“I just don’t know what we’ll do,” she sighed, “part of me thinks it would be best to homeschool, but I’m just not sure I can do it.  At least we have three more years before we have to decide.” 

The two-year-old in question came up to me and I scooped her into my arms. “You know,” I began as I pulled a notebook and crayons out of my purse and handed them to the Munchkin,thirteen years don’t have to be planned in a day.”

My school years may look like a patchwork quilt to some people.

  • Kindergarden: homeschool
  • First grade: private school
  • Second grade: homeschool
  • Third grade: private school
  • Fourth grade: homeschool
  • Fifth grade: homeschool half the year, private school half the year
  • Sixth grade: public school
  • Seventh grade: private school
  • Eighth grade: skipped
  • 9th-12th: homeschool

But really, that’s nothing. You should see my oldest brother’s repertoire.

I loved my education. First of all, because I feel that I was educated. I learned how to learn and am thankful. Second, I experienced it all and I saw the good and bad in every option. 

Homeschooling has some wonderfully amazing perks. The clincher for me (and the reason I chose to homeschool through high school) was the ability to work at whatever speed I wanted. In my case, this meant that I was able to finish high school in two years instead of four.

Public school was fun. I was quite a ways ahead of my classmates in math and science so school felt like a breeze. I socialized and enjoyed the extra-curricular activities. I built a lot of confidence that year and made some pretty solid decisions about dating simply by watching those around me.

Private school offered me a chance to hone my athletic ability. I was one in fifty instead of one in hundreds. Coaches picked up on my natural abilities and gave me more one-on-one attention than I would have received otherwise. I loved it and learned to play each sport for the joy of playing, not just to compete.

These are just a few things, of course. And they certainly wouldn’t apply to every child. It was simply my experience.

When I think about the educational choices my parents made for us there is one thing that stands out: they did not subscribe to any formulas but instead, prayerfully considered their options and followed the Lord’s leading.

You don’t have to decide today what you’re going to do with your {present or future} children. In fact, I would encourage you not to. Follow the Lord’s direction for today, and let Him worry about tomorrow.

It is so easy to take opinions and make them dogmatic in nature. We must guard against this. God is fully capable of leading and using any situation for His glory. And when circumstances don’t work out the way we think (that year I spent half the year at home and half at private school? That was the year my mom was diagnosed with cancer.), we can face needless guilt if we are not looking at life in the correct manner.

And the rest of my “education story”? I lived in Alaska for a year, attended a vocational school, went to college, was trained as a bank teller and then worked for two years before shipping off to Brazil where I taught English and American History to missionary kids. In other words, the patchwork continued…

4 Comments

  1. Avatar Samantha R says:

    “When I think about the educational choices my parents made for us there is one thing that stands out: they did not subscribe to any formulas but instead, prayerfully considered their options and followed the Lord’s leading.”

    My parents did likewise. We didn’t always follow a certain curriculum; especially in high school. My mom tailored our education to fit each of us. Each one of my siblings did something a little different than me. 🙂 I loved that because we all have different strengths and weaknesses.
    I believe that my schooling experience was perfect for me and if I could back and change anything, I wouldn’t!

  2. Wow. This is certainly unique! I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone with such a varied educational background, Natasha, and I love that it just goes to show nothing need be set in stone. Thanks for this. 🙂

    “13 years doesn’t have to be planned in a day.” I’m going to remember that. 🙂

  3. Your education sounds like it was a well-rounded multi-experience adventure for you 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    And I believe this too, “You don’t have to decide today what you’re going to do with your {present or future} children. In fact, I would encourage you not to. Follow the Lord’s direction for today, and let Him worry about tomorrow.” It encourages me to not stress out or start running ahead to the future decisions, especially when I don’t have any children yet 🙂

  4. I love your enthusiasm about your education, Natasha, it sounds unique and perfect-for-you in a wonderful way!

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