"Call to Africa" (aka, Homeschooling) Part II
(Continued from last week's post)
Honestly, I thought my “time in Africa” was served and that my "call” was complete after that year of homeschooling my two young'ins (kindergartner and second grader). That I could pat myself on the back, be proud of my sacrificial year of service, and wash my hands of it. “Thank goodness that’s done and behind me!” But actually, that was only the beginning! Here's how it went down:
So the first year of private school was great! We got a “new student discount” off tuition, so that was a significant savings financially! I loved having a bit of free time without the responsibility of “feeding the kids academics daily”! I was still quite busy though, as a classroom mom, volunteering weekly in both my kids’ classrooms, in addition to a bit of part-time work. But towards the end of the school year my daughter, having tasted the freedoms of homeschool the year before, started asking me periodically if we could homeschool again. (She was feeling squelched and cooped in a classroom all day every day.)
I was cordial, but I had NO desire or intention to be responsible for their entire education again! I nicely smiled and passed her off by saying, “Tell the Lord, Honey. See if that’s what He wants for us.” It diffused any conversation immediately. It got her off my back. And I just kept thinking, “Silly girl. There’s no way I’m doin’ that again!”
But she didn't let up. All summer she asked several more times. I kept passing her off with the same line, “Take it to the Lord, Dear. It’s up to Him. He’s gonna have to tell all of us if it’s the right thing.” Well, apparently, she did what she was told, and the Lord honored her prayers more than mine, because by the time September came, I felt more and more turned toward the idea, but still enrolled them both in private school. But, by October, I was totally convinced it was right! I know! Totally nuts!!
He really was calling me to Africa, again!! For the love!
And my answer was a very scared, but very confident: YES!
But there was a problem. I had landed myself a job at the school to get half off tuition. I was obligated to stay, or so I felt. But my conviction became so strong I told my bosses of our plan to homeschool “soon”.
There was another problem; a bigger one. My husband was not on board with us homeschooling again. (He remembered how I struggled, both with organization as well as with personality conflicts.) Ugh. Now what?! I suppose I’d have to take my own advice that I’d dished to Q so many times, and “Take it to the Lord” to see what He had for us.
The green light from J we were waiting on, to pull out and restart at home, didn't come as quickly as we'd hoped. Not even close. We ended up staying in the whole grueling school year. The turning point came earlier, in February, when I decided to get serious! Desperate times call for desperate measures. I would fast through lent for clarity, direction and unity with J for our kids' educational future, and mine.
The answer came in May! It was... Classical Conversations!
This homeschool community seemed to be the perfect marriage of private school and homeschool. A win-win for ALL of us!! Their core subjects would be covered in (one day) class, and reinforced at home through homework, songs and apps, (yes, apps!) during the week. I didn't have to spoon feed them all the "hard subjects" and we also had margin for life skills and domestic skills I felt strong in, like cooking, music and art, and creative time. It also provided ALL of us with a community of classmates and friends to keep us "socialized"! ;-) Boom!
(In case you're wondering, no, I'm not getting any endorsement kickback for this. This is purely my own opinion that I share freely with any mom I meet!)
Classical Conversations (aka CC) has proved to be an incredible fit for our family's educational needs, including mine, since the parent(s) also sit in class (through sixth grade). Yes, it covers all grades! I am reclaiming my own education! Talk about a two for one!! Five years in and we all fell SO smart! It has been such an answer to prayer! And it totally fit the bill for me as a not-so-organized teacher, to pay a (much smaller) tuition for the huge help from the nation-wide organization to plan lesson plans, record the CDs, and load the oh-so-helpful app we use on the our iPad when we drive. It has made my job as teacher SO MUCH EASIER! The kids' tutors have been incredibly helpful and supportive to all of our needs and idiosyncrasies. More than I could've asked for!
Not only that, it has provided some of the most dear friends we could've asked for! For all of us! Me too, sister-friends even! The Lord knew what we all needed. I am so very grateful for this awesome homeschool organization that provides so much support for both students and parents!! We had our Community Day today and I was again reminded how thankful we all are for this sweet family God has lead us to!
Any of you needing a different fix for homeschool?
If so, I recommend checking out CC to see if it may be a good fit for your family!
Bless you on the journey you find yourself in! Whether in Africa or elsewhere! ;-)