Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Train Up Tuesday: Encouragement from a "Pro"

I hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day. I love learning from moms of all backgrounds. And I love the path God has me on with homeschooling and the encouragement I've been receiving. One lady in particular is an inspiration to me. Becky Seamon is not only the wife of our church's associate pastor, but also an encouragement to women in so many areas of life.

Recently, I posted a series of "homeschool" themed articles. I know that my limited "first year" perspective may seem skewed, so I wanted to bring you thoughts through a different view, another lens...someone who has been doing it well, for a while. Hope you enjoy!

What I Have Learned from Seventeen Years of Homeschooling

“Beginning Steps”

I remember very clearly twenty-two years ago when my husband walked through the doors of our little apartment from a full day of attending classes at Mid-America Seminary and handed me a stack of papers. He then stated, “We had a guest speaker visit our school today. He spoke on homeschooling. I brought you some information. I think we should consider this.” I sharply replied, “I will never home-school our children. Homeschoolers are weird,” as I shoved the papers across the coffee table in his direction. Because my husband is a wise man he simply responded with, “Well, just pray about it.” I thought to myself, you pray about it, I don’t need to.

He must have prayed pretty hard for when it came time to enroll our daughter in Kindergarten there was uneasiness in my spirit. I had an educational background and decided I could at least handle Kindergarten. Then we would reevaluate. That year I did the research…I learned that academically home educated students scored off the charts on their standardize test. I observed that with the individualized instruction a child receives through homeschooling, lessons can be customized to the learning style of the child. I found hundreds of curriculum designed for home educators. I witnessed an over whelming amount of children who had a love for learning and knew how to think for themselves. They could research answers and apply knowledge. But what convinced me the most was the living testimony of the families I “ran into” that year. The children were well behaved with an amazing respect towards adults. Most had a love for the Lord and lived their convictions. Contrary to my former assumption, they were not lacking social skills but could relate to others of all ages. They were not home bound but busy in the community with projects, clubs, co-op groups, fieldtrips, church events and sports. Their homes were crazy with activity yet homes filled with peace. Needless to say, I was hooked. That first step has turned into many small steps; steps that turned into a journey of seventeen years….a journey of one math problem at a time, one science project at a time, one day at a time.
Yet, a path that created curiosity within the minds one little girl and three rambunctious boys as they observed…
  • Quail hatching under an incubator in my living room
  • A hamster loose in my house for days…did I mention that it was loose for days???!!!
  • Finger paint on my chairs
  • Chicken bones soaking in vinegar
  • A cow tongue on the kitchen counter
  • Seeds planted in plastic cups sitting on the window sill
  • Eyeballs for dissecting
  • Bird houses constructed
  • Stacks of textbooks on my kitchen table
  • Laptops humming
  • A science experiment that went wrong and caught on fire
  • Book reading on the front porch swing
Has it been easy? No. Has it been rewarding for my family? Absolutely. Would I do it over? Without a doubt. Was my husband right on this? I plea the fifth. :)

Come back next week for more inspiration from this sweet woman of God. To learn more about Becky Seamon, PLEASE check out her wonderful blog: "high heels at His feet"!

Much love,


HPS said...

I love Becky's honesty! Since she did it for 17 years, I would love to know where her kids are now and which direction they headed past the homeschooling (college, hobbies, ministry, etc.). I love hearing from experienced moms on what went right and what they'd do differently! Thanks, Ash AND Becky!

Bethany from Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom said...

Thanks for sharing, Becky! You've done a wonderful job with your kids :-). I've got 11 years down with 5 more to go. And, I've got 1 graduate under the belt. Nope, not easy, but yes worth it!

Kathy said...

Thank you, Becky! As usual you've encouraged me and made me laugh. I also thought homeschoolers were weird yet here I am on this journey of homeschooling my girls. I no longer look at them as weird but as individuals not conformed to the world. I've enjoyed this year and look forward to the next.