All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13 (NKJV)
Our kitchen cupboards are decorated with handwriting verses. The wall by the stove displays a world map. The shelf by my kitchen table overflows with school books and supplies. And I get to see my children all day, every day! I must be a homeschool mom!
One of the things God called me to do 15 years ago was to homeschool our children. I know He doesn’t call everyone to homeschool, but this is God’s call for me. How I came to know His call was quite a prayer process, as I’m sure it is for many moms who wonder if they are supposed to homeschool their children.
My first awareness of homeschool came when I was a child. My aunt was homeschooling two of my cousins. My cousins are really quite brilliant and didn’t fit into the public school setting. I didn’t hear much about homeschooling again until I was grown-up and a teacher, teaching at a Christian school right after we were married. There I met a mom who was considering homeschool for her active son. I couldn’t believe that she would want to take him out of the “perfect” Christian school!
But then we had children! When our daughter was three and our son was an infant we moved to Ohio. Within the first year we were there several random people asked me if we were going to homeschool our children – one from my husband’s work, one from church, one from ballet lessons. Why were all these people asking me about homeschool??? My daughter was only three! Was God trying to send me a message?
Well, it is interesting how time flies quickly when the kids are little. Soon our daughter was almost five and it was time for kindergarten round-up. We hadn’t made a decision yet, so we took her to registration. All that summer we prayed for God to give us a sign of what we were supposed to do. A friend who was praying about a house was encouraged by a rainbow right over the property where they were to build. I kept looking for a rainbow or something to point out what we were supposed to do. Then late in summer, the pastor at our church announced that the new principal at our daughter’s school was a member of our congregation. We took that as the sign that Kallie was supposed to go to school. Just a week after her fifth birthday, I put my daughter on a big yellow school bus and sent her off to kindergarten. Oh, how that broke my heart!
To keep in touch with our daughter’s school, I volunteered every other week. While I was there I discovered she wasn’t doing more than we already were doing at home. For special activities they would bake cookies or watch a movie, activities she already knew well. And for a special guest they invited Kallie’s dad who worked at the Nature Center. With 30 kids in a kindergarten class, we just didn’t see how Kallie was learning more than she already did at home. So, at the end of kindergarten, we decided to homeschool Kallie for first grade. I always wondered why God let us send Kallie to kindergarten, since we had prayed for direction before that. The reason I’ve been able to see over the years is that one year convinced me never to send our kids to public school, whereas I might have been tempted if we hadn’t experienced that year.
I remember my dad asking, “So how long are you planning to do this?’ I didn’t know. We were just going to take it one year at a time. Some of those years were good years and some were struggles. Some days I just wanted to give up. But we persevered, and were constantly encouraged by how much we could positively influence our kids for Jesus Christ. When our daughter graduated high school as a homeschooler in 2008, I thought how fast the time had flown and how thankful I was that we had homeschooled her and had all that time together. I never regret it for a moment. Today I continue to homeschool Kallie’s two younger brothers.
Some of our favorite activities in homeschool over the years have included field trips and family trips, reading stories together, writing stories together, art projects, science with Daddy, playing post office, making scrapbooks, baking, planting gardens, etc. We have also played piano at the nursing home, served at soup kitchens, and been on mission trips as a family.
When Kallie was in second grade, we used the Moore Foundation who encouraged us to write down why we homeschool, so that on days we feel like quitting , we can look back at our reasons. Here is what I wrote then and still believe today:
We homeschool because God called us to homeschool our children.
We homeschool because we love our children.
We homeschool because our children grow up so quickly, we want to be with them as much as possible.
We homeschool because we want our children to have Christian family values.
We homeschool because our children are each unique and learn at their own pace.
We homeschool because we can learn at home or when we travel any time of year.
We homeschool because God called us to homeschool our children.
Over the years there have been many Bible verses God has used to encourage me to keep teaching our children. These verses could also be posted on the walls of your homeschool classroom, as an encouragement to both parents and students…
Teach me, O LORD, to follow Your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Psalm 119:33 (NIV)
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day. Psalm 24:4-5 (NKJV)
Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Proverbs 4:13 (NIV)
Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. Psalm 27:11 (NKJV)
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6: 6-9 (NKJV)
If any of you are praying about homeschooling, some of my favorite resources include…
Pathway Readers for grades 1-8:
A Reason for Handwriting:
Saxon Math for grades 4 and up:
Apologia Science for junior/senior high:
The Moore Foundation:
The Sycamore Tree Academy:
Mary Pride’s Reviews:
Home School Legal Defense Association:
May God bless and guide your efforts to obey His call and bring up your children in the love of Jesus our Lord!