About

Stephanie

I discovered homeschooling through a family at our church in about 1993. I was intrigued, I even wrote a paper for my English comp class about it. At this time my first child was about a year old and I continued to research it until she was about four when we officially began our “home school.” In the beginning one of the biggest reasons for starting was that I wanted my kids to have a relationship with each other. I wanted our family to be big and close. From my own public school experience I thought there was a lot of wasted time in school and lots of busy work so my second reason was just to avoid this and allow my children a more customized education.

After starting, I realized that it was not going to be easy and fear of messing up my children was very real. When some friends spoke highly of a local private school, we decided to check into it. So after preschool and kindergarten at home our first child attended first grade at this school. It was a good year, but inside I felt like I had taken the easy way out. I still had convictions about homeschooling, but I was not trusting in the Lord to provide what we needed. By the end of the year we had our third child and we decided to go back home.

We started second grade for my oldest with a baby and a four year old as well. Homeschooling with more children presents more challenges! By the end of this year we also started working on opening a new business which added to the stress. We decided to go back to the Christian school and stop the “yo-yo” education. So my oldest went to third grade and our second child started kindergarten. We were pleased with this decision and expected to stay at this school for the long haul. Of course, God has a way of shaking things up!

At the end of the year some things were going on in the ministry that ran the school and many of the teachers and staff decided to leave. The school fell apart and closed their doors. Back to homeschooling we went for first and fourth grades! It was not ideal with me working 2-3 days a week, school was inconsistent.

I pursued opening a University-Model School over the next couple of years. This would combine classroom instruction two days a week with homeschooling. It seemed like the perfect mix. Through all this God was at work in my spiritual life refining it through the loss of a baby, closing our business, and changing churches. Homeschooling has always been hard. I think there is more of a spiritual battle going on that I ever realized. God finally brought a few other key families together to start the UMS School.

By this time, homeschooling was something I was truly committed to. It was more of a stewardship issue now. I knew God had instructed in His Word how we, as parents, were to train our children. The children He had given us were truly a blessing. He would hold me accountable one day for what I had done with His children. Dropping them off at a school for 7-8 hours a day, 5 days a week was just not an option in my mind anymore, even a good Christian school. I would still be handing off a job that God had called me to do, not them.

The UMS school opened the doors and our children were enrolled in seventh, fourth, and kindergarten with our fourth born just two weeks after opening. There was a strong desire to have high academic standards at this school–to the point that I felt like they overlooked educating children’s heart for the Lord. It was hard to leave after all the hard work we had put in but we did leave. All was not lost, we made some great friendships while there and God used the whole experience to refine my vision of homeschooling. He showed me that education must begin with Him. If my children and I just study the Bible…we will be equipped for life. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

The one book that has helped the most with how to flesh this out is “The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach.” I can’t recommend this book enough! This is our third straight year at home. I still struggle with fear and trying to lean on my own strength instead of God’s but I see fruit in the lives of my children and I am pleased with how things are going.

Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.”

I know God is not through with me yet! And I know that I have much to learn. I pray that as I grow, learn, and share that I will encourage and challenge you as you disciple your children.

Stephanie

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1 Comment

  • 1. kidpieces  |  January 4, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    i like the quotes.. 🙂

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