God is at work in all of our lives whether we recognize it or not. Sometimes He gives us glimpses into His plans and other times He saves it all for a grand reveal. This story of our homeschool journey is a testimony to God’s patience and providence as He prepared me for a life I could never have imagined for myself.
If you reflect on your life, do you see times where God placed people or circumstances in your path, seemingly innocuously, but now that time has passed you know it was His detailed preparation for His will in your life?
I can recall many people, places, and events the Lord has used in my life, that I was oblivious to at the time, but recognize as clear as crystal today.
One of the most notable ways God has orchestrated events to lead me into His will centers around my children’s education.
The First Seed Planted
I was 26 before I ever met someone who homeschooled. I suppose that is the opposite of a sheltered life.
At that time, my oldest was three years old and still an only child. A new wife now stay-at-home-mom, I was figuring out what a Proverbs 31 woman looked like and how much I was unlike her.
During this time in my life, I was craving the Lord. I wanted to know Him more intimately and bask in his Word. Providentially, God gave me a neighbor who not only loved the Lord and was wise beyond her years, but had a daughter the same age as mine that she planned to homeschool.
Truth be told, because of my ignorance and naivety, I perceived this individual to be a little cooky. Sweet as she could be, I just didn’t understand why she would voluntarily want to stay home with her kids (she had more than me already) all. day. long. and be responsible for their education.
Time marched on and her family moved across town. We lost touch, as young families typically do when one moves away, but that season as her neighbor had more of an impact on me than I realized.
The homeschool seed had been planted.
The Seed Gets Watered
Fast forward a couple of years and we still lived in the same house, but with several new neighbors, and I was now a mom to two kids. My youngest was two, oldest six, and we were searching for a new church home.
The Lord brought us to a small Baptist church a couple of towns over. The building was humble, the congregation welcoming, and we felt right at home.
During our time at that church, we grew close to a family who had four kids that were older than ours. They were out of the baby phases and approaching the teen years, a season I was nowhere near.
Shortly after we met these friends, I learned I was pregnant with baby number three. Shocked and terrified, I leaned into this friend for wisdom and reassurance that I could handle all of these kids.
I admired this woman greatly. She worshipped the Lord with everything she had, discipled Her children, loved her husband well, and on top of all that, she homeschooled her 4 kids.
Oh, and she used essential oils- my first crunchy friend.
Her children attended a local Classical Conversations (CC) homeschool group. Hers were the first older kids I had ever been around that were homeschooled.
All of them were articulate, intellectual, and generally interesting. They certainly weren’t awkward and “nerdy” like homeschool kids are typically portrayed.
I was genuinely impressed by those kids. The flexibility of their schedule intrigued me as well.
The seed that the Lord planted a couple of years earlier received a little bit of watering in that season.
The Seed Sprouted
We moved a couple of towns over during 2020. If you recall, the public education system was (is?) in complete disarray. So, we chose to enroll our school aged kids in a private Christian school two miles from our new house.
While I recognized the blessing that it was to have a Christian school so close to our home and that we could afford, it wasn’t ideal.
At this point in my life, I was seeking the Lord like I never had before. The scales were falling off my eyes and I was immersed in the Word.
For the first time in my life, I was truly content.
We re-enrolled our kids for their second year at the Christian school because of lack of options around us. But during the last week of school, things took a sharp turn.
The Holy Spirit spoke very clearly to me- it’s time to homeschool the kids.
“I’m sorry, what God? Homeschool?”. This was so far from my personality and plans. Sure, Christian homeschool moms on Instagram were alluring but *I* didn’t want to do that.
Surely I was mistaken. So, I prayed. Hard.
And He kept telling me- homeschool the kids.
So, after discussing it with my husband ad nauseam, one day during the last week of school, I walked up to the Headmaster (who was incredibly intimidating) and told Her that I didn’t understand it but the Lord was telling me to homeschool and the kids wouldn’t be returning after all.
Being a lady of faith herself, she knew what I meant and encouraged me to follow His will for our lives.
And that was it. The seed that was watered five years earlier sprouted.
From Grandmillennial To Charlotte Mason
We were officially homeschooling.
My Instagram feed went from grandmillennial home decor to homeschool everything. I immersed myself in the homeschool world and absorbed as much information as I could over the next couple of months.
That summer was spent choosing curriculums and organizing a beautiful homeschool room equipped with vintage globes, an antique writing table, crayons galore, and so many books. I think I even bought a vintage chalkboard easel. I was a #homeschoolmom.
On the Second of August 2021, we started homeschooling. About four weeks later, we got the third biggest surprise of our life.
My husband’s job was letting us relocate and we were moving to be closer to the family we’d been missing for twelve years! You can read about that adventure here.
I didn’t know why the Lord wanted me to homeschool back in May but now, in September, it made perfect sense. If the kids had been enrolled at their private school, we would have been contractually liable for the tuition even if we left before the year was over. My obedience to the Lord coupled with His grace afforded us the ability to see a decade’s long prayer answered.
