Today seems like a good day to update you on whether or not our family is still homeschooling…
I’m not great at keeping you updated on life, and for good reason. Here’s a small scrapbook to show you what takes up our time and energy these days:
And oh yeah. Asa’s getting married next month!
When people ask me, “How many kids do you have?” I absurdly stutter around for several awkward seconds like a weird-y weirdo because I honestly don’t know how to answer.
One of our foster babes went back to live with bio family, but he’s still with us three days a week and we still claim him as our own. We’re adding a daughter-in-law to the mix, and she totally counts as ours. Justus also has a serious girlfriend; she is our girl too. We currently have four foster daughters. We have four bio sons and two adopted sons. And there are at least 2o young adults/college students that come and go from our house regularly for food, laundry, and hugs.
So Laura. How many kids do you have?
I don’t know. 27?? 32?? Eighty-twelve??
Currently, though, I’ll go ahead and land on the number ten. That’s the official number as of today, which includes our bios, adopted, and fosters. Today, we have ten kids.
I guess I still haven’t answered the original question though:
Is our family still homeschooling?
The short answer is yes, we are. But also no, we aren’t. Eh?
About a year ago, I shared how God led us to put Brayden (our now 7 year old) in public school to help meet his many academic and emotional needs. Head here to read more about that.
How’s it going?
So, so well. Our public school in York is fantastic and is offering Brayden so much of what he needs right now. We are so thankful!
He will start 2nd grade there in August, and his 5yo sister (our foster daughter) will join him as a kindergartener.
Meanwhile, our 16yo Malachi will be doing a hybrid-type of schooling for his junior year. He’ll take two classes at our public school, which will allow him to participate in extra-curricular activities (soccer, tennis, show choir, one-act, and whatever else our extraverted child decides to become a part of). He’ll also take three college classes per semester this year to knock out as many dual credits as possible. And he’ll finish up any regular homeschool credits he needs to meet high school graduation requirements.
So technically, we’re still homeschooling Malachi. But really, we’re just guiding him through college courses and equipping him for adulthood.
But here’s the big truth about homeschooling:
We. Are. All. Doing. It.
Or at least we’d better all be doing it. Officially or unofficially.
No matter who is the main academic educator of your children, as parents, we are all and should be still teaching our kids. We teach them about loving and following Jesus first. We teach them about loving and serving people. We teach them to work hard and share and care and take turns. We teach them to put others before themselves. We teach them to be responsible and for goodness sake please take your dishes to the sink and your trash to the trash can.
And what else? We turn everything into a teaching opportunity. (Ok, not everything. Sometimes by the end of the day, I cop out with “good question I don’t know go brush your teeth” because my mouth is so very tired of talking to so many people all day long. I admit it.)
But (in the morning after I’ve had coffee) when my kids ask a question about the bug they find on the leaf outside, we have fun finding the answer (because there’s an app for that). When we scoop flour into the mixer, we count out loud. When we realize that every kid got to crack three eggs to help with breakfast, we add them all up to see how many that makes altogether.
I read books to them. They read books to me. They read books to themselves. We talk. We explore. We memorize scripture. We talk about budgets, money management, running a business, running a home, running for office, running a race, running for cover (tornado drill, anyone?).
You don’t have to be a homeschooler to homeschool.
Does this make sense? Call it whatever you want, but know the truth: You are your child’s teacher. You are their best teacher. Their first teacher. Their most important teacher – no matter who teaches them to sound out words or explains the finer points of Algebra (and shall we all now take a moment of silence to appreciate these professionals who pour into our kids so that we can avoid having to hurt our brains trying to understand exponential equations?).
Will our family ever homeschool again?
Again, we are still homeschooling. We’re just currently sending our younger kids to public school, and we are so grateful for this wonderful option for our family right now. ;)
But will we ever homeschool again in the traditional sense?
We’re waiting for God to tell us that answer.
Right now, we feel 100% confident that public school is necessary for our kids and also for me with all I am juggling (four kids ages two and under, court, caseworkers, baby’s medical needs and physical therapy, etc).
However, I also sometimes look at our shelf of books with longing. I look back at our years of homeschooling memories and I miss it.
But I also remember how much work it is. It was good, meaningful, worthwhile work, but it was hard work. And I don’t miss that right now. I don’t have the bandwidth to do it well right now. Our kids need more academically than I am able to give.
We are confident that God will make our kids’ educational needs clear in the coming months and years. So while we’re gratefully turning their academics over to the public school teachers, we’re still teaching them at home as God leads us to.
We hope you are too. No matter what educational route you’ve chosen for your family. :)