can keep track. You see, I can already number them. Five years from now, I will be making kindergarten plans. Yes, Sir K and I are expecting our first this Fall. While various members of both families are exhibiting characteristic excitement or enthusiasm, Sir K and I are already praying for parental wisdom, and I am thinking of the sweet days to come when I can gather my nestlings on the couch for reading time. You see, as I’ve said many times and probably written at least once or twice, homeschooling is not an educational choice for me. Homeschooling is a lifestyle, and it’s the best one I know.