Posted by: monsonmadness | March 16, 2012

Home schooling six kids, read all about it!

You read that title correctly. I am going to home school my six children.

I said it out loud. It’s really going to happen.

Homeschooling is something that I have wanted to do since before I was even married. I remember being at university when I first became aware that this was even possible…I had certainly never heard of it in England before (but on further research found that it is in fact legal, just not common). Here in the good old US of A, we have many freedoms, and one of them is the freedom to choose how we educate our children. I remember being enlightened as I read and studied about how amazing women dedicated their lives to the teaching and rearing of their children, seizing the opportunity that was theirs, but that few  embrace.

I researched, studied, and even starting building up some home schooling supplies and materials (I’m not joking, they’re sitting here on my shelf in American Samoa as you read this). I was so excited to become a mother and to start teaching my children, I knew this was what I wanted to do, although I had some major convincing to do with my husband. He had grown up with a stigma of home-schooled geniuses who were social misfits and didn’t know how to integrate well into “the real world”. He was not a fan of my idea.

And then came the years of infertility. No children came, and my homeschooling books got boxed away while I filled the years working and fulfilling my church callings. You know the next part of the story…two crazy adoptions out of the blue within days of each other. A move to a new state where we didn’t know ANYONE just days after that. A shocking pregnancy a year later, a move back to Utah right after that, another baby, a new house, and then a diagnosis of Autism. Phew!

So there I was in Utah with four children under the age of 3 1/2 and life was CRAZY. All the professionals told me that Matthew needed school and social interaction. I tried that for a couple of months and knew that it wasn’t right for our family. He needed his mother to teach him. I knew him best. It was my blessing and privilege to keep my children home with my in their younger years. Homeschooling crossed my mind many times this year, but there was so much pressure to mainstream Matthew, and by the time he was ready to start Kindergarten, I was pregnant with number 5 and I just shrugged my shoulders and figured I couldn’t do it and I sent he and Benjamin off to school.

I don’t regret it. The kids went to a couple of really wonderful schools for the next three years and had wonderful experiences. It was the best thing for us back then, I just didn’t have confidence in myself that I could do it all.

When we moved down here, I thought again about homeschooling, and brought down lots of supplies with me. When we arrived, I was introduced to our current school and it seemed like a perfect opportunity. I could be with my little girls, and my older kids could get a good education, lots of new experiences, and lots of social interaction. Perfect. I truly believe that this school is the best on the island, and I have no regrets about us spending a year here. We have enjoyed ourselves so much and made the best memories. The kids have been so happy and I have made some amazing friendships too, and although it has been hard for me at times, I have learned so much.

I have learned that I have so much to be grateful for. I have learned that I can do hard things. I have learned that being a good organizer is a really important skill when you’re a teacher. I have learned that teaching children is more successful when they know that you love and care about them. I have learned to be more patient.

I have also learned to trust myself more. All these years I have doubted whether I could do it, whether I would be good enough and give my kids what they deserved. I thought that other people could do a better job than I could. I have realized that even when my children are in someone else’s care, I am still responsible for what they are learning and how they are developing. It is my responsibility as a mother to make sure that my children are being nurtured and grow into respectable adults. It is my opportunity to guide and persuade, to teach and to love.

We all make so much effort to make sure that our children are fed, clothed, and sheltered, but what are we doing for their souls? I believe that children need to be taught as Christ taught—with love, understanding, compassion, and patience. Who is going to do that better than their mother? I have two children that I am particularly concerned about, and when they are in school all day, and then we come home to homework, chores and chaos, I have such a small amount of time to be with them, to teach them and to influence them. I am worried about them. Every child comes with their own genetic predispositions, but we can still lead and guide them, especially in their younger years, and that is my responsibility. I can’t leave that to others, and I need to make it a priority NOW. Every situation is different, but for me, at this time, this is what I am supposed to do, and I am so excited.

There is nothing in the world more precious than our children, nothing else really matters, and so I am seizing the priceless opportunity that is mine, and I do it with enthusiasm and joy. Many learning opportunities lie ahead, and I don’t just mean out of the textbook! Taking a deep breath….and off we go!!!

Here are some great articles that I’ve been reading lately if you are interested…

Mothers teaching children in the home

Train Up a Child

Your Greatest Challenge, Mother

Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty

Mothers who Know

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Responses

  1. You will be awesome at homeschooling. You will do so great and be the best teacher your kids will ever have!!

  2. Good luck! Homeschooling is something I never want to do but I admire those that want to do it. They are a lot braver than I.

  3. Hi Helen, good for you!!!
    If you know it is the right thing to do, you must do it!! I’ve had experiences in the past when I had to wait for the right time to do something, and like you gathered the resources to keep the desire in mind to do it when the time is right. If you can think of times you delivered lessons in Church in you various leadership roles and callings and how much time you spent organising them, making them interesting, insightful and inspiring then you certainly to it for those little ones whom you love so dearly. That’s not say there won’t be challenges, but anything worthwhile is going have that!!! Parents are “people-makers”, and your kids will have ultimately the best experience of learning with you, as you will probably not be doing it all on your own xxx

  4. You will do an AMAZING job Helen!! You always do!! Congratulations on taking the leap of faith!!


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