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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Homeschooling Is Our Lifestyle . . .

Today's guest post is by Emily Rose of Simply Vintagegirl. She is a Christian young lady whose goal in life is to give glory to God by enjoying Him forever. He has saved her with His amazing grace and is continually molding her. She is an incredibly talented photographer and graphic designer... she also happens to be my fabulous blog designer! You can find her wonderful creations at her etsy shop.

Homeschooling is our lifestyle . . .

. . . but it didn't start out that way. We held the view that homeschooling was weird, strange, and only reclusive people did it (a common misunderstanding and stereotype).

My parents intended for both of their daughters to go to public school -- we even moved to another town so that we could be in a better school system.

The Lord had different plans for us. In Proverbs 16:9 it says, "The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." God directed our steps down a path that we did not even think would be possible, let alone desirable.

My sister, Breezy, was in the middle of first grade and I had not started school yet. Just two years before, God called Momma out of the workplace. That was only the beginning of the adventure . . .

He laid it upon my parents hearts to homeschool us, Breezy and Emily Rose, then 6 and 5. Transitions had to be made.

My parents removed Breezy from the public school system (letting her stay an extra week so she could experience her promised class birthday party for her seventh birthday).

Home, sweet home

That all happened eleven years ago. Since then, Breezy and I have became the best of friends (and still are). We have been able to spend extra time developing important skills and working on our talents. We have been able to spend extra time together as a family.

Not everyday has been easy, though. There were days where one of us would cry over her math and the other would cry over her art lesson. I'm sure there were days where Momma wanted to cry, too.

Has it been worth all the pain? YES! The problems might have seemed extreme when they happened, but looking back we can laugh at those once upsetting moments.

The school years are the most influential years of a person's life. From Kindergarten to the High School years we are very impressionable, and what we are exposed to will have an impact on our lives.

When parents are not around to teach their children, things can enter a child's mind that the parent may not know about. Those things can be misunderstood by the child and not understood with a biblical worldview.

In homeschooling we have been shielded from the wiles of the world that we would be openly exposed to in public school. That doesn't mean that we do not know what is out there.

Instead of peers with an unbiblical worldview telling us about the evils of the world (many times in an "it's okay" light), we have been carefully exposed to them with a biblical worldview (when we were mature enough to handle it).

Another blessing of being homeschooled is having delight directed studies. Delight directed studies is where we spend extra time developing our talents (this has been especially important during the high school years).

We are now almost finished with our "formal" home education, but we'll still be learning because learning is a part of life.

Homeschooling is our lifestyle. It is not a year-by-year choice, but a life decision. It's something that happens whether it is a school day or a weekend. It's what I would call a never-ending adventure -- and it's a wonderful one at that!


Anonymous said...

This is sweet. Bittersweet. I started with a heart to homeschool my two boys....when they were 3 and 1, I was learning, joined a homeschool group to educate myself, sold our house to move to a smaller house, ...so we could prepare for me to quit my job and be a sahm. The week after the house sold, one month after my youngest's second birthday, their dad's plans to leave us were uncovered.

Thought homeschooling since then has not been an option for us, my heart is still in it.

I may have this summer off from work, as I bring my new daughter into our home, and hope to do a little fun homeschooling summer.

What this young lady shared is so sweet and precious.

Joy @ SAH Missionary said...

Miss Emily Rose,
What a wonderfully written post! I appreciate your sweet heart shining through your gentle words.
Thank you for sharing!

Misty M. said...

What a delight to find your story here Emily! I have already run across your mother's blog and sister's artwork in my blog travels and found both to be wonderful! I am so happy to hear about your home-school experience. I was raised next door to my cousin and best friend who was being home-schooled the entire time I was going to public school. I knew first had what the differences were. I have always hoped and planned to home-school my own children and the time is nearing. I guess because it is in my background, I see it as the best way while others seem to see it as strange or even crazy. I am blessed that my husband was also raised around home-schooled cousins and feels the same way I do. I sometimes can't understand why almost every Christian woman I know doesn't even consider this an option with their children. They are so concerned with being 'normal' I don't think that the modern definition of 'normal' is a good idea for our children.
Thanks again Emily, It was wonderful to hear from you. Good luck in your field. I am in graphic design also, the site looks wonderful! Take Care!

ServinGsus said...

Thanks for sharing! We are just starting to make HSing our lifestyle. My kids are very young and I had never intended to choose this, but as you say, God directs us. Thanks for sharing =)

Reborn said...

Emily Rose, thanks for the great post! I too am a homeschool graduate and it warms my heart to hear positive testimonies from other homeschoolers.

Anonymous-- as a word of encouragement: I have observed that the biggest benefit of homeschooling is that the parents are "in tune" with their childrens' studies, struggles, and learning styles. The parents and children spend a great amount of time together, and the parents see their childrens' wellbeing and education as THEIR responsibility, instead of delegating this responsiblity to the government or school system.

I think that as you go through this difficult time in your life, if you commit to being an active participant in your children's educational journey, you will be able to reap many of the benefits of homeschooling without actually doing it fulltime. Take your children to the library on weekends, read books with your kids every night, communicate extensively with their teachers, keep a sharp eye out for learning styles and struggles that may need extra attention.

I believe that if you seek God, he can impart wisdom and empower you with his grace, so that even this tragic situation can work together for your children's good. :)

Elizabeth@JoyfulJewels4Jesus said...

Miss Emily Rose-
Thank you for posting "Homeschooling is our Lifestyle..." Your posts are such a blessing! Hope to see you at the Father Daughter Retreat!

Heritage of Home said...

I just Love Emily Rose! And her whole family. We have not met face to face, but I feel such a kinship to them all! I have been homeschooling for for about 7 years. I have six children. School grades range from kindergarten to 7th grade. I love it! The children are able to be who they are, and learn to be more for the Lord! I praise God for bringing my husband and I to the homeschooling decision so long ago. Now that I know that my children are "my missionfield" I have strength of purpose. Thank you Sarah, for having these guests on your blog. It is more than encouraging in the Lord Jesus! It is a Blessing. Thankyou so much!

HeathahLee said...

This is such a good post! Thank you for sharing it! Almost every day I am reminded how glad I am that we homeschool our 9 year old son. No, every day is not easy. There are days when both of us are in tears. But I wouldn't trade our education choice for anything.

Anna said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I was homeschooled as well and I can definitely agree that homeschooling is my lifestyle. I am actually a teacher in the public school system (for now) and all I can think of is the time when I will be able to homeschool my own kids. I'm really looking forward to it.
Any teacher should tell you that one-on-one instruction is the absolute best way for a student to learn. In a classroom of around 30 kids this will almost never happen. Also, so much time is actually lost because the teacher is dealing with behavior problems. I have seen schools and I cannot bring myself to send my kids if it is within my power to educate them at home. If you have to send your kids then please keep in contact with the teacher, continually talk to your kids about their day, and do their homework with them. Look at the work they bring home too. Be as involved as you can. :)

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Thank you so much for sharing! This was a lovely post.

MyJourneyBack said...

Beautifully written post. Thanks for sharing. I am a grandma now. I wish I had been able to homeschool. My children did go to a Christian private school. I have one grandson that is home schooled and I am praying that my newest that is almost 1 now will be homeschooled. I loved reading your post. Thanks for sharing it. I enjoyed your blog too. I came over from a blog that you designed to check you out. Hehe. I am glad I did. I will come back soon.