Today’s post was submitted by Stephanie Nickel. Be sure to stop by her blog and say hi! She homeschooled all of her children, and now they are grown and doing their own things. We just though you might like to see homeschooling from the perspective of one who’s “been there, done that…”
“Is that legal?” was the most common response when I told people I was homeschooling. That was over twenty years ago.
I now have three grown children. Nathanial, the eldest, was homeschooled through high school. The other two, Joshua and Sarah, were educated at home until the end of Grade 8.
Why did I decide to keep my firstborn home when all the other little ones in our housing complex were toddling off to JK? To be honest, I’m not even sure where I first heard about the concept. I’m just glad I was independent enough to do what I believed to be best for our family – even though I didn’t personally know anyone else who was homeschooling.
Were there rough days? For sure. My eldest and I have very similar personalities, and that can be tough. We had good days…and not so good days. However, when Nathanial was about fifteen, he thanked me for homeschooling because “I wouldn’t be the kid I am if you hadn’t.” Wow!
Back then, Nathanial (who now goes by “Nate”) was a follower. No more. Now he takes leadership at work and could do so in pretty much any situation. He is also a world traveler. My “follower” now takes off to international destinations – on his own. (He went to Amsterdam, Belgium, and Germany this past summer and Utah the summer before that.)
Is this because I homeschooled? I can’t say, but he may have developed some less than beneficial habits and had an entirely different circle of friends had I sent him to school.
Our second son is finishing his fourth and final year at Bible College. The first time we put him on a plane to go somewhere he’d never been to meet people he’d never met, he looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Now, air travel is simply another way of going from Point A to Point B.
It has been very good for him in many ways. He has some very interesting ideas of what he would like to do after graduation, and he’s getting support from the Dean of Men. Joshua thanked us for teaching him to “think outside the box.” It may sound cliché, but it has worked to his advantage.
Our youngest (now 21) is taking a correspondence writing course and doing some freelance illustrating. We’re excited to see the first book she illustrated in print. She, like her brothers is a thinker and a dreamer. While we have stressed hard work – especially their dad who, though he has his Masters in Church Music, works forty plus hours per week doing manual labour to pay the bills and provide for our family – we’ve also encouraged them to pursue their dreams. Writing and illustrating books is definitely one of Sarah’s dreams.
As I said, not every day was one for the memory books, but homeschooling was one of the best decisions I ever made.