Homeschooling – Taking the Plunge

When I put a call out for your homeschooling questions, Nicki really delivered!  Here’s her first question:

[How do I take] the leap….just start and stop thinking about doing it! (my problem)

OK, I am going to answer this, not as a direct comment toward Nicki, but as a generalized discussion of this issue.

Here’s an analogy for you…
I’m the kind of person who puts together a bookshelf by dumping out all the pieces, then looking at the picture and slowly working my way to the finished result.  Jumping into things isn’t difficult for me.  Jumping into things is sometimes my downfall.

If you are a planner then you are probably the type of person who puts together a bookshelf by looking over the directions first, checking to make sure you have all the pieces and the time to put the thing together, and then (and only then) beginning work on the bookshelf.  Jumping in to homeschooling without a 10 page thesis on how you will homeschool for the next 12 years will seem like a ridiculous, if not reckless, idea.

So, what do you do when you just can’t seem to step foot off dry land and head into that vast ocean of scariness otherwise known as homeschooling?

First off, you need to figure out what precisely is holding you back.  What terrible, awful thought is keeping you from jumping in?  Perhaps it is that you won’t do a good enough job.  Perhaps you fear you’ll warp your children (remember, I told you you will not warp them!) Or maybe you are just wanting to see the finished result before you start..kind of like the bookshelf directions.

Once you know some of the things holding you back, you can address them.  But, remember, there are pros and cons to everything and you will never hash out every single thing that is scary to you.

My advice is to work within your comfort zone as much as you can, but know that if you hem and haw too long, something may come along and PUSH YOU IN! (convictions have a way of doing that!)

The great thing about being a Christian is we don’t have to wait for a sign from God before we step out and do something.  We can look to His Word and step out in faith.  Even if we do it all for the wrong reasons and all the wrong ways, God has a way of cleaning up our messes.

I can’t make you jump, but I can tell you that choosing to jump is a whole lot more pleasant than circumstances pushing you in.

Now, I want to turn the tables…
Readers, I want to hear what you think.  I want to hear your stories.  What made you “take the plunge?”  Did you choose to jump or did circumstances “push you in?”  What encouragement and advice can you offer?

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9 thoughts on “Homeschooling – Taking the Plunge

  1. Oh I can totally relate to the question. Where to begin?? Our story is one of God’s gently leading…over years. And now that we have taken the “leap”, I wish we had done it sooner!

    My heart was pulled in the direction of Homeschool long before my husband’s was. I didn’t go ahead of him on this…he led our family to go down this road when it was God’s timing. Our oldest three attended the local Christian school. When we began homeschooling we had grades 6, 4, 2 and a preschooler. You could say I started with a bang! :) I often have thought how much simpler it would have been if we had grown into it gradually, but that was not what God had for us!

    My advice? If you and your husband are both in agreement (this is SO important)…then prayerfully consider the “pros” and “cons” of the choices you have. We did this and homeschool came WAAAY out ahead! If we were to do it again, I think it would be even a stronger result.

    There are ups and downs to whatever you choose to do. But if you are obeying the Lord in whatever He calls you to do…He WILL give the strength and grace day by day. He WILL guide you as you seek Him for wisdom (James 1:5) and direction. How wonderful!

    Thanks Amy for yet another practical post…may God bless you this week!

    Blessings,
    Camille

  2. Amy,
    Thanks so much for your post! I also look forward to reading the comments…we HAVE decided to “take the plunge” since I posted my question. As you wrote…we are stepping out in faith that He will guide us! Hope you are feeling better!
    Blessings,
    Nicki

  3. I am at this plunging in stage also. We will be starting our 5th grader next school year. I think we are going to wait and allow our 1st grader to have one more year of public school. He is very social and competitive and really at this stage needs the people and children around him to thrive. And out 3 yr old will start some preschool fun stuff at home. My question is… How to handle and what to say when many people including family are against your decision? I would love to have a list that describes verses in the Bible and common ideas why most families homeschool. I seem to loose my train of thought when defending myself when talking to others.

  4. Karrie,
    Great question! I’ll email you privately and answer this publicly in another post.
    For now, look at Deut 6…most homeschoolers consider that their vision for homeschooling.
    Amy

  5. I’m doing my homework/research right now on just about everything I think I need or am interested in about homeschooling. I want to hs my son who will be in first grade next yr.- he is in public kindrgtn now.

    Besides praying about it and doing some soul searching I think I have an excellent head start by working and learning all that I need right now. I’m learning about methods of hs, whats req. in my state, talking to others, looking for local hs groups in my area, and right now attending an online hs conference that is very affordable (less than $13) with Heart of The Matter Online.

  6. I just want to address something about Dad being on board, and what might help, if he is already a Christian. My husband is a Christian and when I began contemplating homeschooling, all it took to convince him were the statistics from this website http://www.exploringhomeschooling.com/ He was profoundly convicted, as the spiritual leader of our home.

    As shown on the site, it is very difficult for a child to maintain a relationship with Jesus after years of public school influence. That said, if a family must use public education, I feel that a father who teaches his children about Jesus several times a week, demonstrates for them that real men do love Jesus, and that he (Dad) is a man of God. The spiritual leadership of the father is more important than homeschooling.

    If mom is the only one talking about Jesus, even if she homeschools, statistics show that some of her children are going to go the way of the world. Dad’s spiritual lead means so much.

    All is not lost though. Mom can change Dad’s unbelieving heart by respecting him, and developing her own godly, gentle character. Don’t push or insist on anything. Trust the Lord and lead not on your own understanding. Concentrate on growing your own relationship with God, so you have the strength to maintain a gentle and quiet spirit.

    My heart goes out to all the moms of unbelieving spouses, and to those that have spouses who are church-goers, but nothing more, spiritually speaking. May God give you ladies strength and encouragement today!

    I hope you are feeling better Amy! Bless you. It must be very difficult to get even a reduced load done, given the morning sickness. Praying for you today.

  7. Hi Amy! I just discovered your blog and this post definitely caught my eye. We took the plunge this year! We have a 5th grader, 3rd grader and Kindergarten. We are 6 months into it and still think it is the BEST decision we’ve ever made.

    It took about a year of prompting from the Lord, a list of pros and cons and much prayer. Here’s a more detailed description of our journey:
    http://neweveryam.blogspot.com/2009/06/new-chapter.html

    and an update:
    http://neweveryam.blogspot.com/2010/01/not-debate.html

  8. “You shall teach them DILIGENTLY to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 6:7

    Diligent – constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything; done or pursued with persevering attention; painstaking

    It was prayerful meditation on this verse and passage of Scripture that led to my conviction to homeschool.