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My son is heading into that age that people will start asking about schooling choices. I was asked last year if we were planning to send Caleb to preschool. I said that we weren’t because he could play just as well at home or at a friend’s house. The response, “Well I guess he can just go to kindergarten in a year or two.” This was from someone who knows (or should know after being told multiple times) that we are going to homeschool our children.

This conversation has popped into my mind a few times over the last few months as Caleb has recently turned four and therefore he is technically eligible to be enrolled in kindergarten in a year. Which isn’t going to happen of course but our intentions will become a lot more apparent and concrete when the actual time comes to not enroll him. This means we will have a lot more explaining to do and questions to answer about our choices.
I don’t plan to write at this point about how we came to the conclusion that we feel like we should educate our children at home, or even our goals for our childrens’ education. What I want to talk about is the “how.”
I have been sitting on the couch the last few days with a sick baby (or toddler as I suppose he is technically called now). We have basically sat on the couch snuggling and nursing. It is times like these that I’m glad I have a laptop! I have been reading reviews after review on homeschooling curricula. There are some really amazing programs out there and I wish I could try them all. I learned about all the different methods and I just know that it will be a lot of fun. I may be a bit of a nerd because I wish I could do them all just to expand my own knowledge base. I get excited abut trying to figure out which one we should buy.
Then I look at my oldest son.
He loves to snuggle up on my lap with a story. He loves to play outside. He loves to help his daddy work on the farm. He loves to play games or do anything that involves interacting with people. He does not typically enjoy sitting at a table with crayons or a pencil. He only occasionally enjoys doing something “crafty” like playdough or cutting or stickers. After adding my son’s personality into the picture, I couldn’t find one single curriculum or plan that suits him.
I also evaluated the educational beliefs and practices that I apply to myself.
I am interested in birth and breastfeeding. A couple years ago I read about 10-15 different books (textbooks and other reference books) an numerous online and magazine articles on these two topics alone. As I studied and educated myself on these two topics I also learned about attachment parenting; the family bed; the science/biology/chemistry of a woman’s body during pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and mothering; the history of those topics and how it affects us today; and the way that other culture currently and historically birth and raise children. I did a “unit study” on those topics by reading “living books” and taking a lot of notes that I sometimes formed into essays/letters about what I had learned. In short: I “unschooled” myself. I had an interest in something and wanted to apply it to my life so I sought out the answers.
If unschooling works for me, why would I deny my child the opportunity to learn for himself by attempting to teach him things that don’t matter and don’t apply? He will learn about what interests him when he is ready to learn it. At that point I can encourage and assist him in figuring out how to learn it. My only goal as his mother and teacher at this point is to direct him to the Lord. Everything comes back to God. If he knows and trusts the Lord, what more does he truly need?
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”
The only “curriculum” we are going to make a point to study is the Bible. Seek the Lord and He will lead. And we are not going to worry about how our sons will learn how to live in His world because they will learn all they need by simply living in His world.
Though I’m a nerd and I need to admit something. I think I am going to buy a curriculum for Adam and myself to go through. He has actually agreed! It is one that is based on the Word and teaches you how to use the Bible as the basis for all your studies. Adam and I are looking forward to reading about history and science in a way that we have never seen it approached before. Going to pray about it a bit more to make sure that the purchase is led by God and not my own excitement.
Disclaimer: I understand that unschooling (or even homeschooling for that matter) is not for everyone. I do not judge you for choosing to do what you feel is best for your family so please don’t judge/criticize me for doing what I feel is best for my family. The most important thing is to follow God’s leading.
Where is God leading you? What do you feel is the best education solution for your family and why?