When others hear that we chose to switch to homeschooling pre-COVID-19, I receive lots of questions as to the reason why.
Let me start by saying this: By sharing, I’m certainly not indicating that every family should do what we’re doing. Goodness, I have PLENTY on my mind with my own family…I don’t have energy to project judgments on anyone else. What I share and how I share it is not meant to cause anyone to feel like they need to do or be what we do or are.
My hope is never for our journey to begin and end with us, but for what I share here to be a means to point to who God is and what we see him doing in our life.
So, let’s start here…There were no “problems” with our public school district. We absolutely loved our son’s kindergarten and first grade teachers and his school. So we were not running from anything negative, really, in that sense.
So, why the change?
It’s hard to summarize our reason for choosing to switch, especially since I feel like the reasons have grown as we’ve actually made the transition. I hesitate to declare what we will do for the rest of our children’s lives because I know that ultimately God controls our plans. But I will say that we highly anticipate continuing to homeschool unless God tells us to do otherwise.
But here’s what we knew back in January, before experiencing homeschool: we were confident that choosing to switch from public to homeschool was what obedience looked like for our family during that time.
Rather than the reasoning being anything that was or was not happening at school, our motive for homeschooling stemmed from a desire to change what was not happening at home, and what we simply wanted more time to cultivate with our specific children during this specific season.
Time. We felt like we wanted and needed more of it in order to change our family culture in ways we desired for it to change.
“The direction you choose to walk determines the place you will arrive.”
Recently I read these words by Sally Clarkson in her new book, Awaking Wonder, and they resonated so much with my heart.
The truth is that about a year ago I began to realize the direction we were walking, and I was not okay with it.
This picture was taken around what should have been a joyful time remembering Christ’s Advent, but the truth is that Christmas of 2019 was incredibly challenging for our family due to the fact that we seemed to be fighting for a change in our family culture and making seemingly no headway. So we smiled and posed for pictures like this one, but here’s where our hearts were during this season…
- I dreaded weekends and holidays because I didn’t know how to spend the extra time with my family
- I felt like we were choosing between love and discipline, with no time for both – and since I tend to err on the side of discipline, I could see the love waning between my children and me
- I was too exhausted at the end of the day to read or do a devotional with them, and yet we weren’t really together than many hours each day
- We had more “rough nights” (the only hours we were really together) than not and it was so very hard.
We recognized these problems and fought to change it. For months and months we rearranged our schedule, removed various activities, and fought to change our family culture. I even reached a point where I didn’t want to attend our community group meetings, I didn’t want my son going to church events, or even being involved in sports because I was seeing the need for more time together as a family to root our children in our values and beliefs – to establish a foundation upon which to build. But no matter how we fought to make changes…the truth remained that it just wasn’t enough…not for us, not for our family, and not for our family dynamics in this season. Something else clearly needed to change.
And that’s when God placed homeschooling on my heart – something I never thought I would do. It seemed like such a drastic action-step – such a change to make! Surely God wouldn’t call us to do something like this, right? Surely we could figure out how to keep juggling our schedule to reach our family goals? Homeschooling would mean sacrifice and entering a marathon of a journey. Homeschooling surely required something I was confident I didn’t have.
I’ll share more in future posts about our journey to pursue where we felt God was leading, but I want to leave with you with one main thought.
Here’s what I know, regardless of your family culture, dynamics, or season: God guides us and directs our steps, friend. Be encouraged and confident today -wherever you are! Don’t be fearful of what He may be calling you to do – we can trust him! And please be aware that sometimes if we have a healthy discontent with how things are going, if we are seeking God’s will and depending on him and desiring to trust his plan for our lives – it may be that we need to move forward in faith to make what seems like radical changes.
I don’t know what that looks like for you. Goodness, I have a hard enough time trying to discern what it looks like for me. So I’m definitely not saying homeschooling is the answer for everyone. But wherever you are, pray and ask for God’s guidance, and then be ready to move forward in faith, not necessarily seeing every step you will walk. It’s worth it, no matter how scary. His ways are good and gracious and definitely the best place to be.