Megan Allison, Glendale
As the Lord directed us toward homeschooling, a whirlwind of thoughts and questions swirled through my mind about my son’s education …
I could teach him just as much as he’s learning at this school.
I can’t believe that he has to go to preschool to get into our school of choice.
I worked so hard to develop his character only to have him pick up a foul word at school.
What do you mean he needs to go to a developmental preschool?
Why can’t I go into the classroom to see what he’s learning?
This isn’t the way I was taught math.
I’m meeting so many homeschoolers.
There’s no speech therapy offered at this school.
Why won’t you send speech homework home with me so I can work with him, too?
I don’t think he’s getting the help he needs.
You see, our route to homeschooling was a rather backwards, years-in-the-making journey. We birthed our first son, and within a few years had enrolled him in a private, Christian school. For the most part it was smooth sailing. Our second son was born with a severe speech disorder that would later be diagnosed as apraxia. We tried public developmental preschool, but he needed one-on-one intensive speech therapy rather than the group therapy offered at the local school. We moved him to the same school as his older brother only to realize that I was going to have to explain his needs every year and advocate for his education.
At this stage, we’d met a few homeschoolers and this home education route seemed easier than the path we were on. I could tailor his education around his speech therapy sesssions. We’d save money, too, because no more tuition. His older brother was doing great in school, but was not being pushed to reach his potential. One year after we began homeschooling our middle boy, we brought our oldest home, too.
Homeschooling has changed my life. I said yes to God working in my life, shining a mirror into my impatience, pride, unkindness, helping me to grow in those areas. I said yes to Him reconciling two generations at once. I said yes to forging relationships with my children whether we like each other or not.
We have met so many remarkable families on this journey. Incredible, gifted, sacrificial, courageous, rock-solid, no giving up, develop-your-own curriculum, Christ-loving, patriotic, go-the-extra-mile kind of people. We’ve taken more field trips as a family than I can count. The flexibility of our homeschool life allows for days off when family visits and spur of the moment life experiences. We have journeyed through read-alouds into far and dreamy places. I have filled in my own educational gaps. My children have seen my shortcomings. And we press on, growing and learning together.
I said no to so many other things, and this is where it’s sometimes hard. We have tried some things, and they haven’t worked. I don’t always remember that math or didn’t learn that grammar lesson the first time around. I don’t always know what to do with the squirming, bored four-year-old who wants to know when it’s break time for his siblings. Speech therapy was challenging, too.
My children love the Lord, each other, and they also love history, surprisingly. Board games no longer threaten the coming of WWIII. We’re going places and learning together. It’s the most beautiful journey I’ve ever been on, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, that’s not entirely true. I would have told myself to do it sooner.