We made our move, settled into our new house, and pressed onward in our homeschool journey. By now, it was autumn and while I didn’t feel like the Ms. Honey homeschool mom I had dreamt of becoming, I was figuring it out.
Unfortunately, the story doesn’t stop there wrapped in a nice bow. God was still moving in our family.
Fertilizing The Plant Yields Sweeter Fruit
When I committed to homeschooling, it was for one year. I told myself I would try it for one school season and re-evaluate at the end.
My oldest, who was around 10 now and in 5th grade, was struggling the most with homeschool and our move. By God’s grace, we lived 12 miles from a very small private Christian school that had an opening in her grade. We enrolled her at the end of October while I pressed on with my other two kids at home.
And phew, that year was a doozy. We still hadn’t found a church home, had no friends, and really regretted our move. Our kids were not thriving and mom was on the brink of a mental breakdown.
We pushed pause on homeschool and enrolled the other two (our youngest was still not old enough) in the private school our oldest was already attending.
That decision stung. Part of me felt like I had failed and another part of me wondered if I was stiff arming God.
But I knew that my kids were not adjusting well to our life changes and this was the best thing for them, for now.
Through all of this, I maintained a strong prayer life and communicated daily with the Lord, staying in the Word, treasuring scripture, and seeking His will.
This past year at the private school had its ups and downs. Academically, socially, and even spiritually our kids were doing okay. But, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss homeschooling and something just felt…off.
At the beginning of the 2022 school year the Lord brought us to what would become our church home. It is a small country church with a modest congregation where everyone loves to worship the Lord and tell others about Him.
Our church is by far the biggest blessing the Father has graced us with since we moved to Tennessee.
The Full Circle Moment
What does this have to do with homeschooling, you might ask?
Well, we quickly learned that many of the families we attend church with are homeschool families. Not only that, but the majority of the homeschool families do…Classical Conversations.
Remember the kids I mentioned a while back who were also educated in CC? Almost instantly, I could sense what God was doing.
My desire to homeschool had never faltered despite having the kids in school for a year. In fact, the draw was even stronger than before because I had tasted and seen how good the Lord had already been to us.
When it came time to re-enroll our kids, we had sticker shock at the amount of money it would cost us to have three kids there full time. It was as much as our mortgage! God was revealing His will loud and clear.
I prayed fervently for a few weeks begging the Lord to show me what to do. I think I knew the answer deep down but was scared of the truth…that homeschooling was what we were meant to do.
So, I let the enrollment day come and go without holding our spots on the roster.
Remembering how impressed I was with our old friends’ children, I talked a lot with the CC moms at our church. I even spent a day with them when they met with their community to see what it was like.
Their children were just as impressive as the ones I mentioned earlier. Learning Latin at 6 and 12 years old? Whoa!
We enrolled in Classical Conversations. The seed that God planted, watered, and sprouted the past eight years had officially bloomed.
In my wildest dreams I would never have seen this coming. Outside of the Christian lens, we would call this a full circle moment.
Beginning in August of this year, we will officially be homeschooling again with Classical Conversations. We will have a 7th grader (Challenge A), a 2nd grader (Foundations), and a kindergartener (Foundations). Our youngest is just three so he’ll be a spectator.
Ripened Fruit Ready For The Pickin’
Even as I write this blog post and reminisce on my last decade, I am astounded at the minute details God coordinates in our lives.
The way the Master Gardener slowly molded me over six or seven years, knowing my fruit would not ripen right away is testament to His love for all of us who put our trust in Him.
Renowned pastor John Piper has been quoted as saying something to the effect of “God may be doing 1,000 things in your life but lets you see three of them”.
Our journey with homeschooling is nothing short of God’s master plan for my kids and myself. He put people in my path, planted seeds, tended them, and shepherded me towards His will.
I wasn’t ready at 26, 30, or 32, but at 34 God told me to trust Him. I obeyed and as a result have grown closer to Him, my children, and experienced sanctification in the process. He used this journey to reveal sin in my life that I needed to repent of and used challenges to let Him be strong where I was weak. Through all of this, He refined my heart to look more like His.
While I am excited and eager for our Classical Conversations studies to commence, there is a healthy fear of homeschooling three kids. But, just as He shepherded me to this point, I trust in his faithfulness that He will shepherd me in this next season too.
If you’re in a season of uncertainty, or maybe you’re beginning to connect the God dots in your own life, I challenge you to pray for clarity, wisdom, and discernment. The Lord will answer and from there you can be encouraged to walk in obedience, clinging to your Savior for strength and guidance.
As we enter our Classical Conversations community and resume a homeschool routine, I will be chronicling our experiences good, bad, and sanctifying. Subscribe to my email list and follow me on Instagram to watch how it all unfolds!