Mark and I had talked about homeschooling our kids from the very beginning. It was when we began receiving letters in the mail from our school district remind us to register our daughter for preschool that the final decision was made.
I researched in preparation for beginning our journey! I read blog posts, magazines, and books on learning styles, teaching styles, parent styles, and anything else we would be facing. I was arming myself for whatever would come. Hoping for the best and bracing myself for the worst.
Picking a curriculum had me hyperventilating. I was worried that we would pick a curriculum and find out only weeks down the road it wasn’t a good fit for us. I knew we did not have money to continue switching what we were doing. There is every kind of curriculum you could ever hope to find and if you don’t like what you find you can create your own. Which hundreds of homeschool parents have done, creating an even bigger market and styles to choose from.
Thankfully the Holy Spirit gave us wisdom to sit down and create two separate lists. The first list was what we wanted our kids to learn academically. The second list was what we wanted our kids to experience such as art, music, and nature. I continued to pray for wisdom and direction. Literally the next day a My Father’s World catalog came in the mail. I don’t even remember requesting it, but there it was in all it’s wonderfulness.
I broke the seal and began looking through their kindergarten curriculum. It had everything I wanted in a curriculum and to add to my excitement it was at a price we could afford! Actually it was a few dollars cheaper than what we had budgeted out!
My Father’s World even came with a schedule, a day to day planner of what, when, where, and why. Our first year I needed the structure even more than Maddie did. I needed to gain confidence that I could teach our kids.
Our first year I had all of our ducks in a perfect row. I had carefully planned out the perfect read-a-loud books for each week. The beginning of each week I would carefully take my library card, book list, and take my time down each row of books.
I remember looking at the veteran moms around me and wonder how in the world they could keep up with all the different curriculum they used. Now, I get it. I am now the mom who dapples in many different learning techniques and curriculum. I have also learned what the veterans had figured out and that is how to make the curriculum work for us not us working for the curriculum.
The first few years of homeschooling you feel like you are fumbling in the dark. You wonder if you will be able to stick with it. There are so many “what if’s”. I want to assure you that each and every year God has been faithful to guide us through picking curriculum, struggling light bulb moments, fits of frustration, and all the roller coaster hills and dips of life.
One of the keys to success is being willing to be humble enough to ask for help. I want to assure you that every parent has questions. Every parent feels like they have no idea what they are doing, because honestly we don’t. Finding a homeschool support system was vitally important to us. Veteran moms and families who have gone before us ready and willing to lend encouragement, support, and suggestions.
As I look back over the last six years of homeschooling the one encouragement I receive is knowing that God has been faithful through it all. He has been faithful to bring mentors into my kids lives. He has been faithful to bring the right encouragement at the right time when I was ready to send them to public school. He has been faithful to pull me out of ruts, discouragement, and years I felt we were all falling apart.
Every year I learn the same thing Breathe, prioritize, and breathe some more! I will keep breathing…will you join me?
Tell me about your first homeschool year!