I never planned to homeschool my children. In fact, education wasn’t on my radar at all until my daughter was nearing her fifth birthday. A friend had a girl the same age and suggested we start looking for schools. Look for schools? There was one right down the street – what’s there to look for? But I’m always game for a field trip so we set out on an adventure to visit a variety of different schools. And WOW! I had no idea there was such a big difference. My eyes were opened to a plethora of options.
Of all the places we toured, it was a Montessori school that captivated me. It had this orderly, calm way about it. Every child working at their own pace using beautiful materials. It was like no other classroom we visited. I was intrigued. However, with its new age bent and all-day kindergarten program, I knew that particular place wasn’t right for us.
So, as I’m mulling things over, I discover that a friend of a friend is starting a Christian Montessori school. Well, that sounds amazing! So, I get in touch with her and find out that yes, indeed, she is starting a Christian Montessori program – only it’s not a full-blown school. It’s a homeschool academy. Hmmmm…what does that mean, I wonder.
It turns out it was a part-time program for homeschoolers. Three days a week the kids would go to school wearing uniforms and engage in this beautiful Montessori environment. And the rest of the week they were at home. So I visited this “school”, met the founder/director, talked with the teachers, observed the classroom – and fell in head over heels in love with it!
But what was this ‘homeschool’ thing all about? I had no clue, but my rationale was – hey, it’s kindergarten – how hard can it be? I figured we’d try it for a year and see what happens.
So God didn’t trick me into homeschooling – He’s not that way. He simply drew me into a life-changing experience one step at a time. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into – but God did. It turns out this fledgling “school” was not only a loving, nurturing environment for my kids, but also for me.
As a relatively young believer, it was an incredible gift to be immersed in a community of people who were following Jesus. Never underestimate the power of surrounding yourself with people who are living their lives in ways you want to live yours. Two of my best friends to this day are friendships that were forged in those formative years when I was learning to walk with the Lord.
God knew exactly what I needed – and He provided it. He provided it before I even knew I needed it. He provided it in a way that I could have never orchestrated myself. Here’s the thing – He knows us. He knows what we need to grow into our full potential. And He provides it. The question is are we paying attention? Are we willing to take steps that are outside of the norm? Are we willing to trust that still small voice drawing us into deeper water?
We spent six years at that “school” until God drew us into a new season – but that’s another story.
P.S. As in case you’re wondering…my kids are now 19 and 22 years old. My youngest graduated from college with a BS in Computer Science last weekend. My oldest is spending the summer as an intern at Polyface Farm in Virginia beefing up her skills to further the business she started when she was sixteen. Homeschooling is not your average education. And for that, I’m grateful.
P.S.S. I’m not saying everyone has to be a homeschooler. God has many ways of accomplishing His purposes and refining our character. Apparently, I was in need of the extra heat provided by homeschooling! LOL!