I realize that I kind of started this blog in the middle of the process, after we had finished the first day. I started there for a reason. I really wanted to start it on a high note. When I initially decided that I wanted to do this I was in the midst of trying to get ready for our first year. Which means I was staying up way too late every night stalking forums, review sites, and homeschool blogs, waffling on and being neurotic about curriculum. I wasn’t sure that that was the best intro for our story (and there is plenty of time for those posts in the future). So when we got to the end of the first day it just seemed like a good place to start, especially since the day went so well.
But I think some back story on us and how we got here is in order. I’ve actually liked the idea of homeschooling since I was in high school over a decade ago. We had a couple of families in our church that did it and I really liked the way it sounded. I especially liked the idea that I could teach my child what I think is important and then, as they mature, let them have a hand in deciding what they think is important.
I admit that I didn’t have the best high school experience. I was the kid always questioning the teacher, not because he had problems doing the work, but because he didn’t understand the reasoning behind it. I was the kid arguing with the science teachers over evolution. I was the kid questioning the math teacher about why things had to be done that way. I was the kid that held up class and annoyed people because I wouldn’t just accept what they told me. Unfortunately, while I aggravated my teachers, they never took the time to answer my questions. Instead they told “that’s just the way it is”. Thinking for yourself wasn’t encouraged and it turned me off of school. I decided when I had kids I would teach them how to think for themselves.
Over the years this has softened a bit. I understand that there is a universal truth that I want to teach my kids but I still want to teach them, equip them, to evaluate things by this truth themselves. I want them to have critical thinking skills, I want them to have rhetorical skills, but I want those skills to be grounded in a strong faith. And I know they won’t get that in public schools.
After high school I went to college to be a teacher. I had confused the desire I had to teach my own kids with a desire to teach. I quickly realized that I would not handle a classroom of 30 kids, half of whom didn’t want to be there in the first place, with any kind of grace or tact. But, as I look back, I see all the steps in my life that prepared me for the moment I now find myself in.
I drifted for years in other industries. After my decision that teaching wasn’t for me I found photography and I went back to school to learn it. Another step.
Our first son was born around this time and the thought of homeschooling surfaced again. I didn’t want to teach a full class but I still loved the idea of teaching my own child and photography would allow me the schedule to be able to.
To make a long story short, I didn’t step out and trust in God’s plan at that point. I got another job instead of trusting him to provide for us through our photography business. Photography became a side. When I look back now at all of the money we made and spent through photography, I see that I could have been homeschooling my son the whole time. But, because of my fear, I missed out on the first four years. Fortunately God arranged circumstances to leave me no choice this year. It should have been scary but it has been anything but. Honestly, it has been freeing. It’s only been two months but we’ve already seen God step into situations that have no other explanation than Him. It has been an amazing beginning to a journey our whole family is looking forward to. We are excited and expectant about God’s provision. We have grown closer together in this new faith. It has been wonderful.
As far as the first week of homeschool, it went really well. My fear and apprehension has kind of faded away over the last week. I can already see how some of the stuff is better for him. I can also see some things that I need to improve on. So it is definitely a work in progress. But it is so worth it.