The following article was written by Meghan Joy Yancy. Learn more about Meghan at meghanjoyyancy.com.
I still remember the day. The day, in the middle of my 5th grade year at the public elementary school down the road from my home, when my mom pulled me out to begin a life of homeschooling. I don’t’ think I understood it all at the time, or really even cared that much. But, I was home with my mom and sisters every day, and I really enjoyed it. Now, as an adult, my mom has told me that her main reason for beginning homeschool was just because she wanted to spend more time with us. She didn’t like that we were gone from home all day every day.
My brother was already nearing his high school years at this time, so he was never homeschooled and my 2 sisters and I all were homeschooled from that point forward until we reached high school and then we went back to public school. For my youngest sister, this meant she was homeschooled from pre-K until high school. For me, it was a total of 3 ½ years.
When I had my first daughter, I think I knew right away that I wanted to homeschool our kids. I was hooked to them. I could never imagine saying goodbye to them everyday. I had them for a purpose and I wanted to be the one to raise them. I didn’t just want to have them on evenings and weekends. So THIS, was my driving force. I want to spend TIME with my kids. It is the most precious gift.
This whole homeschooling concept was a topic of conflict for my husband and I for the first few years of our marriage because he found himself in the depths of Christian education and was (and is) a huge advocate for it. Plus, he had experienced some very prominent situations with homeschooled children who were incapable of social interaction precisely because of their homeschooling lifestyle. I assured him that that was because of personality and parenting and that we had the capability of raising and teaching our kids how we desire and how God instructs.
God, of course, worked a miracle and through the years, my husband and I have come to such a sweet place in regards to our children’s education. We take it year by year, kid by kid and pray. We seek the Lord and assess where we are at and where God wants us. At one point, our 2 daughters were doing part-time private school (where my husband was working at the time) and did 2 days a week at the school and 3 days a week at home. And it worked for that time in our lives. This year, I am teaching 2nd grade, Kindergarten and Pre-K (and then add in a toddler and a baby) and we are quite enjoying our year.
It is most definitely crazy. It is for surely hectic. It is absolutely challenging and we are thankful for each and every day we get to be at home together. We spend time in prayer thanking God for the opportunity that “mommy gets to be home and teach.” I want them to know what a blessing it is and not everyone gets this chance. And also, it may not just be someone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay too. Homeschooling is not for everyone. Right now, it really works for us. But I’ve assured my husband that if I ever reach a point where I am just too overwhelmed, we can adjust where necessary. And that goes the same for the kids. If one of the is struggling in a certain area, whether that be a topic or maybe socially, we can change our approach and do what is best for that child for that time.
I think one of the most beautiful opportunities that homeschooling has provided us is this almost “unlimited” time to just “be.” We get to have so much play time each day. In a world where free play time almost doesn’t exist for kids, my children have hours upon hours each day to dive into imagination and creativity. And I just love to see them explore. Adventure. And sometimes, even get bored. And learn how to maneuver around that feeling.
I have so many open spaces each day to talk about Jesus with them. We pray throughout our day. Worship. Dance. Sing. Our entire day can be as an offering to God. And our entire homeschool curriculum this year is Christian based. So, Christian themes are laced through each and every subject. The sentences in my daughters phonics book are about the body of Christ and they learn all about Creation in their science book.
They also get to see mommy run businesses from home as well. Just the other day, my oldest daughter of 8 years old was pretending to be me (as a mom and as a business owner.) She was helping all the other kids go about their day and then was teaching essential oil classes in between. She would get on the phone and pretend to talk to people about building a team and getting excited to create community. It was so endearing to watch her act out how she saw me. And I knew then, that simply by her observing my day to day, she was learning what a woman is capable of. Being mom, teaching and running businesses and building friendships along the way.
There are conferences, workshops, curriculums, online resources and even Instagram accounts dedicated solely to schooling at home. It’s a great option to be able to have for you and your family and it can look so many different ways for so many different people. That’s the beauty of it!
There are days when I just want to throw in the towel and crawl in bed and watch Netflix for the day. But, let’s be honest, that’s not actually going to happen. In those moments, God makes me strong. He reminds me of His plans for us and how He has equipped me to do exactly what I am doing. And when I really think about it, all the joys of this life completely outweigh those tough times. So, it’s all worth it. It is a gift.
A gift I will be grateful to have for as long as I have it.