Though I had planned to share more about our early homeschooling experiences, the kids did something yesterday that warmed my heart and reminded me about all the reasons this journey has been so worth it!
Little brother is getting ready to start kindergarten, and he’ll attend a once a week/all day homeschool supplement program with his siblings. Seeing that mixed in with his excitement about starting school was a bit of anxiety, big sister decided to make sure he was up to par in his education. I heard them reciting the alphabet and giggling for some time…until her teacher voice turned quite stern and commanding. “Read this!!!” she insisted. Next to her was a stack of readers with complete sentences rather than the simple words that were more at his level. I suggested going back to alphabet sounds, since the little one didn’t seem certain about every letter.
Some time later, I was summoned upstairs to see their new learning strategy. Older brother had joined in and helped put together this alphabet lesson:
They had spread out the alphabet flash cards and challenged little brother to find toys with beginning sounds that matched the cards! Learning became fun and real and the importance of the letters connected with his treasures! These are the moments I cherish, when learning takes on another dimension to include relationship-building and love.
In the weeks leading up to her third birthday, my firstborn started informing me that she wanted to go to school. I nodded and smiled and didn’t do much of anything with that information. (She was kind of bossy and told me to do lots of things…)Until her birthday in January. When she
demanded insisted that she go to school. After all, she was three now and practically grown. I called around and found a once a week preschool class in a church’s homeschool enrichment program, with three other students. Perfect.
She beamed every time I dropped her off and easily caught up to her classmates who’d been in school since September. At the end of the year, her teacher even okayed her to move onto kindergarten. At three. Yikes!
I spent the entire summer researching and calling every type of kindergarten class available and settled on one similar to the program she had completed. With a small class size and interesting curriculum, she’d continue to learn and grow and love school…until I got a call the Friday before school started to let me know that the program was being cancelled. WHAT?!?!?!
I panicked and cried and was completely devastated – I had looked at all the options and this was the only one I was totally comfortable with. Then my husband asked me if I’d consider homeschooling. WHAT?!?!?!
It had never occurred to me to homeschool. My wonderfully patient and calm sister-in-law homeschooled her boys, and I thought it was
kind of strange at the time wonderful that she did that. An earthy friend (who had always wanted gobs and gobs of children and put breast milk in her family’s soup and offered it to anyone not feeling well) homeschooled. She once built a five foot tall volcano in her living room that erupted as part of a lesson. My worst nightmare scenario…I once dove onto the floor in my living room while eight months pregnant to stop someone from stepping onto the carpet with their shoes on. No exploding volcanoes for me, thank you very much.
I told my husband I’d pray about it that weekend. And I did, though I pretty much knew that this was not a possibility in our home. I had no desire or interest in homeschooling my child, and she did just fine going to school. No separation anxiety. No tears. It seemed like a win-win for both of us.
Except that in the middle of Sunday service, for the first and only time in my life thus far, I heard the Lord speak to my heart in a way that seemed audible it was so very clear: homeschool her. I sat in the pew speechless, but I didn’t bother to argue because I recognized it as God gently asking me to consider something that was going to be a huge step of faith for me. The following day, while driving (with silent tears streaming down my face), I asked my adventurous-eager-to-please-ready-to-take-life-by-the-horns baby girl if she’d be okay if I was her teacher. She thought about it for a bit and said yes. And that was the start of our homeschooling journey nine years ago.
I’m excited to begin this adventure with a new site and a fresh perspective…I’ve missed blogging but had Life Stuff that needed me first. A period of quiet and lots of things going on, but finally…here I am!
An introduction: I’m Miki aka Beautiful Century, which is the literal meaning of my name. I have been married for almost 14 years and have three amazing children (ages 12, 10 and 5) that I homeschool. I’m a photographer by trade and love to create. This blog is an updated continuation of our family’s adventures from Beautiful Century, A Beautiful Life.