“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” – John C. Maxwell
Have you ever thought about the choices that you make in your life? The small, seemingly insignificant, choices that we make every day. The ones that weave together to create the fabric of our lives. Now I firmly believe that homeschooling is a calling from God, and it’s only through HIS grace that I find myself sufficient. However, I also feel He gives me the power over my own choices and there have been a few of those decisions that have led me to the homeschooling way of life. In the beginning, homeschool moms have to make a few tough choices, even if they don’t realize it.
The choice to be different.
Like it or not, homeschooling is different from the norm, and different is always scary. However, we chose to walk away from the normal and do something extraordinary. We decide to follow this calling and make our path. Sometimes being different isn’t easy. Sometimes we will be questioned more often than we like, even by well-meaning strangers. Maybe your family doesn’t agree, or maybe there are days when you doubt yourself. You have to choose not to listen to the doubts and move forward. Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” We merely decided that we want different results, so we are making our path.
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The choice to believe that we are enough.
This one is hard, right? How can we EVER be enough for our children? I don’t hold a degree in education, and I fall far short of being a genius. BUT I chose to believe that I was enough, that my love for my children would push me to learn more, to be more. That I would ALWAYS pursue what was in their best interest and throw all my passion and dedication into being enough. Now if I’m honest, there are still days when I don’t feel adequate. Sometimes I feel like I’m messing it all up and making so many mistakes. In the end, though, I am their mother. God granted me this important position because HE thought I was enough, and every day I wake up and make a choice to believe that I am.
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The choice to give up part of ourselves.
Homeschooling is to an extent, sacrificial. You give your life entirely over to the well being of someone else. Some of us give up that coveted second income, and most of us are hard-pressed to find free time. Sounds like a real drag right? Except it’s not. Somewhere along the way, we find a new version of ourselves, a better one. This person has seen the world through the eyes of a child and experienced so many “firsts” that she’s lost count. She knows what it’s like to be bent and broken and then emerge a better person. In giving up part of myself, I became someone that I liked much better.
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The choice to not miss a minute.
If you choose to use some other form of education, you will lose approximately 18,720 hours (or 1,123,200 minutes) of your child’s life. This estimate is assuming that you skip preschool and after school activities. For me, this was the most significant downside of public school. How can I teach my children MY morals, values, and beliefs if someone else has them for the majority of their time? I didn’t want snippets of time, crammed in between homework & dinner, to build a relationship with my children. This time has also been the most significant blessing of homeschooling in our lives. We can get lost in a good book for hours or spend a week on vacation in the middle of winter. We have the time for that.
The choice to begin.
I’m not going to lie. Homeschooling was a massive step for me. My husband and I were both products of the public school system, so homeschooling went against our “norm.” In the beginning, even our extended families weren’t supportive, and I can remember feeling so lost and overwhelmed. Then one day we just decided to take a leap of faith. That large jump from what society considers “normal” into the dark abyss of a “different” path. This choice is the most important one we make as homeschooling moms. Some NEVER get the courage to do what we do. Instead, they let their fears consume them, and continue on the “normal” path of education. All while something inside them BEGS them to do something different, something courageous. We make the CHOICE to forge our way.
(Related Reading: I Would Love to Homeschool But…..)