• Shea Kropiwnicki

7 Reasons We're Homeschooling

I promise that I never ever thought that I would be a homeschool Mom.

Never say never ever.

I grew up in public school and minus a few bad experiences sprinkled over my 13 years, I loved it! I loved the fresh flat folders, the newly sharpened number two's, and writing my name on everything (helloooo future monogram lover). I loved the chore charts in kindergarten, the color-coded binders needed for middle school, and the extracurricular activities in high school. Everything about public school was built for someone like me. And yet, our family has decided to take the plunge into the homeschooling world. While we know very little (and I mean very little), I decided to share our why behind the what. 1. We are not homeschooling out of fear. I hear many statements wrapped in fear in regards to homeschooling. Truth be told, sending my kid off to kindergarten would be scary, but mostly because of fear of the unknown. Yes, there are bad teachers. There are also phenomenal ones. Yes, there are mean kids. There are also kind ones. We are not homeschooling out of fear. We are homeschooling with confidence. Confidence that it's right for our family. If it's not right for yours, that's cool too. Do that public school/private school thing with confidence!

2. We have the ability to homeschool. Almost six years ago, I became a Mom. Two years later, I became a stay-at-home Mom. And this year, I become a homeschool Mom. I owe much of that to my husband and his support both spiritually and financially. We aren't rolling in twenties (or even ones), but we are making it work because we can. I have loved this stay-at-home Mom gig and have already chosen to love this homeschooling gig too. Time with them is precious even if it's while doing addition or learning sight words. 3. Our kids are different. Kid 1 is creative, wild, passionate, sensitive, and blazing with energy from dawn til dusk. Kid 2 is calm, encouraging, motherly, servant-hearted, and likes to have her ducks in a row. Kid 3 is headstrong, hilarious, free-spirited, cuddly, and speaks like she's the CEO of this house. Kid 4, the baby, just eats cat food and relocates all important objects to random places. While they all swam in the same gene pool, no two are alike. They are completely different kids with different needs. They'll likely all have different jobs some day, which means they should have the freedom to learn in different ways at different paces. 4. I'm okay with weird kids. "Well I want my kids to be socialized." A fairly common response to discovering we are creating uncivilized little hooligans over here. I want my kids to be socialized too! I get to choose where we go, when we go, and who it's with! It's AWESOME. There are co-ops, field trips, and homeschool days ran by businesses. The options are endless. But even after all of that, I'm still okay if you think my kid is a weird homeschooler. I remember a time when some of my son's peers went through a Ninja Turtle phase. My kid liked pirates. He sported pirate hats, a hand hook, bandanas, and a vest like he was freakin' Captain Hook himself. I loved that about him. He didn't waiver in his love for pirates just because everyone else liked Raphael and Donatello. I'm okay with kids that are different. I'm okay with weird kids. And if they truly are weird, I think it might be because of that gene pool thing, not homeschooling. 5. I am not qualified for this. I've never taught a kid to read before. I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't have a plaque on the wall or any capital letters after my name. All I do have is a few books, a little bit of spirit, and a whole lotta prayer. And my dear friend Pinterest. Oh, and caffeine. Praise Him for caffeine! The skills aren't there, but the heart is, and that my friends is going to have to be enough for now. 6. School will never be the most important thing. I want my kids to be educated. I want them to have jobs that they love and that pay their bills. Can I get a witness??? But our end goal in homeschooling is not to have smart kids. Or talented kids. Or kids that can play the violin by age 7 (which is amazing by the way). I want kids that love Jesus. I want them to be a nurse that loves Jesus or a small business owner that loves Jesus or a Mom that loves Jesus. If our school goals are aimed at professions instead of character, we've certainly missed the mark. 7. God called us to homeschool.

And the final reason, but really the only one that matters: God has clearly directed our family to homeschool. He's changed our mindset, our family goals, and most importantly, our hearts. Instead of viewing it as us saying "no" to public school/private school, think of it as us saying "yes" to homeschool. Saying "yes" to God. When I'm ready to ship my kids off to Timbuktu on a tough day, please encourage us to remain obedient to God. Know that God calls different people to different things (see #3). While homeschooling may not be in the plan for your family, I know now that God made me for this.

So while we stumble confidently through our first official year of homeschooling, be sure to Fedex me some Snickers or prayer walk around my school(house). And if you are interested in homeschooling, feel free to ask someone that actually knows something. Or you can ask me, and I'll pretend that I do. Grace Giver: Wherever you fall in the school spectrum, I challenge you to show respect for others' decisions. Private school doesn't mean you're sophisticated. Public school doesn't mean you're secular. Homeschool doesn't mean you're holier than thou. There's no black and white here. Let's be full of grace in the gray.

Truth Teller: What is God calling you to that seems unreasonable? Unfeasible? Impractical? If it isn't homeschooling, it's something else. God doesn't call us to easy paths; He calls us to mountains. And He'll either move them for us, or He'll ask us to climb them alongside Him.

#school #homeschool #faithfulness

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