Parents chose to home educate their children for a variety of reasons. It occurred to Dan and I that we are the ones responsible for the education of our children. We love our children more than any professional ever could, simply because they are ours and not theirs. In 1995 a decision had to be made as the first of our six children approached school age. Homeschooling was a relatively new movement at the time, becoming legal in 1993 in all fifty states, of which neither of us knew it as an educational choice. Until, one Autumn morning, when I tuned into the radio program, Focus on the Family, hosted by Dr. James Dobson. He interviewed Dr. Raymond Moore. Homeschooling was the topic.
Before we made the choice to homeschool, we knew that God wanted us to live life, to truly live life. We desired to live the Christian life, which is full of the enjoyment of God Himself and those around us. Everything that God has made, His beauty, truth and love was meant to be appreciated. In order to have this freedom to live, we needed to be a family who walked through life together. The commitment to walk together reinforced my desire to be with my children during the best hours of their day. In our family, these hours begin shortly after our children awakes and lasts until just before dinner. My children tend to get cranky after being away from home for too much of the day or when they are busy at the job of being an active curious child. Preferring to set the pace for our family, instead of a school system regulating the pace, Dan and I welcomed the idea of homeschooling. We understood that our children needed to be able to explore the world around them, especially during their younger years, allowing their imaginations to soar. This is what experiencing life with their family would and has looked like. Somehow, we knew that children needed to interact socially with a variety of people of all ages, which is normal and healthy. Extended family, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, were already enriching our children’s lives, but we lived in a community filled with interesting people. Many individuals shared their knowledge, skills and lives with our family. Another aspect of truly living meant being present for more of their “firsts” with them, beyond the firsts of babyhood. We saw each face light up when the grouped together letters on a page were sounded out to form a word. The words formed a sentence, which was read and understood. Stories unfolded before their eyes, enriching their character. It was priceless. This was the freedom and life we sought.
After hearing about homeschooling, I began to explore the possibility of it being the right choice for our family, since I would be the primary “school” teacher for our children. Our lifestyle, values, and faith continued uninterrupted. It has been a good fit for our family.
Curriculum choices and homeschooling styles gradually fell into place as I read books on the topic and learned our state’s homeschooling laws. Over the years as we grew as a family, Dan and I knew that we had made the best and right choice for our children. The evidences are many. For instance, gradually, I discovered that each of our children had their own learning style, therefore I adapted how I taught each of them. Biblical truths and principals were caught more than taught. The opportunity to talk about God’s beauty, love and truth came while exploring a beach, baking a cake, or listening to the Adventures in Odyssey radio program. Such learning came in the natural flow of the day. Imaginations soared since their afternoons were free for playing in the woods, riding bikes, being mothers to dolls and digging holes (for no apparent reason that I could tell). Right before our eyes, our children showed me reality of Home, where Wholesome Schooling Begins, is undeniably true.