… because I needed one more thing to do, right? Okay, not so much. Still, I wanted to chronicle our homeschooling journey, and what better time to start then now, when we’re just beginning?
I first heard of homeschooling as I was going into 6th grade, when friend of mine who had been struggling at school told me her mom was going to teach her at home that coming schoolyear. What a novel idea, I thought! But it seemed like it was just a solution for helping my friend catch up. Then when I started going to church in high school, I met many families who had always homeschooled their kids. I was immediately sold. I knew that when I had kids of my own, that was what I wanted to do.
I come from a family full of teachers, and ended up going that route myself for a few years before I got married. I love teaching (though I hate jumping through the bureaucratic hoops that come with it), and I looked forward to the day I could see my own children’s faces lighting up with the joy of discovering new things.
When Ian was born in 2008, I started counting down the days until we could start “homeschooling.” Of course teaching and learning is a part of every day with a child, so we’ve had a lot of fun over the last three years. By the time he reached his third birthday, however, he was soaking up so much that I knew I wanted to be more intentional in what I was feeding his hungry little mind. He already recognizes all his letters, knows his colors and most of his shapes, etc., and I know he’ll pick up the rest of that basic “Kindergarten” knowledge along the way as easily has he’s learned so much so far. So what I really want to focus on is the Bible. After all, our number one job is to “make disciples,” right? If I were discipling a new believer I would start by helping them become familiar with God’s Word. It only makes sense to start there with our children as well.
I’ve always heard Psalm 119:11 as “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Then I was reading it in the NASB and the translation jumped out at me: “Your word I have treasured in my heart…” That’s my hope for all my children, that they would treasure God’s word in their hearts. I want the Scriptures to be the core of our homeschooling experience. Yes, we read lots of books (dozens each day, it seems sometimes), and literature will definitely be a large part of what we do over the years. But what’s the point of reading great books if they don’t point us toward the ultimate Truth of God’s Word?
And so we began. At first we started working during little brother’s morning nap time, but almost immediately, Elijah had made it clear that at 17 months he was ready to give up two naps. So now we just plunge in with Elijah looking on. I’m sure he’ll start picking things up long before I would start teaching him on his own. And we’ve just learned that Blessing#3 is going to be arriving by the end of the year, which encourages me to keep things simple (for my sake, not the children’s)!
For now, “school” consists of a weekly Bible story (with a memory verse, songs and activities that tie in), along with a little bit of letter review and a “book of the week” (more on that in a later post). I also try to get the boys outside several times a week to explore nature. Even in the month since we’ve started, I’ve been amazed at how much Ian is learning. And so it is with great joy that our family starts out on this journey, seeking out the riches of the Scriptures so we can treasure them in our hearts.