Why do families choose to homeschool? The circumstances and reasons are varied. In the “Our Path to Here” series, we tell you our stories.
Our homeschooling journey began when I was pregnant with our first child. One day at lunch, hubby announced to our friends that we were going to homeschool. I promptly said, “No way.”
Funny how life happens though, after that day we started meeting families who had chosen this path for their own family. I remember being so impressed with a family at church. Their children were all well behaved, very polite, and in general seemed to really enjoy being with their siblings. I found that odd but refreshing at the same time. Later we learned that they had been home educating for years. We had a similar experience with another family that was new to our church. We had invited them over for Easter dinner and during the day had learned that they also had been home educating. The mom, Kate, had said something to me about how anyone can do it, it really isn’t all that hard. At that point, I started to wonder if God was trying to tell me something.
As time went on, we gathered as much information as we could about this form of education. We attended our state’s homeschool convention, listened to many speakers, and wandered around looking at the curriculum choices that were available to us.
I always tell people that we sort of fell into home schooling. It wasn’t something I ever thought of when thinking about our kids and their future. I did know though, that I wanted the close knit family that I saw in those homeschooling families we knew. I wanted that for my children- for them to have a bond with each other and with us.
We started this journey when our oldest was in preschool and have now graduated four out of our five children. The journey has brought many ups and downs, but we have managed to muddle through. I think if I could go back and have a do-over I would choose to not stress about things in the younger years. I wouldn’t push math so soon. I would focus more on fun things like nature walks, art, music, and less on formal academics. Our best days of school were those days that had more of the Charlotte Mason approach to learning. I used to worry about them getting into college, but now I can see that for them to succeed they just needed a love of learning. They needed to know how to research a topic and then apply that to real life.
Even though I would change some of the things we did along the way, I would not give up all the moments that I had with them. Something we “fell into” became more of a life choice for our family. So on those days that we’ve all had, the days where you want to give up, don’t. Just muddle through and everything will be fine.
Lisa Emmons was born and raised in New England. She loves history and vintage/junk finds, and is the owner of Primrose Primitives. She has homeschooled since 1997.
5 thoughts on “Our Path to Here – Lisa”
Thanks for the assurance that “muddling by” are ok and that we don’t need to treat every day so seriously. I have found I am burning myself out very quickly trying to “do it all” and feeling like I am still not doing enough. My child is only in 1st grade and I already feel worn out.
Martha, it took us about three years to find our homeschool rhythm — I muddled through for a long time. If you’re feeling burned out, and especially if your first-grader is, ease up a little! They can’t learn everything the first year.
We tried so many different things over the years. I think we put to much pressure on ourselves to make sure all the “boxes are checked”. It was very freeing for me to attend a seminar where the speaker said something like in the public system the class room is more about crowd control and they never finish their textbooks.
That close-knit family bond is my favorite thing about homeschooling. My brother and I were homeschooled K-12, and we are still SO close to each other and our parents. It’s a big part of why I wanted to homeschool my own kids, and sure enough, they are wonderful little pals.
That was a big motivating factor for me to even consider this road.