InPursuit

Our Homeschooling Journey {Or God’s Faithfulness!}

Homeschooling Journey

A little piece of our home education journey… only shared as a testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness to take our small loaves and fish and multiply it beyond what we imagined!


“Awesome! We’re finished with Math!” My daughter and I did a little happy dance and celebrated having finished her Math curriculum in April. She was all smiles, and I was relieved we managed to get through it without tears.

“Mom, I want to be homeschooled.” Our little celebration was interrupted by my 15-year-old son sitting at the small desk in the corner of the living room.

“What?” I searched his face unable to read if he was serious or not.

“I want to be homeschooled. I could’ve been done with my work already. Instead, we’re sitting in class doing nothing… And the science fair project– they gave me 2nd place and I know I put that project together at the last minute. That wasn’t even my best. Mom, seriously. I just threw it all together. And I’m in advanced classes, yet I’m not doing anything. I feel like this is as high as they’ve set the bar for me and it’s not even high. Mom, I’m serious. I really want to be homeschooled.”

Woah, buddy! I’m trying to get through homeschooling 1st grade. Now, you want me to figure out all the details that go into homeschooling a high schooler?!  

“Jay, you know homeschooling would mean work, right? You understand you won’t be siting around here doing nothing while mom gives you an A just because you’re so cute, right?”

“I know that, Mom. I know you’re going to set the bar high for me because you know me, and I know that I won’t be able to get away with slacking.”

Wait. He’s serious? He IS serious. Oh my goodness, he’s really serious, isn’t He Lord? Uhhh, okay. Now what? 

My son’s father and I share legal custody over my son, which means homeschooling was out of the question unless He signed off on it (and he hadn’t in the previous years).

“Jay, homeschooling High School is very different than homeschooling a 1st grader. I would have to spend the whole summer researching and preparing. I don’t mind putting in all the work, if you’re serious. But, it will also require a lot of hard work from you. If you’re not willing to put in the work, then I think it’s best you remain in school.”

“Mom, I’m willing. I’ll put in the work. I will.”

“Okay, then if you’re serious, we’ll pray about it. If it’s God’s will for you to be homeschooled, then He’ll change your father’s heart and he’ll give his permission. If he doesn’t okay it, then we’ll believe God wants you to continue being a light in the midst of darkness in your school.”

With that, we prayed. About a week later, after a weekend with his dad, my son walks in with a huge smile, “He said yes!”

I was caught off guard because I didn’t expect a yes from him, “He said yes! He said if it’s what I really wanted to do, then I could be homeschooled!”

And with that, I was catapulted into the journey of homeschooling a high schooler. I read everything I could get my hands on, and I began to piece things together. I submitted my paperwork to the school district, pulled him out of his school, and a week later received the letter from the district giving us the okay to proceed. Just like that, life changed.

We started homeschooling in August. At the end of September we found ourselves at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where we spent 21 dreadful days. When we got  back home we jumped right back in without worry. We were on our own pace, his pace. It’s hasn’t been easy and there were days I thought for sure, ‘he’s going back to school next semester!’. Yet, I knew God was in this. So, I’d throw daily prayers up to heaven asking God to lead, guide, and instruct me in leading, guiding, and instructing him. And, you know? God is so faithful.

I just sat down to organize and work through my son’s 10th grade portfolio. I was amazed at how much we were able to accomplish between all those good/bad/easy/difficult days.

Every single morning we’d start our days with breakfast and devotional time where we read through the Bible, learned and memorized scripture, and prayed together. Then, I’d start with the little one while my son jumped into his lessons.

By the grace of God, he finished Geometry, Chemistry, and History last month. He did Dave Ramsey’s Foundations Course on Personal Finance (so much good information there!). And some of my favorites? Learning life skills like how to deal with people of all ages (his little sister is perfect for training him in patience!), cleaning up, washing dishes, and doing laundry (even when he stuffed the machines and almost burned the motor. You live and learn, eh?!).

