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Sep 5, 2012

Putting the "Home" Back in Homeschooling

Jeane and Megan Hendrix

   The day was not going well… Megan, who was in second grade, came home from school with an hour of homework and wanted me to quiz her on her spelling words and math drills. (What a little overachiever!) My kindergartner and my four-year-old had turned their backyard playtime into a mud-fest. Dinner was late, my husband and I were supposed to go to a new Bible study at a friend’s house, and my youngest was developing a hacking cough.

   I sent my husband off alone to the Bible study so I could stay home with my sick daughter and get ready for our long list of Saturday activities. Little did I know what a perilous decision it was to send my husband out that night….to a Bible study held in the home of enthusiastic homeschoolers! He came home bizarrely excited and dropped the bomb,

“I think we should homeschool our kids next year!”

   “What? No! What’s homeschooling?” I babbled. Frantically my mind tried to absorb this blow.  Next year all three kids would be in school and I might actually have a minute to clean the house, grocery shop, exercise, and maybe even learn to play tennis.

“Absolutely not!” everything in me shouted.

   Of course, you know what happened. We spent the summer researching, praying, and agonizing over our decision. That fall, our adventure began. We called our school Adventure Academy, because we like to define adventure as “braving the unknown with faith that you will not fail.” That spirit of adventure is vital to hold on to, particularly when it seems that no research can prepare you adequately for homeschooling. Most homeschool families I talk to agree – we learn as much or more than our children.

   As I look in the rearview mirror, I celebrate the journey our family took together. This is certainly not because I think we did everything right, but because I can see how God used our efforts and painted over our mistakes with His broad brush of grace.

   Our family coined a word early on to describe our home and how it made us feel. We all agreed on "bunchy" and to this day, if anyone uses that word, we all know what they mean: a safe, comfortable, and encouraging place that you long to return to after you have been out "adventuring."  

   What word or phrase does your family use to describe your home? Please share it with us! This could be a great discussion starter around the dinner table :)

   In the next few posts we will be sharing specific action steps that we feel are helpful in creating a positive home environment (or as we like to say, a bunchy home :)

   Thanks for all your emails last week! It is such a joy to get to interact with the people I believe are making the greatest positive difference in America – homeschooling families :)

Jeane

RearviewMirrorBlog@gmail.com

   The one vivid memory I have of that “summer of decision” was sitting at the beach, convinced that we wouldn’t be homeschooling…and realizing how sad that made me. I couldn’t picture anything better than getting to have my two favorite things (family and learning) in my favorite place (home.) Needless to say, my sadness was short-lived :)

   Mom and I both loved hearing from those of you who emailed us – thank you so much for letting us get to know you a little bit better! We look forward to sharing some of your questions and comments in later posts. This week, in addition to hearing about the word or phrase that best describes your home, we want to hear about the process you went through when deciding to homeschool or what your first day/week/month of homeschooling was like.

   I personally would love to hear from homeschooling students about anything that is on their hearts. Just a reminder – anything you send us will remain anonymous unless you explicitly ask us to use your name and/or location.

Megan

RearviewMirrorBlog@gmail.com

p.s. That “bunchy” word…I do believe I coined that. Just want to set the record straight :)

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