I have an Elementary Education degree and taught in both North Carolina and in Florida. I LOVED teaching and loved public schools (I still do!). I was a product of a public school education and think I turned out pretty great! When I was pregnant with my first son, I had no intention of ever staying home with him. I loved teaching so much that I planned to have him, take my 6 week maternity leave, and go back to work.
Then something happened within me…he was born and I felt love like I had never felt before. My husband was in the Air Force and we were stationed in Florida. The thought of leaving someone else with my tiny baby just broke my heart. I didn’t have family or friends around to watch him, so we decided that when I went back to work, we would try to work opposite shifts so one of us would be with him. Long story short, that didn’t work out, so we put him in a home daycare. She really was amazing with him and he learned so much, but I was heartbroken that someone else spent more time with my baby than I did.
In a series of events that the Lord brought about after a hurricane, we had the opportunity to sell our house and use the profits in order for me to stay home when Ethan was 2. We lived in a tiny little duplex on the Air Force base and I have so many amazing memories of that time with him. We soon added Trey to our family.
Ethan was SUCH a smart kid. He was reading books at 3 years old! By the time he got to the age to start kindergarten, I worried about what he would do all day in school when he already knew so much. Florida had a wonderful program at that time for homeschoolers. He could attend a taxpayer-funded school with other homeschoolers either 1 or 2 days a week. A certified teacher taught it and he could be in a challenging environment and be with other kids. In kindergarten, he attended one day a week and in first grade, he went two days a week. On the other days, we homeschooled! We explored, read, did hands-on science…it was so wonderful! By this time, I had Rachel and homeschooling with a 5 year old, 2 year old, and newborn was interesting! Gus was deployed constantly and I was alone during much of it. Truly though, those were some of the best moments of my life!
When he was getting ready to go into second grade, we got orders to move to Idaho. At this point, I was fully ready to let him go into public school if we got a good vibe. We were living on base in Idaho and visited the school. There were 33 students per classroom and the teachers just seemed frazzled! We prayed and decided that it was best to continue homeschooling. We learned at that point that many military families choose to homeschool because it is some stability during the many moves, deployments, etc. We were able to join some co-ops and had a great experience there in Idaho!
In 2014, Gus’s 20 years were up and we decided to retire in North Carolina. We now had 3 kids in school! During every step of the way, we have always said that we would reevaluate and see if it was time to put them in public school. I don’t judge anyone else’s schooling choices in any way! In fact, I have met many homeschooling families along the way who would probably be better served by being in public school. But for our family, I feel confident in my teaching abilities and know my kids better than anyone else. I can meet their educational needs and I truly, truly cherish my time with them. I love being the one to spend all this time with them, and I have learned how quickly time passes. Ethan will be a senior in just a few months and it honestly feels that we just started kindergarten in our little kitchen there in Florida!
I also love how we are able to give our kids a Christian worldview in every subject that we study. Again, this is a personal choice, but I love how we can talk about how God’s presence is seen in every part of history and throughout His creation in science.
I’ll talk another time about how I’ve chosen curriculum each year and how to legally set up a homeschool. I get asked about these two things often and can’t wait to share! Homeschooling my kids truly is one of the biggest blessings I’ve ever had in my life!