the full story

when my oldest child, joshua, was just a little guy, i thought that i would homeschool him. i seriously couldn't tell you why at that point, but i knew i wouldn't send him to school. by the time joshua got to the age that he could attend kindergarten, he would have started at age four and turned five in october of that school year. we thought this was too early and decided to put him in a transitional kindergarten program at the school he went to for preschool. that was a great decision for him. when the next school year started the thought of homeschooling him was a distant memory. at this point i had three kids all under the age of five years old. my life was just not at that point to take on that responsibility. and i most certainly did not feel the calling whatsoever.

joshua enjoyed being in school and i enjoyed having him there. between his kindergarten year and his first grade year, we were switched schools, due to rezoning. i was not happy that he would be leaving the school we planned for him to attend which is right down the street from our house. it was the school my husband attended as a kid. we were being moved to a brand new school. i was very unsure of that, so i decided to try our "luck" at a charter school. knowing it would be very hard to get him in, i put his name in the lottery. and when he was the second name drawn for the waiting list (there were no open spots for his grade) i knew he would be attending union academy. we got the call that he would be going there the week before school started. joshua had a great year in first grade. he loved his new school and his teachers.

fast forward to last summer, jordyn had been enrolled to start kindergarten at the end of july and i was so sad about her going off to school. i was seven months pregnant with baby number four and told my husband that maybe i should homeschool jordyn this year. as fast as that statement came out of my mouth it was forgotten. how in the world would i balance a newborn and that responsibility.

jordyn has had a great year in kindergarten. she has learned so much and come so far. she loves being there and loves her teachers. joshua has done very well in second grade and likes his teachers. although, there have been a few bumps in the road we have had a good year.

so why in the world did i decide to homeschool? well, i ask myself this just about every day. and every day i have to remind myself of my answers!

being in a school, my eyes have been opened to a lot of things that have brought us to this decision. having two in school had having two at home has brought about a set of problems in our home. it is really hard for me to make that transition. i feel like when the big kids get home, i become a drill sargeant because we have so much to do in such a short amount of time before it is bedtime. there's homework, reading, dinner, clean up and bath/showers. and this is all minus any kind of activities in the evening. the kids haven't done any kind of sports or dance, and we haven't been able to get to our adult small group either. we realized once we get done doing all we have to do, there is little time for us to enjoy our kids, read the bible with them or have any kind of fun. not to mention they are really tired and pretty grumpy for most of the afternoon. not so much fun around here.

that brought me to the realization that if we aren't able to be able to spend good quality time with our kids, who is? their teachers get to spend more time with our kids then we do. they are getting the best of our kids and we get them when they are exhausted. who is breathing life into them? not us as their parents. teachers and other adults whom we barely know are the ones who are with them all day everyday, five days a week. somewhere, we lost the control of who they are around and what they are hearing. that made me realize that i really really miss my kids and that i feel like i barely know who they are anymore.

it broke my heart to realize that. i realized i wasn't enjoying my kids. the little afternoon/evening hours we have were so hectic and left no time for enjoying each other. we are all tired and miserable. and some how, we are responsible for getting homework done with each child. which combined can take close to 2 hours, that includes reading time.

once i began to realize all of this combined was making our family a wreck, i decided i could do something about it. that i had to. that is when God started placing the idea of homeschooling on my heart.

at first, i ran from it. i ran fast and hard, the idea of having all four kids home all day every day terrified {terrifies} me. how in the world could i, would i do this? well, God wouldn't let me run very far, because every time i did, he placed something or someone in my life that was representative of homeschooling.

when i first approached jamil with the idea he was against it. so i asked him to pray. secretly hoping that God would show him it wasn't the right decision and then i would be off the hook! well, when God works, He sure does work in unity.

when i told my friend, amy, about what i was thinking, she was so supportive and didn't tell me i was crazy. little did i know, God was working through her to give me the encouragement i needed. she encouraged me to pray about it more and begin to make a pros and cons list. and write down some things. so i did.

one night, jamil came home and said we needed to talk about this idea of homeschooling. just a few days before, i made that list of pros and cons. her support was so reassuring. that night, i presented it to jamil. honestly, the only thing represented in my "cons" column were fear based. and we realized if fear was the only thing holding us back, we had to give it a try and let go of the fear. now, jamil was so on board. he was all for it. wow. God had changed his heart. and God had really begun to open both of our eyes to what our family could become if we would just let Him do His work. but first we had to take this big step!

i made a list of friends and people who i know who are homeschooling. my list was so long!! i began to make contacts with some of these homeschooling mamas!! i was encouraged by so many of them. i was able to sit down with two of my friends and talk about their experience thus far. i was also invited to a group of homeschooling moms at our church. knowing that i have a support of friends making the same decision, is so reassuring.

once we made the decision, we just began to look at our kids so differently and things just seemed to go so much better at home in the evenings. i knew we made a decision that was honoring God and the plans He has for our family.

to this day, i am still feeling nervous about the decision. but i am excited too. it is just fear of the unknown right now. but i am going to take a leap of faith and trust God on this journey. and not let fear hold me back.

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