What I didn't expect from Homeschooling

There are plenty of blog posts and youtube videos out there that share the reasons for homeschooling. And I thought about following this trend and making one or writing something like that too but every time I sat down to write I just fell short on what to say. 

I know my reasons for why we started this journey and those reasons are still so valid even now but I believe that if you're making a big move like this you already have your reasons. And if you need validation for those reasons, it's not me that you should be getting it from. 

This is a huge step and you should get your validation from God because you need to learn to lean into him as you wade the homeschooling waters. Because these waters are full of creatures, if you will, that want to scare you out of it. I know I would have been right back on shore long ago if I didn't first trust God with this. 

With that said I want to use this post to share two unexpected sides of this journey with you. One being very positive and one being something I've been trusting God to guide us through. 

The first aspect of homeschooling I didn't expect often manifests itself as quite the pesky little road block. Having my kids home all the time I'm finding we are all learning how to establish and regularly see this invisible line of home and school. For years there was a clear distinction often clearly shown by a separate building and hopping on a bus but now it's the same building and we don't leave to get there. As a family we are learning, everyday, what it looks like to "enter school" and not "leave for home" when we are bored, or things get difficult, or we've had enough. It's easy to leave for home when all it takes is a mental transition. 

This, I actually didn't prepare myself for and to be honest I'm not too sure how I would suggest preparing if I could go back. I think the best advice I can give you, that I would have given myself, is to use this first year to get used to this transition and to expect it to not always be easy. To remember that we are creating new habits and a new way of doing life. We are rebuilding our home around a concept and lifestyle that is very foreign to all of us. The thing I would tell myself, and still do, is to be patient and be kind to myself. Be gentle with my expectations and to not let the lie that we have to figure it out now or we'll be nuked as a "school" and family unit. 

I also want to say that we are a little more than half way through our first school year and it has gotten easier. SO much easier. Our expectations are evolving and we are coming together with more joy and diligence than we did before. Which definitely gives me hope. 

The second aspect of homeschooling I strangely didn't expect was to fall so madly in love with it. I never saw myself as a teacher. I cringed at the thought of volunteering in Sunday School programs and when I tried opening a day home once I thought I'd never like kids again. I was never a big supporter of the concept of home-education in the past and often had very strong, uneducated, opinions I was too quick share. 

So to think I'd pick up this baton one day and love it so much never crossed my mind. Even when I started I was going forward out of obligation and duty for my kids but now it's become one of the greatest joys of my life. 

To watch my kid's minds and hearts grow and thrive in my hands is such an incredible gift. To be with them for more than two hours a day, which I often thought I couldn't bare to be honest, is the most precious use of my time. They are deepening their education in a way that wasn't happening before and we are deepening our relationships in a way that wasn't happening before. 

It's not often easy and there's conflict and struggle all along the way but it's in that and the resolution we unite more. It's in the AHAH moments that they know I truly see them and care. 

This has been the most unexpected, wild, and counter-cultural decision we've made as a family but I pray with all my heart we can cling to it as long as God lets us. 

Bring on the unexpected.

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