The road to homeschooling is different for every family. Some parents plan to homeschool from the time they have their first child. Some arrive out of necessity, such as a child’s prolonged illness, or missionary families that don’t have access to good schools. Still other parents feel supernaturally drawn to it. I thought I’d share the story of how our family began homeschooling.
Out of Nowhere
The term “homeschooling” first entered my mind when our son was about three years old. Almost robotically I found myself seeking out information about it. I had never heard of it before and I didn’t know anyone that homeschooled. I didn’t even know if it was legal.
The first time I mentioned it to my husband, he responded with an emphatic, “No way are we homeschooling.”
At the time, we lived in the Houston area, and with an abundance of private school options he saw no reason to entertain that thought. With that, I put it out of my mind.
Or tried to, anyway.
But I found myself being drawn to it again and again. As I learned more and found interesting tidbits I shared them with my husband. He listened politely, but that was about it.
Asking For a Sign
One day it occurred to me that perhaps God had planted this seed in my mind, so I began to pray about it. I told Him that if He was leading me to homeschool that I was willing but that my husband was not convinced. I then asked Him to give me a sign – that my husband would tell me to homeschool. I figured that if my husband were to do a total 180, that would be a clear sign.
A few years passed and during that time my husband decided that he wanted to make a change. He had been the Branch Manager for a major investment firm for about twenty years in one of its largest markets, and he wanted to slow down a little by taking a smaller office. As a result, we moved to a small town in the Texas hill country.
By this time, our son was six, and we had a daughter who was two. Our son had been in a private church school but in the new town our only choices were public school, or a private school that didn’t meet our criteria. Being March, we decided to put Hayden in the public school for the remainder of the school year. That short amount of time was enough to convince us that was not what we wanted for our children. Soon after that my husband turned to me and said, “I’m ready to homeschool.” That was the sign that I had asked for several years earlier. I hadn’t forgotten, and I immediately started getting ready to assume the responsibility of teaching our children. That was the summer of 2001.
We started homeschooling at the beginning of September, 2001, just before the infamous 9/11. So now I have to tell you that my husband worked for Morgan Stanley, and that their company headquarters were in the World Trade Center. My husband was almost there that day. He had been asked to attend a meeting, but he sent someone else in his place. He was listening to the radio on his way to work that morning and heard about the plane hitting the first tower. He called and told me to turn on the television, so I started watching the coverage in time to witness the second plane and everything else that transpired.
Many people were affected that day, and it was a scary time for our family, too. My husband worried about friends, co-workers, and employees who were in the towers, as well as whether he still had a job and income. I was so glad to have both of our children at home with me during that time.
Both of these events, God’s answer and 9/11, made me very committed to homeschooling. Even when it was tough, I asked for God’s help and kept on going. I had the same doubts and fears as most homeschool moms, but as in all things, God worked through my weakness to accomplish His good.
A Little Advice
Occasionally, I see women post on Facebook that they feel drawn to homeschooling, but they don’t have their husband’s support. If that is you, my advice is to pray about it. If God is calling you to homeschool, then He will change your husband’s heart. As you can see, it didn’t happen over night for us. It was more like three years. The benefit of waiting on Him was that it strengthened our commitment to it. We didn’t spend time wondering if we had made a mistake and should put the kids in school. When we hit rough spots, we knew that God would lead us through them.
I don’t know if God calls everyone to homeschool. It’s very personal, and only you and your spouse can make that determination.
9 Easy Steps to Homeschooling
I’ll always cherish my homeschool memories, and am thankful for the blessing of being able to home educate my children. Now I want to help other homeschool moms who feel called to homeschool.
I wrote 9 Easy Steps to Homeschooling to do that. Through the years I’ve helped a lot of families get started. I know what the fears and misconceptions are, and how to address them. A few of the steps are a result of my own experiences, things I wished I’d known early on. For a small price, you can download it immediately.