A Homeschool Mom’s Reflections on Life
Homeschooling. The mere word elicits an immediate reaction whether positive or negative. As someone with a background in public school education, I must admit my reaction to the word has most definitely transitioned over the past twenty years. You might say I have been on both sides of the fence. Fortunately for our family, our eyes were opened to the many positives of homeschooling twelve years ago, and we haven’t looked back. That is just it. We haven’t looked back.
I just recently realized that I have been so consumed with finding the perfect curriculum, putting thousands of miles on the old SUV going to music and art lessons, and making doubly sure we were the family that had that pesky “socialization” thing all hammered out, that I had placed very little emphasis on reflection.
Well folks, let me tell you, my epiphany came in the form of a seemingly benign statement from my daughter Norah during our everyday conversation. She said, “You know, this is going to be a big year for birthdays in the Anderson house. Titus is turning twenty, Elijah eighteen, I’ll be sixteen, and Levi is going to hit the big double digits.” That is when it hit me fast and hard. I was flooded with the realization that my homeschooling journey was much nearer the end than the beginning.
It quickly brought to mind a familiar passage from the book of James.
“For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” James 4:14.
We are given “a little time” with our children and we must redeem that time.
I began to look back to the beginning of our homeschool journey and the precious memories I found were like unearthed treasures. So, to all you homeschool parents who are where I find myself, or even more so, to those of you just now taking your first steps in homeschooling, let me share with you what experience and looking back has taught me.
5 Reasons You Won’t Regret Homeschool
- You won’t regret lost income. When we made the decision to homeschool, we went from a family of five supported by two incomes, to a family of six (yes, baby makes six!) supported by one income. We had to learn to live differently. We had to be better stewards and let “things” go. Twelve years later we are better for it. My children have learned to cherish people, relationships, and their Heavenly Father not things. No amount of money can replace the blessings that will be bestowed upon your family through homeschooling.
- You won’t regret quality time spent with your children. When I step back and think that I have been able to be with my children twenty-four hours a day through their childhood, I can’t help but smile. If you count up all the extra hugs, kisses, cuddles, and I love you’s made possible by just being together, the worth is far above the highest number you could ever imagine.
- You won’t regret your children actually growing up together. The sibling relationships that are fostered through homeschooling are absolutely amazing. My children actually know one another. I mean they have formed deep relationships that can only be born through quality together time.
- You won’t regret time spent teaching your children about God. Homeschooling affords us the opportunity to teach our children about their Heavenly Father, who He is, and His desires for their lives. It allows us to literally “show” our children that He is at the center of all we do. Yes, even school! They learn to develop a relationship with Him from an early age which is a wonderful blessing.
- You won’t regret spending eternity with your entire family in heaven. We haven’t made it this far, but sometimes looking way ahead is just as valuable as looking back. Homeschooling isn’t a sure “key” to heaven, but I am absolutely convinced it is a wonderful tool toward that end. After all, isn’t true success getting to heaven and helping our family do the same?
Life is a vapor. It really almost seems like the last twenty years are a dream. But this is no nightmare. Homeschooling your children is the sweetest dream of which you could ever take part. Looking back on the precious memories of homeschooling my four babies, all I can say is, “Someone pinch me. I must be dreaming.”
Guest Post by Shanna Mathis Anderson
Shanna Mathis Anderson is a homeschooling mother of four wonderful children and wife of John. She is cofounder and board member of PAJCH a homeschool group that caters to members of the church. She and her family worship with the Zion church of Christ where is her husband is the pulpit minister.