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The Desire and Fear to Homeschool.

July 7, 2015
I have never been an advocate for home education. 
It’s not very common in New Zealand {around 5,500 students from our country’s population of just over four million}. Though increasing, the status quo is to send children to school at five-years-old. This is equally so within most Christian circles. For Kiwi Christian parents, the question is not “Do we homeschool?” but rather “Public or private?” In general, private schools are religious {the strength of faith depending on each school}.
One morning however, I woke up and the desire to homeschool our children was suddenly really strong on my heart. It was like my heart had been a hardened stone and it had been cracked open, revealing a soft-centre within. I can only attribute this to the Holy Spirit. My children are so young, I have no reason to really be thinking seriously about education, and if I did, it has always been which local school is the best.
The same day I woke up with this new desire, I tentatively mentioned it to Tim. Out of both of us, he has been more against homeschooling than I. His parents, in ministry, purposed to send their children right through public school. We both believe in public school for Christians. It is a great environment for gospel opportunities – not just for children, even more so for parents and relationships. So when Tim didn’t laugh off the idea straight away and said we could look into it, I took that for the Holy Spirit, too.
Since then {about seven months ago}, I have been slowly looking into it. I have…
read a few books, 
read many blogs,
studied about tot school,
started collecting printables and lap books,
got my mind around some of the homeschooling philosophies,
researched home education in NZ,
briefly chatted to the only homeschooling family I know {who I haven’t actually met – friends of the family},
and even read a PHD paper on why NZ families choose home education as opposed to the normal way.
To put it simply, I really, really want to homeschool. 
It seems more natural – both for the child learning and for family environments/relationships. It seems more liberating, more family friendly, more biblical {in terms of maintaining a family core}, more hand’s on for their upbringing {especially spiritually} and, finally and simply, more fun.
We have come to no decision. Our children are still too young. But I am praying about it, talking to Tim about it and praying some more. When the time comes, though it will be a joint decision, I will follow where Tim wants to go. Because, though I love the idea and am a firm convert of it, it may not be God’s will for our family. It may be that God, through this change of heart, just wants me to be more open and understanding. If that is the case, I accept it and trust both God and my husband.
But if we do choose to home educate, and as exciting as that is, it petrifies me too. 
I feel so inadequate for the task. I can’t imagine where to start, how our days would go, how I wouldn’t be my own worse enemy. I know I would struggle with anxiety, over their growth, over my skills, over outside opinion. I know that the greatest fear of failure, of letting my children down for their futures, would be like a third pupil in the school room. The task just seems so great.

And it seems so great because parenting, just on it’s own, is so great. The constant refining the characters of these two little ones take up so much of our life – how would we fit in learning? Unschooling, when I first started researching, looked too scary for me… And yet, right now, seems the most appealing {but still really scary!}.
There are years to go yet. I needn’t fuss or get my knickers in a twist. The idea if it all sounds exactly what I want for our family and I can see us just all thriving. The freedom, the fun, the closeness. But the sense of responsibility is heavy. 
Whether it happens or not, all I can do is continue to follow this prompt in my spirit, this great change of heart, and pray. Ask the Lord to lead and guide and that, if it is his desire for our family, that we all be of the same heart and same mind. I guess when that day of decision comes, all the other details will be worked out.
  1. I never really thought about homeschooling when I was raising Bobby and helping my sister raise her kids.
    I taught school, therefore they went to school.
    It was easy for us.
    I also taught Sunday School and we had Bible studies at home. We loved what we believed.
    Later on, when my health deteriorated I was forced to quit ACTIVE teaching in a school and began A Preschool, Afterschool and Day Care out of my home. I really enjoyed that. I was fortunate to be able to do Bible Studies and show Biblical Movies as well as Disney's.
    As I have gotten older and things have changed all over our country but many others…..If I was a stay -at- home mom….I would probably be in your situation. Not really sure.
    There are homeschooling programs that let you homeschool and still be a part of a regular classroom. At least we have them in the US.
    Prayers in your decision making.
    Sarah

  2. Praying God leads you and your husband in his will for your children's education. I have had many anxious days wondering if we were doing the right thing. Many tears have been shed to my husband and God, telling them that I couldn't do it.(I think I would feel the same way if we were sending them to public school.) But as I surrendered to God my fears and worries he gave my husband and I his peace. I know he will equip us to do what he has called us to do for our families.Hugs!

  3. I have been in your shoes a few short years ago. The best advice I can offer to you is listen to the Holy Spirit and your heart, and keep doing the research you are doing. You know the best way your children learn because they have learned everything from you like talking and potty training. I hope you can find some encouraging posts on my blog and please let me know if I can ever answer a question for you. God doesn't call us to do things we can't handle. You will be awesome! Thanks for sharing on #SocialButterflySunday this week. Blessings 🙂

  4. The US has made some pretty amazing advances in home education that I have read. In NZ, things are on a much smaller scale and the rules regarding how children should be taught are different, too.

  5. Peace. That's the key, isn't it? Well, God is using you to help influence me, that's for sure. He's using lots of little influences to shape my heart for my family, so thank you!

  6. Just stumbled across your blog, and found this post very interesting. I have always wanted to homeschool, though was scared about the big “how”, and my husband was initially against it. BUT, he started to change, especially with the changes there have been in education, and things that kids are exposed to. Praying for now, is great, and researching is a very good idea. But actually, I have found, it isn't as hard as you think – after all, you (without even thinking about it) teach your children every day, and so once they hit that “school” age, it just becomes a bit more formal in the sense, that you have more to cover, and it isn't so random.
    Don't waste time worrying/stressing though – from what I have read on your blog, the decision will be made and it will all follow naturally! =)
    Betsy from Australia

  7. I too have had God pulling my heartstrings to homeschool. About 3 years back I put my then 3 school age children into cyber school for various reasons. Not sure if you have that in NZ, but here in the US it is considered public school that is taught online. I have loved it. But now that my 2 youngest are reaching school age, we have decided to homeschool. We have decided to home school them as long as seems nessesary. Maybe it will only be for a few years…..only God knows. Taking it a year at a time seems less daunting.

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