Friday, March 7, 2008

Whatever did I miss out on?!?!?

I am often asked by homeschooling mothers after finding out that I was homeschooled all the way from K-12th grade: "Did you ever feel like you missed out on things while being homeschooled?"

I laugh and say no - what ever was I missing out on?!? I had enough peer pressure (a sister and brother in my younger years and then later three more siblings!) to influence me in making "decisions". I also had enough chores and school work to keep me busy that I wasn't at all bored. I'm glad that once I finished my school work for the day that I didn't have to sit around all evening doing homework.

I remember the first day of "school".... my dad had taken the day off and we took a walk around the outside of the house together. We then sat down on the back porch steps and he told me what he expected of me (to listen and obey mommy and to do my work cheerfully). Then I walked into the house to face my first day of "school". I remember feeling that it wasn't fair that my younger siblings could play and spend time with daddy working on wood projects, while I had to sit beside mommy and learn how to add, subtract, read, write, etc.

Like every first child, I was the guinea pig of the bunch.....parents try out all sorts of ideas on the first born because they want to make sure they are doing it all right. I think my younger siblings have been quite blessed by that fact that I was the oldest. Of course, being the first born means more responsibility and privileges.

My parents have always believed in raising their family for the Lord and that it is the parent's God given responsibility to make sure their children are trained in obedience to the scriptures, to love, and serve the Lord. It isn't the school's or the government job to train the children.

2 Timothy 3:15 (King James Version)
"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

2 Timothy 2:15 (King James Version)
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Proverbs 22:6 (King James Version)
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

We memorized scripture ever since we were little and my mother put many chapters to song.

We were very much involved in our homeschool group at church, children's choir, and AWANA. I remember going on field trips to science museums, airports, zoos, the post office, and various other places. Taking art classes, music classes, Spanish, cake decorating classes, PE classes, science classes, sign language, and played flute in a homeschool band, etc. We would go to nursing homes with the homeschool group and make crafts with the residents there. It was fun and I enjoyed spending time with people of all ages - parents, other homeschoolers, and the elderly folks at the nursing homes. We also had a small local county fair, in which we entered our home grown veggies, baked cookies, and science projects. We learned a lot by trying things ourselves with the help of our parents.

As I entered into my teen years things began to change. Several homeschooled friends entered public school, my best friend moved, and I now had 5 younger siblings. I felt like I was the odd one - I wasn't doing all the things my public schooled friends were doing, I had a large family, etc. and there were times I just poured out tears of frustration because I just didn't "fit in" .
A lot of the time I felt that these friends my age need to "grow up and mature". It was driving me crazy that they couldn't act like grown ups in the making - they were still into fun and games, (which is why I didn't "fit in"). My mom had been on bed rest with each of her last three pregnancies which caused a lot of responsibility to lay upon me . I tried my best to help keep laundry going, dishes done, make meals, keep my siblings quiet, tried to help them with their school work (we would bring out books and sit on the bed around our mother to do our school) but I was only 8, 10, and 13yr. and it wasn't always easy for me.

I began to enter into a more seriousness and maturing point in my life. I was starting to think more about the future than just the present. What am I going to do with my life? is something that often crossed into my mind. Of course, when I was little I had it all planned out: I was going to get married, go to Africa as a missionary, and have 100 kids. Most importantly I was beginning to ask, Lord what do you want me to do with my life?

During my teen years I took piano lessons, volunteered at our church library, helped teach in children's classes at church, and did a lot of babysitting. In the highschool years I basically worked on my own through our books, of course there were a lot of late nights working on and trying to understand math with dad and mom. I enjoyed getting up at 5am to read my history book - it was one of those rare quiet times of my day.

I had become fascinated with the medical world and in my last year of highschool, I volunteered at our local hospital - in both the surgical waiting room, the ER, and also got a foot in the door helping organizing and filing papers for the trauma dept., an eye clinic, and a wonderful chiropractic office. It was a blessing to have Christian doctors at both offices. It was really a great experience that I probably would not have had the time for had I gone to public school.
It was a blessing to be homeschooled. It allowed me to be creative and gave me extra time to pursue things that really interested me so that I could research those topics in depth.

I graduated in 2005 and am currently happily following the Lord's will for my life, which is .... teaching piano and reaching medical offices from the outside in. This was not the what I had planned to do with my life.....but as the Bible says in Proverbs the Lord directs our steps and His way is perfect and I can't wait for the next STEP!

Proverbs 16:9 (King James Version)
"A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps."

Jeremiah 10:23 (King James Version)
"O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps"

Feeling discouraged?
Psalm 127:3 (King James Version)
"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

Children are a blessing from God and it's the parent's responsibility to raise them in a manner that would glorify Him.