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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Why we homeschool...




Why do you homeschool? Not that it's any of my business, but this has been the focus of my day...remembering why my husband and I decided that homeschooling was the best choice for our family.

In, out and in again...our journey has not always been smooth. The first time around (we have homeschooled from 1995 to the present, with an 18 month "break"), I took so much for granted. Two extremely difficult pregnancies and the extended recovery for each, muddled my perception.

Here are the lies I told myself:

"My children are not receiving the education they deserve."
(I put them in public school after having done very little for six months and they all entered at the top of their classes in the middle of the school year.)

"I'm not giving the younger children the focused attention they need."
(My children were not whiny, clingy, maladjusted, psychological basket cases...their mother was! A direct result due to a lack of confidence from the many lies I was telling myself)

"It would be so much easier to put them on the bus in the morning and let someone else do all of this."
(The biggest lie of all...it was so hard...like bottle-feeding versus nursing...time consuming, divisive to the family relationships, in other words, extremely difficult. And my children were sick, physically ill for the 18 month span of their return to public education.)

So how did it happen? Well, I forgot why I was homeschooling...

So here is my "memory jogger." It is the Sacred Heart Academy mission statement, which will be framed and hung in the classroom as a reminder for us all:

Mission Statement for Sacred Heart Academy

"Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33


May God grant that we, as parent-educators remember:

We are raising saints as well as scholars.
Holiness, respect and a spirit of obedience are to be cultivated with loving patience.
Home is to be the peaceful harbor, the safe-haven of rest and refreshment, as our family travels the narrow path to sanctity.
With the goal of sanctity before us, by encouraging the intellectual and academic development of our scholars, we will provide the Church with fearless and intelligent “defenders of the Faith.”


There have been challenges during that past 3 years that have, from time to time, shook my confidence, but never my conviction that this is the best possible choice for our family.

I face this year, armed with a set of resolutions, a mission statement, a short list of needed texts and the sure knowledge that the graces given by our dear Lord, will more than equip my husband and I to face up to the challenge of home education.

A mission statement...if you don't have one, write one! You'll be glad you did.

12 comments:

+JMJ+ said...

Outstanding....as usual!

Suzanne said...

Awesome! I would love to see more posts on your homeschooling experiences. From my conversations with other Catholic women who don't homeschool, I hear about all kinds of fears and difficulties. As a woman with no children, I never know what to say, but I wholeheartedly believe in the superiority of homeschooling when faced with the other options in our present situation that I want to be able to say something useful. I think it's critical not to whitewash difficulties -- it ends up creating the mentality "I don't hear about other women coping with this problem, I must not be cut out for this." I love reading your site! :)

Kimberly Wasson said...

Thanks for the kind words...

We are approaching the start of a new school year and I'm sure that you will hear more about the joys and hardships of homeschooling a large, Catholic family ;-D

Ouiz said...

I'm a new visitor to your blog, but I loved what you had to say about the "lies" we tell ourselves. I have 6 (+1 coming in two months) under the age of 10, and I have found myself worrying about the same sorts of things -- especially the one about my little ones not getting the attention I think a perfect mom would give them.

Well, I'm NOT perfect, and the Lord knows full well what they need.. and what *I* personally may not have time to give them, their older siblings give them in abundance. Just today, for example, my 6 yr old took such joy in doing little things for my 21 mth old, and it thrilled me to see them develop the attitude of service, and of love and trust between them.

And as a side note, OUR homeschool is also called "Sacred Heart Homeschool Academy"!

God bless you and your family!

diana said...

Yes, I do need to hear this...it does help sometimes knowing mothers who have their kids in regular schools and can give me a different perspective. I was feeling burnt out and wondering if it all was worth it, when a mom I used to know from my old neighborhood told me how great she think homeschooling is and what difficulties her kids are going through in the regular schools. I believe in the power of prayer, but at times even a prayerful family gets stressed out.

Kimberly Wasson said...

Thank you for your comments, Ouiz and Diana!

It can be comforting to hear that others have suffered and prevailed through difficulties. I know very few wives, mothers, home educators, etc. that EVER feel they are fulfilling their vocation(s) perfectly and they persevere in faith.

Blessings to you, ladies, in all your endeavors!

JoAnn said...

Thanks for posting this. I need to sit down and write mine out so I can remind myself as I face those difficult times.

Have a blessed day!
JoAnn

A Dusty Frame said...

Great post! Always a good reminder.

Lizzie

Easter A. said...

Awesome, Kimberly. You are one amazing lady!

We have been homeschooling for over 10 years now and LOVING it! We get to start the day with the Eucharist and what a joy that is!

Kimberly said...

Easter A.:

Thank you so much for visiting! What an inspiration it is to continually meet so many dedicated Catholic homeschoolers.

Therese said...

Kimberly,

I realize this is a really old post but I just had to comment.

Next year my youngest two are going to be homeschooled. I have had my moments of doubt but your post has really encouraged me. I am going to write out Matthew 6:33 and put it up where I can read it every day. It will remind me of your post and why I am doing this. Thank you so much.

God bless
Therese

Kimberly said...

Therese:

May God bless all your efforts as you pursue the adventure we call home education! I am daily encouraged by the wonderful women and men who bravely venture forth, with such great faith. God's choicest blessings to you and your family!