Quote from "Stepping Heavenward" by Mrs. E. Prentiss

"She says I shall now have one mouth more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music and drawing.

Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other.

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other dear darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, wondrously blest!"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

20 Years of Homeschooling!

Wow!  When I filled out paperwork to be a director in Classical Conversations I realized I've been homeschooling for over 20 years!  My eldest daughter is going to be 25 and she began reading at age 4.  She was and is still an avid learner.  I decided my next few posts should be on some things I have learned as a mom while homeschooling. I'll put some of our favorite books, our adventures in schooling, and how I still do it after so long and enjoy it. 

Why I love to home educate my children?  First and foremost, I really love being with my children.  My eldest had to be in daycare off and on during her first 5 years of life and I hated it.  Don't get me wrong, I loved work.  I loved my job (Science Applications International Corporation) and I loved the people I worked with but I really missed being at home with my daughter and being a full-time mom.   If there is a calling for motherhood and homeschooling that makes you miserable doing anything else, I had it.   And I was surprised.   I had plans of a big career until I held that precious cargo.  All those future goals went by the wayside and my thoughts began drifting towards home.

I also was intrigued with the idea of homeschooling.   There was so little on the subject at the time therefore I joined a local home school co-op when my daughter was only two so I could do my homework.   Meanwhile, my husband began a partnership in a plumbing business that was doing well.  We decided to take the plunge and give up my benefits and pay to come home right before her kindergarten year. 

Our families thought we were nuts and had probably joined a cult.  It didn't help that I did begin getting very involved in a Spirit-filled church when she was 2.  Being so hungry for Truth and especially spiritual truth, I devoured the Word.  I was involved in Bible Studies and in learning how to be a good mom, wife, and future home school mom.  It pretty much consumed those first years of her life.  Compared to the old me, I am absolutely sure it did appear that I had to have joined a cult to have changed so drastically.  I know when they found out I wanted more than two children it made no sense at all to them. When I breastfed, my feminist mentors in life where appalled (especially when I did it for two years).  When I wanted natural child birth, cloth diapers to save money, dress simply, give up career ambitions and more, they pretty much just shook their heads.  But after 6 children they gave up on me and now are some of my biggest cheerleaders in life. Maybe by the time I had #8 they were just numb :D. 

Before we were married, we had "the plan".  We will have 3 children 3 years apart.  I will finish my college education and we will move by a beach and we will live happily ever after.  Well, God had other plans.  We definitely didn't plan on homeschooling.  We didn't have to throw away our dreams to follow God's plan for us but He has definitely changed our dreams.  It has been a great adventure and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  My next post will discuss what curriculum we began with and how we got where we are now. 

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He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. (His thoughts on Luke 16:9)


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