Thursday, April 22, 2010

Homework, Questions, and Decisions

We have been quietly considering homeschool for our children for about a year now.  Our decision was ultimately made for us last year because of our newest addition, Nina Grace.  At under a year old, I didn't think that was the atmosphere to begin such a big change in our lives.  This year, Nina is almost two years old, and is very satisfied with playing on her own, looking at books, and listening as we read.  She will provide her fair share of distractions and entertainment, I am quite sure, so I pray the Lord give me the grace to handle each day as it comes.

Our "Homework" prior to making our decision to homeschool has included reading a basic book of introduction called, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Homeschooling, which my loving husband generously found for me at a used book store.  We needed to start somewhere, and this was a good start for us.  It introduced many factors and ideas that we needed to consider, including the plethora of curriculum available to choose for our family to use.  Obviously this was going to be a hard choice, and one that would require a lot of reading and exploring.  This was the next part of our "Homework."

Once we had our cirriculum chioces narrowed down to a handful, I emailed many of the parents I know who had homeschooled their children, or are homeschooling now with many of our "Questions."  I also contacted several of my friends who had been homeschooled by their parents.  The feedback I received was overwhelming, full of helpful information.  There were both pros and cons to think about, and some of the cons were some we had never considered.  However, upon prayerful consideration, we decided that the pros far outweighed the cons, and continued with our research.

I found a great book at the library with a lot of great insight, Rebecca Rupp's Getting Started on Home Learning: How and Why to Teach Your Kids at Home.  Seth read this book first, and was enthralled by some of the approaches the Rupp family used in their homeschooling approach.  I've been reading this book, and am equally intrigued by her ideas.  

We are becoming more and more sure that this is the right choice for our family.  However, we are also doubting some of our lifestyle choices, and the way they may affect our children's education.  I am working hard at becoming more orgainzed and task-oriented.  We're decluttering our home so that the distractions surrounding us are at a minimum.  I'm also trying to find out (from observing our current home life) which times would be the most appropriate for our schooling to take place.  For this decision, I have to consider Nina's sleeping schedule, the children's work ethic, and my own habits.  There will be some shifts in our daily schedule, and some of them will be less than desired - for me as well!  But in the hopes that the education of our children will be improved upon, those sacrifices are willingly made on my behalf.

Please pray for our family.  This decision is one of the most important we have made thus far, and we pray for the Lord's hand be upon us as we try to find what is best for our family.  We know His plan is perfect, while man's plan is hopelessly flawed.  Therefore, we pray that He lead us to His plan, and not our own, and that we accept it willingly.