I could answer this really quickly and say “Jesus”. But I think you would completely misunderstand the why, so here’s my answer.
I never intended on homeschooling. I wasn’t one of those mum’s who knew from day one that their child would never enter a school. Far from it actually. When my eldest was born, within a month I had her booked in to a independent Christian school. Eager you say? Not quite, the waiting list was ridiculous, so pretty much as soon as you popped that baby out, you got registering!! And we did, and she got in. Second child came along 2 years later, and registered her in too. By the time I had my third child, my eldest had been to 3 year old, and had begun 4 year old kinder, loving most days. There were times when I would get told that my child was shy and didn’t want to always join in every activity, which I was told was not right.
End of kinder, and with the kinder teacher somewhat hesitant, my eldest baby entered prep. You can imagine how exciting this must have been for her, and she loved her first 5 weeks. After that, the preppies had to attend school 5 days a week with no more days off. This is when she cracked.
By the end of first term, I was pretty much dragging and threatening Miss G every day to go to school. I got refusals of getting dressed, of not getting out of bed, not getting in the car. Who’s child was this, I kept thinking to myself. Not my precious princess who, though she stuck to me like glue, was very social and enjoyed her school time previously. I got lots of wisdom from everyone – don’t worry – it’ll pass. Keep going, she’ll stop eventually. My child did this for term 1 then stopped. Don’t give in to her, she needs to know this is not negotiable. Is she scared? What doesn’t she like? All great questions, all great advice. But didn’t really get me anywhere. The teacher was great. The school was great. She was one of the kids everyone wanted to play with. So, what was wrong?
I continued to send her to school, with a few days off here and there. By the middle of the year I was exhausted, I was there late every day and early to pick up. I went on excursions and helped out. I went to her swimming lessons each week through her school. I helped out when I could to help settle her. I still had to care for my 1 and 3 year old girls at home in the midst of this, and it was taking its toll on me emotionally. School was meant to be this amazing big step, and it had been horrible so far.
In term 3, something changed. Not in my daughter, but in me. I met a girl I knew who had just pulled her kids out from the same school to homeschool them. Every time I bumped into her, she would go on about her beginning of her homeschooling adventure. At first I thought why? Why would you? How? But really, I wanted to be that mum homeschooling. I wished it was me who pulled her kids out. I wanted to be that daring. That crazy. That bold. That trusting.
It was a long 3 months of me thinking, praying, talking, thinking, praying, stressing, not sleeping, and praying some more as to whether this was just me, or God leading me to homeschool my girls. I couldn’t sleep well, I lost my appetite (btw I love to eat!!), and was so distracted from everything else. When I prayed, I felt so much peace. But out of prayer, I worried. What would people think of me. Would my friends think I was weird? Would they support me? How would my family react? Would they be upset for me to have my kids taught in an untraditional manner (as often homeschooling is seen?). How could I even homeschool. I didn’t know how. Would my kids be unsocialised and weird? (Oh how naive I was!!) So many questions. Not many answers. Until I prayed for the answer of a lifetime – my prayer kinda went like this. God – give me a sign. Confirm that I need to homeschool. And that He did, what only He could do through His precious Word.
What happened next, you ask? Well, we pulled my eldest out of school at the end of her prep year and went on a holiday. Isn’t that what you’re meant to do? Haha. It was a fun, crazy, new time in our lives, and I wanted to embrace it!
I knew that God was in charge of this, and that out of this so much would flourish. I was pumped. I was excited. What was to happen next, nobody except God knew. I knew there would be things I had to give up. That my plans would have to change. God’s plans are always so much better, yeah? So I was ready to trust Him on this.
So much has happened since I started out 4 years ago. So much has changed. In me. In my kids. In my husband. In our lives. I wouldn’t change it. Homeschooling has been one of the best things I have done.
So, do we homeschool cause we’re Christians? No. Its not because I am good, or patient (haha, gotta love hearing that one!! You homeschoolers know what I mean!!), or I am some supermum. Its not because I am better, or such a self-sacrificing person. I have no teaching degree. This was never my dream. I’m not trying to put my kids in a bubble, or keep them away from everything or everyone (though it sure has been nice to not have to deal with certain issues). We had no problem with the school or any teachers. It wasn’t even because of Miss G struggling with going to school. I homeschool because this is what God has called us as a family to do. He led us down this path, and I am ever so thankful He gave me the courage to step out. His mercy is new everyday!