"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth." NIV
We wanted time to teach our children the ways of the Lord. As they approached school age, we realized how much we still needed to teach them. When we contemplated sending them off to school, we saw very few hours left in the day for the family. As the verse above so aptly implies, much of teaching happens as our children go throughout the day with us. It is through our example as well as our words.
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Most of our children we have taught entirely at home through grade school and junior high. When two of the boys were still in foster care they attended public school because we were not permitted to home school them at that time. Also, when Troy and Alex were in 5th grade, they attended public school. This was due to our church being in the process of putting up a new building causing my husband to not be at home as much to help me with all the children and the many needs that had been brought into our home due to adoption.
I have found great fulfillment in teaching my children at home. I love learning with them. Reading wonderful books together will forever be one of my favorite activities. When jobs like cooking, cleaning, and washing are undone in just minutes, what I teach in school impacts them for a lifetime. It provides me with a sense of accomplishment.
However, I must be honest with you. Every year in April I did experience burn out. My husband learned to expect it. He would go on walks with me and listen as I ranted and threatened to quit or to even send them all off to school. He learned it would pass without him making much comment. Getting through the last few weeks each school year was difficult. I was always more ready then the kids to be done, but then half way through summer I would be excited again about the new year and the new books.
I still have one in grade school and one in junior high that I am homeschooling. When we began homeschooling it seemed like a stretch of endless years in front of me. Now I'm grasping at the few years that are left wanting to make the most of them. I am grateful for the years God has given me with my children and the privilege of teaching school along the way.