Post by Contributing Writer, Emily
As a mother of a toddler and two preschoolers, the decision for me was easy. We were going to homeschool.
We were one year at a time in our commitment to how best to educate our children. We wanted to be on the lookout constantly for whatever opportunities came our way that might be a fit for our family and our open-minded educational philosophy.
We were immersed in an exceptional homeschool community of people who were not only our fellow schoolmates but also our closest friends and neighbors. We lived in a city rich with diversity, culture and abundant learning opportunities. Educating my children, though exhausting at times, was a dream.
Fast forward to my life as a mother of a 3rd grader, a 2nd grader and a preschooler. Place us in a new city where we have no immediate connections with other families. A place where the dominant culture is vastly different than anything we’ve ever known, where diversity is rare, where a major religion we don’t believe in infiltrates all facets of life and interpersonal relationships. A place where the only active homeschool communities are an hour’s drive south and segregated strongly by faith. My dream at times has been slightly shattered.
Which brings us to where we are at this moment. A place of tension, of uncertainty, of prayer, and of hope. I want desperately to educate my children the best way possible. As they are growing older I encounter more criticism than ever, more push to meld them into society’s expected paths, more pressure to prove success. I feel more alone then ever and so I bend and give in a little and then I doubt and worry:
“Are we giving them the best?
Are we sacrificing good opportunities now to make room for better ones down the road or are we settling for what’s good enough right now?
Are we seeking solutions when we feel defeated?
Are we looking at all of our options and thinking outside the box?
Are we seeking His guidance and trusting Him with our children’s future?”
Wherever you are at in the journey of educating your children, whether it be at home, your neighborhood school, a private academy or something entirely different, I encourage you today….
…find peace in the place you have chosen to be.
…be joyful in each dilemma or uncertainty you face.
…make the most of where you’re at in this moment.
…embrace the new opportunities that you find yourself facing.
…pray that God will make clear the path He has for your family this year.
Note from Michele: Dear readers, do you have any encouragement for Emily, or words of wisdom from being a “minority” in your community with Christian homeschooling or as a missionary? We’d love for you to share your hearts in this “online community.”
I have been inspired lately by the book Teaching the Trivium, which encourages you to “know why you are homeschooling,” and reminds us that “God may have put you/your children in this difficult season for a reason.” I also am refreshed in my perspective and mission (in knowing why I am homeschooling) by reading the book “When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling.” Blessings on a new year!
Emily lives in Salt Lake City with her husband Jeremy and their 3 wild and crazy kiddos! She loves reading, running, baking yummy treats for her family, her early morning yoga, walking to the library and all things creative and crafty. She especially enjoys exploring nature with her children and learning side by side with them. You’ll find her chatting about all aspects of life at her blog, Industrious Emily* and also sharing her crafty side through the blog, Life at the Table.