On Monday, our eldest child, our first homeschooler, opened the door (literally and figuratively) to a new school set up. He is still homeschooled but three times a week he will be learning majority of his lessons in a study center. I, on the other hand, will be teaching him English and computer at home. This school year is a transition year for him as we prepare him for either the conventional school in Grade 8 or wherever the Lord leads us.
After his graduation in March, we began preparing him for his new “school”. We visited the study center which was recommended by a fellow homeschooling mom. We talked with the teachers and some of the students and I knew right away that
Coby Jacob would fit well in the center. He will be taught by trained teachers who love God first and foremost, cheerful, funny and kind. and have a heart for their students!
We also had discussions at home about what he can look forward to when school starts. When asked how he feels about the move, his responses would be expressed in percentages, saying “I am 60 percent ready or 80 percent okay with the new set up”.
I had to prepare myself too. I had doubts about our decision especially when I talked to long-time homeschoolers. A big part of me wanted to hold on to him. Letting go of a child whom I taught for 6 years is not that easy. He is mine and teaching him is my responsibility.
But truthfully, I was afraid that I didn’t “teach” him well and that I will be evaluated by his new teachers. I was insecure about a lot of things. What if he did something wrong? Or what if he couldn’t adjust with his peers and teachers? But the Lord reminded me that our son is not my possession. He is not mine to keep. He belongs to the Lord. I am just his mother, not his Creator. Homeschooling him and his sister is not about me, it’s about what God is doing in their lives and us as parents. Homeschooling is just a tool to mold him and each member of our family.
He was excited and somewhat nervous on his first day. Unfortunately, we were five minutes late. So, Teacher Marissa quickly showed Jacob his “office” and took him to the inner room for their morning devotions. Teacher Marissa reassured me that Jacob will be fine and that I needed to relax and go home.
I am grateful that the Lord is so much wiser than me. He has already prepared my heart years ago that I am not molded to teach in the higher years. The Lord has shown me what my weaknesses and strengths were that’s why homeschooling would only be for six years for both kids. I love the idea of teaching till high school but I chose to be real.
Hats off to those moms who faithfully homeschooled their kids until high school. But just because others are have done it successfully does not mean that I would have the same experience. It’s a personal thing, a family decision. What is true for my family may not be true for others. Deciding not homeschool our seventh grader does not in any way make me less of a homeschooling parent.
I was obviously excited to see him that afternoon that I was there before dismissal. I asked how his first day was. He said it was okay, he liked it and that he met new friends. He asked me why he goes only three times a week and I explained that eventually we may do a full week, it depends on how things goes. He seems very eager to go to the center daily.
When we got home, he rested for a while and turned on the computer right away with a reminder that he can only use for an hour. I was a bit disappointed because his action showed me that he is still focused on playing computers.
He mentioned on the way home that he had to complete his work in Filipino, do research for Asian History and review for his Math test. After his computer time, my husband saw him working on his Filipino subject.
Hearing that, I nonchalantly entered his room to check what he is doing. I saw him indeed answering a few pages of his Filipino. After a few minutes, he entered our room holding his Asian History textbook and asked if he could use the laptop to do some research. I gladly obliged and asked what he needed to do. As I was watched, my heart started pounding heavily and my eyes became watery.
I saw his eagerness to do the work. I saw how focused he was on the task at hand. Even if he could hear his sister and their friends playing outside and riding their bicycles, he was intent on finishing his work that afternoon.
I left the room to prepare dinner and my tears began to flow. It’s as if the Lord was telling me, “This is what your homeschooling was all about. It was not about the knowledge gained but it was all about the heart, the heart of your child.”
I broke down again because I am reminded of the times I wanted to give up homeschooling in order to work outside the home to help augment the family income. But my plans to work did not materialize. The Lord continued to supernaturally provide for our needs.
The lack of money to live a “comfortable” life is all worth it compared to what the Lord has done in the heart of our son. Not to mention the disapproval and discouragement of others, self-doubt, feelings of mediocrity, and even unmet wants were all worth it!
After all those moments of inattentiveness, lack of focus, God was working in the heart of our Jacob. Homeschooling our first child was all worth it!
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Now he is more excited to wake up in the morning. More eager to do his work and work really hard. In fact, he is looking forward to commuting on his own (eventually). He is thrilled to get to his new friends more. He is all fired up! All because God has already prepared his heart for this season of his life.
If you’re a new homeschooling mom and feels overwhelmed, take heart sister! Breathe and allow God to use you mightily in this new endeavor! Homeschooling without God as the School Director is like walking in the woods without a compass. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (yes, even your homeschooling life) will be given to you as well.”