St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Monday, April 08, 2013

Homeschooling Memoir for Monday....

Wow, this is such a flashback for me as I pondered it, dust it off, load it up for Memoir Monday! That "16 1/2 yr old son" I mention in this blog post from many years ago, is now 22 year old and graduating with academic honors from his college, which his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Art, with English and Philosophy minors. WHERE did the time go? But more so, HOW did we [as a family] do this? I believe we did it because it was truly what God's will was for our family. The power of the Holy Spirit enabled us to engage fully our God-given gifts and go full speed ahead steadily and consistently with home education. So, I give you the prequel portion of our home education life.

Hmm, this homeschooling that we did it start? Sometimes, I reflect back to the why and how this all began. It was birthed by my husband; even before our oldest (now 16 1/2) was a year old my husband announced one day in the kitchen after arriving home from work, we might want to listen to Focus on the Family on such-and-such a day, as it is going to be discussing "homeschooling". What?.....what's that?, I remember saying. My husband explained and I said: "People do that? Why would they do that??" LOL! I laugh now, yes, but then, I was quite serious; I had no idea people were educating their children at home - it was all quite new to me. Well, my husband said, let's listen and keep an open mind. How the Holy Spirit was working through him, now amazes me! Before long, we were attending our first homeschooling conference, locally and I was meeting families who were and had been for several years, homeschooling. Still, our oldest was very young and I had "years" to think about biggest hurdle was if we were to decide to would I tell family and friends? How would I explain? This was all so new and so different then what was happening "out there".

So, I was undecisive as to whether we would really home educate. I thought it would be a good education, I wasn't worried about socialization or anything negative, and I knew there were laws that allowed us to keep our children home and educate them. But, what would others think? I somehow couldn't quite get myself to agree to it; I prayed and prayed that God would actually just "give me the answer" so I could say "yes or no" to this commitment, and I left it at that....then....

When I was pregnant with our second child, and my oldest son was nearing 2 years of age, we discovered he had a peanut allergy. A pretty serious one. Upon one of our several visits to the pediatric allergist, the subject of "school" came up - the doctor said [and I quote].."you can monitor what he eats and any peanut exposure vigilantly, but the hardest thing will be when he goes to school....." Quite off the cuff I said immediately: "..well, maybe we just won't send him to school..." and then the doctor picked up quickly..."I have many families who home school their children that have these kinds of serious allergies...there is no reason why he couldn't be homeschooled if two parents agreed this would be a suitable alternative...."

Well, I couldn't believe it! I wasn't even thinking: "homeschooling" when I made my remark - really, I was just saying we wouldn't send him to school.....

Later, I thought to myself: could we have those remarks written on your prescription pad??

Well, I felt very confidently that I - we, had received our answer, and we have literally not looked back since, but if only to recall how God has worked in our lives.

Update: Being the kind of person that believes nothing is by mistake, or accident or default when it comes to God's purpose and plan for our lives, I look with far more depth and value at the gift of homeschooling and how it was arranged for us. I should add: "Catholic" homeschooling; because indeed, it is a Catholic education and formation that is uniquely and wonderfully given in the home, the domestic church. I see where our son's serious allergy led to a lifestyle that could lead to the very benefit and further salvation of each soul in this family. Perhaps our son's allergy has saved his own soul from what corruption he may have daily been exposed to that would have had far worse eternal consequences than even the peanut allergy, as deadly as it is. God has his way, and we pray for the graces always that our eyes and ears and hearts are open to his voice and we have the courage to follow where he is leading us.


Chris said...

Wow, so powerful!
THANK YOU so very much, Denise, for linking up to the Memoir Mon hop.
It is an honor.

Unbelievable how you began the journey 20 years ago ( ! ) What pride you must is evident here.

Havea lovely day, Denise..


Allison said...

My youngest has peanut allergies and I too am glad she never had to negotiate that at school...and that my T1 diabetic son didn't have to negotiate his first day of highschool with the onset of having to inject insulin into his body with every meal. I see God's Hand in it all, too. Thanks for sharing Denise .