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Homeschooling Brought Our Family Together Again

By Donna in FL

For five years, I taught or substituted at a Christian school. I taught the combined seventh and eighth grades (there were three children only - sort of experimental!), fifth and sixth grades - around sixteen children, second grade - about eight, and finally the combined second and third grades - around eighteen children. I truly thought this was the way to go. Public school was not for my family at all. I was also very anti-homeschooling for the obvious reasons - parents can't teach, the kids would be lacking their education etc. Unfortunately, my idea of a Christian school was not the same as the school at which I taught and my children attended. I felt that children should have respect for teachers, be obedient, exhibit Christian characteristics. I felt the teachers should be the same. This did not happen all the time and happened less and less as time went on. There were lots of problems and unfortunately, I have a tendency to be vocal about such things.

Now, for some "strange reason", my husband and I got it in our heads that going to the Home School conference would benefit my teaching and I would be able to see some great curriculum. Go figure! Well, the curriculum was great and it did benefit my teaching...because we decided to home school and bring the children home.

My "class" consisted of my 11-year-old dear daughter in sixth grade, my 9-year-old daughter in fourth grade and my 8-year-old son in third grade. The year started out shaky. I was actually nervous. Teaching a bunch of headstrong fifth and sixth graders was nothing compared to my three children. However, we made it through the first year.

My younger two fared better than my oldest. She was getting into that "clique" mind set that was very prevalent and all of the sudden she was on her own. All three lost most of their "friends" from our former school. We have since changed churches since homeschoolers are not always welcomed everywhere. The adjustment has been difficult for all of us. However, we are learning to be a family. We have learned to depend on God more and also on each other. We have our good days and our bad. Our good days are starting to outweigh the bad. I would not have given up that first precious year for anything. Well, except for His Second Coming, maybe!!!

We are now in our second year. I'm having a blast. The kids love the fact that they are "out" by lunch time or so. We get to eat science experiments and home economic assignments. Ok. So the cleaning part of Home Economics. leaves a lot to be desired. Hey! Who likes to clean anyway??!! We go on field trips when we want and don't have to be back at a certain time. If one of the kids is not feeling well, they don't have to worry about going to the nurse's office. They can go to bed!!!

It can still be tough at times. The subjects are getting harder for my oldest. I don't always understand the math. My son still pouts but I have an in with the principal! My oldest actually has enjoyed reading. All three can be themselves. God is SO! Good!

About the author: Donna has been married to Mike for fourteen years, following him all over the world from California to Antarctica and back (including a little dabbling in the Navy herself!). Mike is a 20 1/2 year Navy vet and currently works as middle management and a printer. The family includes a 12-year-old daughter in the 7th grade, a 10-year-old daughter in the fifth, and a 9-year-old son in the fourth. Also included are four cats and, of course, the school mascot, Simba, a beagle mix. They currently reside in Southwestern Indiana in a semi-rural area - semi because they're out in the country but 1 1/2 miles from town!

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