Why do I still homeschool? I know many ask this the question, and I will honestly say that there are days I ask it too! Our family’s situation is precarious. Greg’s health is not great, and he could leave me to support and care for the family any day. We also have August, who has many special needs, and requires extra time and attention. Logically, it doesn’t make a lot of sense that I would choose to homeschool, and I am the first to admit that.
A Little Background
Five years ago, I felt very inspired to homeschool our children. Because I felt prompted, I jumped in with both feet and started. Homeschooling was always an adventure, and through doing it, our family experienced many benefits. I love the freedom it gives us. We are more able to go on trips and adventures. Our kids are best friends, and they have a lot of time together, which is by far the best advantage. I could go on and on, but these are a few of my favorite things about homeschooling.
I homeschooled for 3 years, and then Greg was diagnosed with vEDS in the spring of 2017. After this huge blow, we started to reevaluate our decision to homeschool our children. At the time, Greg was having pretty much constant complications from vEDS, and we were feeling like it was only a matter of time until I was a widow. I looked to the future with a lot of fear, and couldn’t see being a homeschooling family as a good situation for our family anymore. I felt like my choices were being severely limited by our situation. After much tears, discussion, and prayer, we decided that the best thing for our family was to put our kids in public school. This was a very difficult decision because it wasn’t something I wanted at all. I wanted to continue homeschooling!
Life As A Public School Mom
I won’t lie. I loved the different freedom of having my kids in school and not having to worry so much about their education! It was a good year, and I was able to get my feet back under me to some extent. I had no desire to start homeschooling again, and I was starting to wonder what ever possessed me to homeschool in the first place. But then that prompting came again.
Before the school year had ended, Greg and I had decided to bring one of our children home. In the middle of the summer, we decided to bring another home. It was a hard decision to bring these two children home, but I knew it was for the best. They are older and able to work on their own for the most part. They also have experience with homeschooling, and it was the best option for them for this year. That left two in public school and two at home.
When A Prompting Doesn’t Make Sense
A month or so before school started, I had the strong impression that my first grader (one of the public schoolers) needed to be homeschooled. It didn’t make any sense! He loved kindergarten at the public school, and was excited for first grade. In my opinion and experience, homeschooling can be in the child’s best interest, but it usually isn’t if they are switched back and forth, especially in their early years of school. I couldn’t see how it would be a good idea to pull him from school and then put him back in if/when something happens to Greg. How could I really bring him home not knowing if it was a long-term possibility? How could this possibly be in his best interest?
I prayed, talked to Greg, and prayed some more. I couldn’t shake the feeling that public school wasn’t a good idea. But I couldn’t make logical sense of doing anything else. So…I told Heavenly Father that I knew what he was telling me to do, but that I was going to put my son at the public school anyway. And then I asked him if he would please help me feel good about my decision. LOL. Yes, I really did.
The answer I got back from him was something like this, “I’ll let you feel good about it for awhile, but you know it won’t last long.” I was satisfied with this, and I put him in first grade.
School started, and he loved it. I loved it for a few days, and then that feeling came back. It was strong, and I knew it wasn’t going to be long until I pulled him. He was only there a week and a half before Greg and I both agreed that bringing him home was best, and I withdrew him. In the end, it would have been much easier for us all if I had listened the first time. However, he is happy at home now, and we are seeing some benefits to having him at home.
Don’t Let Your Circumstances Make Your Decisions For You!
I do not know or understand why I am homeschooling most of my kids right now, especially my first grader. I only know that Heavenly Father wants me to. Our situation is hard, and it could get harder, but I also know that if Heavenly Father asks me to do something, he will make it possible. Every morning I ask that he will make up for my inadequacy and shortfalls. I have faith that this is happening.
One of the lessons Heavenly Father taught me with this experience is that I always have a choice! No matter what is going on in my life. No matter how powerless and hopeless I feel, I have a choice. I don’t have to let my circumstances make my choices for me. I don’t have to do the thing that seems easiest just because my situation could turn any moment. My circumstances may limit my choices, but they don’t have to make my choices for me.
Of course it is wise to take circumstances into account when making a decision, but it is important to not let them take away your power of choice. My reality is difficult, but I have faith that everything will work out. Maybe homeschooling is not a permanent situation for our family. That is okay. I am just doing what is best right now, and I will take it a day at a time. I also believe that if homeschooling is to be a long-term thing, a way will be provided, no matter what happens.
Homeschooling is a joy, and I am grateful for this second chance to do it again. I am grateful for the very powerful lesson I learned, that I always have a choice. No matter how difficult your situation is, you are not powerless. There are always choices.