Then there’s the huge amount of time available, once he’s done with his core subjects, where he’s able to focus on his interests. I find so much joy seeing him grow in his music. This year for Music: Creating and Composition, he created and composed five original instrumentals and two original songs. And, for Music: Production, Mixing, and Mastering, he produced, mixed, and mastered a CD of  his original music, accompanied by compositions and notations for several pieces. Every month, this kid would search the music stores online for the products, tools, and equipment he needed. Any money he’d get throughout the year would go towards the equipment. I was able to watch him pour himself into these projects. As a momma, the lightbulb goes on and you know THIS is very much a part of this child. You’re able to nurture it and make room and space for him to continue learning and growing.

Then there’s English class, which he’s finishing up this month. We compiled the list of books, stories, novels, and dramas read and he looks at me and smiles… “I’ve never read so much in my life! I can’t believe I only read one book last year in school. How do they get away with that?”

Though I cannot answer that question, I do know why our  list looks a lot longer. Last summer, I sat with God and wrote out my plan. It looked a little something like this:

Math: 

  • Geometry (A Teaching Textbook)- Greg & Shawn Sabouri

Science: Chemistry

  • Apologia, Exploring Creation with Chemistry 2nd Edition: Dr. Jay L. Wile
  • Bozeman AP Videos (See Attached List)

History/Historical Fiction 

  • The History of the Ancient World- Susan Wise Bauer
  • Gilgamesh- David Ferry
  • The Iliad- Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
  • The Odyssey- Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
  • Sophocles: The Oedipus Cycle- translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald

Writing/Rhetoric: 

  • The Elements of Style- William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White
  • The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing- Thomas S. Kane
  • A Rulebook for Arguments- Anthony Weston

Short Stories 

  • The Diamond Necklace-Guy de Maupassant
  • The Ransom of Red Chief-O. Henry
  • A Worn Path-Eudora Welty
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty-James Thurber
  • The Purloined Letter-Edgar Allen Poe

Novels and Drama

  • The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  • A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court by Samuel L. Clemens
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot

(Write papers on books and stories read).

Latin: Vocabulary from Classical Roots – Norma Fifer & Nancy Flowers

Personal Finance:

  • Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance, High School Edition Kit
    • Videos and Workbook

Physical Education: Basketball year-round

Music: Create three songs and record them on CD

* * *

Then, we just worked through that plan one day after the other. At the beginning, I thought for sure we’d never get done. But here we are staring at the list and we can’t help but rejoice…Because it’s proof that God takes our fish and loaves and multiplies beyond what we imagined possible.

The point?

Sometimes, we don’t understand what God is asking us to do. Many times, we’re comfortable right where we are. Other times, decisions have to be made that others will not understand… like “are you really taking your child out of the advanced track at school to homeschool him?! That’s crazy!”

Sometimes, we don’t know where we’ll find the resources, time, or energy to do what God is asking. We’re not sure we’re capable of accomplishing the task at hand. We’re not even sure what the next step to take is.

Can I encourage you today? 

When God leads, follow. He’ll take care of the details. He’ll provide the resources. He’ll supply his abundant grace and strength. He knows exactly what He’s doing.

A year ago, I had many questions, many concerns, and many obstacles to overcome.

Last night, after sitting with that portfolio and seeing our 10th grade year laid out in front of me, I rejoiced. I saw God’s faithfulness, goodness, grace, and strength. I saw growth. Where I planted seeds of service, love, and hope throughout the year, I now saw fruit.

Soon, I’ll be sitting down and pulling out new seeds to plant in faith for our 11th grade year. The stakes get higher. The challenges greater. The tasks, more difficult. Soon, the hard work and labor of tilling the ground continues.

But today… today I rejoice in the Lord and I celebrate! Look what the Lord has done!

 

 

© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

Comments

  1. What a beautiful testimony to God’s ability to get us through what we couldn’t possibly on our own. This encourages this homeschool mama’s heart…and motivates me to get crackin’ for next year! <3 Love you and your heart, Darlene. You continue to encourage me in so many ways that you'll never know…xo

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