My Dearest Diana,
I wish we could have time to sit and talk for hours over a cup of tea, about our homeschooling experiences. But, since a vast ocean separates us, you'll have to drink a cup of tea at 5:00 o'clock whilst I drink a cup of strong coffee in the morning.
You mentioned to me in a comment yesterday, when I wrote about how we homeschool not because we are stronger, that you would love to hear more about our experiences of home-schooling; so I thought I would share some of our journey here, in the form of an open letter, because maybe, just maybe, there is someone else out there, who would like to hear about it too.
Yesterday I said that, "I have learned some grace, and today I don't dare to speak against those who send their children to schools (either Christians or not), because as I see my children walking in the ways of the Lord I can not say that it is because "we have done all things right" that they are godly. No, we know that it is because it has pleased God to give our children a heart for Him. It is grace, all grace." So, why in the world did we choose to homeschool our children? Why I love to encourage my friends to do it?
The answer is this: The reward of doing it is too great to let it go.
I will never trade all the wonderful moments that my children and I have lived together, all the moments reading on the couch, all the projects, and paintings; all the discoveries, the authors we have met together. The laughter, their "I did it!" look. A hug and a kiss when the multiplication tables are not easy to memorize, the words of forgiveness spoken, the tears and kisses. All growing side by side.
Our oldest son is leaving for college this summer, you know that, and as you can imagine my heart is heavy with the thought of it; however I just look behind and smile at all the memories we have built together; I am so happy and grateful that I have been there for him, with him, close to him all these past years. I have not wasted the minutes with him. What we have now is a strong relationship, and I give thanks to my God for it.
My dear Diana, we have chosen this journey, because we want to be there, not only to create beautiful memories, but because we want to teach them what a public school can't, and that it is that God, His Word, reigns supremely over all subjects. I remember the time when Isabel and I were reading the Iliad, and read the moment when Helen leaves her husband; she was so surprised; and even though she is tender in age, we talked about how dreadful sin can be. I perfectly remembered whispering thanks to God. In a public school, she might have read the same story, even from a better story teller that me, but to the many questions she had, I had the Word of God ready to bring her to God's worldview.
Private Christian Schools (real Christian schools and not only nominal) are a great option too for many families who can't homeschool. We have decided, as you may recall, to enroll our oldest children in an Online School, which has proved to be a huge blessing to us. We don't have in our country the option of co-ops, so for us this has been the perfect option. The teachers are godly and the academics are rigorous, two things that we value. And of course, we also value the wonderful friendships that the Lord has brought to our lives through it; from our little one to my husband, we all love our friends in that wonderful community.
Now, homeschooling is not a "piece of cake" it involves hard work and lots of prayer. When people ask me what is the hardest thing about homeschooling; I always say: "Dealing with my flesh everyday" And it is true! If I lose my temper, it is not because they are not giving me the correct answer, it is simply because I am not exercising patience. So, yes, this journey has helped me grow in the Word, and has helped me see many areas of my life that need to be changed, many sins that need to be mortified. But at the same time, it has helped me see, as I wrote yesterday, that when I am weak He is always strong.
So, Diana, this is why I love homeschooling, and the reason why I would do it over and over again. I like this saying that I have, "Deciding to start homeschooling is tough, but thinking about quitting is impossible." And maybe, after all this, you are asking, "Becky, what does your children say?" Well, they say they want to do it with their own children as well. That, my friend, is a great reward, don't you think?
My dear friend, it is my prayer that you and your husband will be led to the best option for your family; one that will bring Him glory.
Love you dearly,