Grateful for Grace hosts a Memorial Stone in Words carnival on the 30th of each month. From her blog: "In history, the Israelites often were told to make memorial stone pillars. These were piles of rock that were to remind the people (and tell others) that God had done something big in their lives. God knew (and still does) that people benefit from visuals. These memorial stones gave the people a chance to tell the story again, either to those who were there and need to be reminded, or to those who were not and needed to know what happened. It also was an opportunity to be refreshed in their faith."
On the eve of the beginning of our 10th year homeschooling, I thought it was appropriate that My Memorial Stone in Words this month be on homeschooling and how we got started. When I first heard about homeschooling, I thought it was a very bad idea. I was going to college and coaching a girls' soccer team. On the soccer team were a pair of sisters who were homeschooled. I had never heard of it, and the two girls were on a team of the richest and meanest girls in town. So, needless to say, they didn't fit in. And I wasn't impressed with the idea.
Several years later, I was a mom of two and met a mom who was pregnant with her fourth child who homeschooled. By then I was intrigued by the idea, but I was working, hubby was going to school, and I didn't think there was any way that we would ever be able to homeschool.
When it came time for Han to start school, he went to a Christian elementary school. We were very happy with the school and his experience in kindergarten was wonderful. He loved his teacher and said she was his best friend at school. However, he was a poky learner and in speech therapy, after years of ear infections. We had him tested, at the request of his speech therapist, to see if he had some learning difficulties. The results came back basically saying that he would get behind in school and there was nothing they could do to help him until he was behind. This made no sense to us to wait to help him. We were very concerned about what to do.
A friend suggested homeschooling him, and I said that there was no way we could: I was still working, he was having trouble learning, and we needed help from professionals. The very next day a different friend suggested homeschooling and it was like a light bulb went off in my head and it made perfect sense. We would homeschool him for him to catch up, and then he could go back to school.
One of my friends used a textbook type curriculum and I looked at it and thought we could do it. Another friend used Sonlight and I looked at it and thought, "This is going to be great!" And our homeschool experience started out great. My hubby was home three days a week and did school with Han on his days home, then I was home the other two days and did school those days.
The following year, I started staying home and we continued homeschooling. In the spring I went to my first homeschool conference and I caught a vision of homeschooling as a lifestyle. And it was as if God breathed that vision on me, and we have never looked back. I do not evaluate every year to see if we will continue, and the kids never ask to go to school. Homeschooling is our way of life, and it suits us perfectly.
And Han continued to be a poky learner, especially in reading. When he was 9 years old, a light bulb went off in his head, and he became an avid reader. Today, he is a gifted reader. God used a child with a poky start to call us to homeschool and then blessed that same child. Isn't God good?