Friday, June 10, 2011

We Are Who We Are Called to Be

We homeschool.

We have homeschooled since the Lord called the girls out of public school 17 years ago.
I really had no quarrel with Dry Creek school, and I think, looking back, that the girls probably had the best of the teachers that Clallam County had to offer at the time, with the exception of one.

I knew that homeschooling was a calling for our family, and that has never changed.
I have prayed and listened to God's prompting on the issue, and He has never nudged me in another direction, or asked us to revisit our discernment. For whatever reason, He wants our sons to be educated at home and to be a part of the amazing community that we have in our area.

I think that there are probably wonderful experiences to be had in every educational environment, if you know where to look, but I am so grateful to be blest with the gift of being able to educate and observe these young people, as they progress through each stage.
I loved having babies, and I enjoyed the toddler and preschool years so much. Teaching the kids about their world and their Faith and participating in the discoveries that come with each phase.
That was a Blessing, and it was a joy. Knowing how they learn and how they respond to new ideas and experiences, how wonderful to be able to watch their minds and hearts grow as they become young men.

I loved going through the teen years with the girls. They are beautiful women now, and I love them and know them in a way that I am so grateful for!

I really got thinking about all this at Mass this morning, because today was the end of the year Mass for Good Shepherd School, and if they don't get ten more students, the school will not reopen in the Fall.
I know that even if we were to put the kids in school, we would never have the money for private school. The tuition is way out of our reach. Anyway, why would I change something that is working so well for our family?

John is writing and has time to develop a novel. He finished Algebra 1, with almost no help from me, and he has a wonderful group of friends. I wouldn't trade anything for the chance to watch him develop a quick wit, and confident bearing, and a beautiful soul. I am so proud of him and the young man that he is becoming. How can anyone dread the teen years?

Brendan has had his struggles. I know that school would have been tough for him, with the challenge of some kind of auditory processing problem, and his past emotional sensitivity. He has made huge strides in his ability to relate and respond to others. I know that he would have had a very difficult time trying to get along in school. He has been able to take his time in relationships that he is certain of, and he has been able to branch out into groups and activities, knowing that he will be guided by other families that know him and want the best for him. The consistency has been so important. He now has the confidence to  engage people, free of labels, medications, and the ghosts of judgments that can haunt a person for the rest of their life.
Paul would probably thrive in school, but Paul has a mind that is miles ahead of the daily tasks that he has to accomplish as a 9 year old. Without constant reminding to sit down, focus and finish, he flies out into another world of imagination that would take his feet off the ground and his thoughts off of the things that he will need to use that mind for whatever purpose God has in store. He needs grounding in love and purpose. Who can love him better than his family?

Our community is such a blessing to us in our efforts. Our parish welcomes us, it does not judge us and we are able to participate fully in the life of the Church and to be a part of the larger parish family.
Our homeschooling group is made up of all kinds of families and we have learned that these blessings are not always a reality for other homeschoolers in other parts of the country. We are so grateful for the opportunity to live in a place that fosters a sense of security and acceptance.

We pray that we will be able to continue to flourish as a family.
Thanks be to God for His many, many blessings!

For all these reasons, and many, many more, we have chosen to be the educators of our children.
It isn't the best thing for some families, but it is what God has called us to do and to be, a homeschooling family.

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