Kirsten and I never planned to homeschool our kids; it wasn’t until we moved to New Orleans that we started to think it was a possibility. We found a large homeschooling community at our new church in Louisiana, right around the time our oldest girls were about to start kindergarten. After talking with many families who were part of this community, and receiving a lot of support and encouragement from them, we felt God leading us to homeschool.
Now that I’m at home recovering, I have more opportunities to help Kirsten homeschool our kids. While she is still their primary teacher I’ve been able to do regular reading lessons with them. With a first-grader, a second-grader, two in kindergarten/preschool, and a one-year-old, we have our hands full. But homeschooling is a huge blessing for our family for many reasons.
One of those reasons is that it allows us flexibility to travel as a family without missing a day of school. Another is that we can teach our kids using the learning style each of them needs. Every child learns differently; some learn best with a hands-on approach, some learn best through reading, some need to learn in groups, others need personalized attention.
In addition to the regular subjects, each week we learn about a new figure in black history, memorize a new Bible verse, and focus on a new character trait (honesty, integrity. etc.) together. This style allows us to tailor our children’s education to what we think is important. It also challenges Kirsten and me to memorize Scripture. There’s a lot of strength and power in memorizing Scripture and praying with your kids. This is a part of our everyday routine and I’m thankful for the time that we can spend doing this together.
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” —Proverbs 22:6
Homeschooling is definitely a challenge—it takes a lot of commitment, from both us and the kids. We get to experience the joys of watching our kids understand new things and gain new skills, but we also have days of frustration, when they really don’t feel like working, and then we have to teach the lesson that school is not optional—we have to press on.
The best part about homeschooling is that it gives us the ability to spend time with our kids, molding their character to be Christ-like, and getting to know who they are as individuals. Grace loves ballet and the arts,( Naomi loves soccer, Judah and Isaiah love fighting daddy-and each other!)And before now, I’ve never had the opportunity to spend much one on one time with our kids when they were babies without the others around. Since I’m home more now I’ve enjoyed getting to know who Eden is when the rest of the family is out and about. We are exploring with our children what it is that they love to do. Whether that’s ballet, playing violin, or competing in sports, we can formulate a schedule which allows them to develop the skills to pursue what they like to do. It’s amazing to watch your kids discover for themselves what it is that they do and don’t like to do.
Every family has to do what works best for them. Whether we continue to homeschool our kids or send them to school, we are responsible for our children and should always be very involved in their lives. I talk with many parents who say they only get to see their kids for a few hours at night before they go to bed, while the weekends and summers are filled with activities or camps. We will only get so many years with our kids, Homeschooling gives us the opportunity to spend even more time with them.
In the last few months I’ve gained a much greater appreciation and understanding of what Kirsten does for our kids day in and day out—this takes a ton of patience and grace. But there’s no greater blessing than to watch your kids grow in their knowledge of the Lord and in their education, guiding them in their growth into the people God created them to be.
Benjamin Watson is a regular contributor to The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Benjamin’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/benjaminwatson/
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