I confess! In December when we started struggling with the decision of whether we should home school our children, I was so torn. How can I homeschool my children when I also have to work full-time? Can I really be directly responsible for my kids' education? Is this the best decision for our family? Will my children resent me for pulling them out of their school environment that they have loved since they were 4 years old? Mike and I prayed...we discussed our options ad nauseum....and we searched for any other open door that God might even have just cracked open a bit. Finally, when the decision was made, I was at peace. Anyone who knows me understands just how important education is to me. I take education seriously and I don't want my kids to just get by. I expect superior work from my children. I demand their best in anything they do. I have now been my kids' Learning Coach for 10 weeks, and I am amazed at (1) how independent they have become with their learning; (2) how the homeschooling experience is preparing them for college; and (3) how much this new learning environment in our home has drawn us even closer as a family. Frankly, this might have been the best decision we have made as a family since we took the television out of our home 8 years ago. Has homeschooling been easy? No way! There have been times when I have had to leave my house and take a drive so I didn't kill someone. There have been times when I've cried myself to sleep at night wondering if we really did what was best for them. I have become even more passionate about education in the last 6 months or so and that is good. Though, there is something very satisfying when Chase is understanding his Algebra 2 by going over his textbook and learning the concept on his own. It is very rewarding to see Candace spend a week learning about Pearl Harbor, writing a 10 page research paper, and then receiving a 96 on it. It is fun helping Cara with her lab assignments in the evening, whether it be making sand erode in a plastic container, or labeling all the volcanoes on the earth with beans. An even bigger benefit to this experience is that my kids are spending precious, immeasurable time together and creating memories that will last a lifetime. And, last night, I sat down with Chase (since he was the one that seem to give up the most from being pulled out of his school - Class President, Valedictorian, time with his girlfriend :) ) and asked him if he is enjoying this homeschooling venture. He said he likes it and there is no doubt he is doing well with straight A's. His guidance counsellor actually called him a couple of weeks ago and congratulated him for his good grades and asked him to take a survey while she tried to get to know him better.
In conclusion, when I was just a child, I picked this verse as my life verse: Isaiah 43:2 - "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee. When thou walkest through the fire, thou shall not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." I do not know if the last few months have been just a "water", a "river", or a "fire" in my life, but I know that God has blessed us and given us such sweet peace with our decision to do what we believe is best for our children. God is good and He is faithful, and I am thankful to all of you who have supported me with your sweet emails and comments.