Prepared for Life
- 2005 9 Dec
Growing up, my mom often felt that she was falling short as a homeschool teacher. She shouldn't have, because she was great, but she was concerned that she wasn't teaching us everything that we needed to know. I'm sure many other homeschooling parents can relate to that same feeling of inadequacy. Be encouraged! The Lord said, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go ..." (Psalm 32:8). God is our teacher, and He will equip us for the tasks He has prepared us to do. As I look back on my years as a homeschool student, I smile as I realize how faithful He was to prepare me for the calling He has placed upon my life. I may not excel in science, and I certainly shed enough tears over algebra lessons, but God's grace covered my shortcomings.
Over the years, my mom used several different curriculums for our schooling. In elementary and middle school, we used Konos and Sonlight. Konos is compiled of several different unit studies. One year, we did a unit study on American Indians; we read books, made costumes, and even built a teepee in our front yard! Sonlight consists of pre-constructed lesson plans and is a great resource for parents who prefer not to research their own materials. It also focuses a lot more on using real books as opposed to textbooks, although some textbooks are still used. Both are excellent curricula, and my family enjoyed using them. In high school, rather than using one particular curriculum, we used several different resources, such as Saxon math, Apologia science, and Constitutional Law by Mike Farris. We also continued to use the lesson plans by Sonlight for our history and reading. The combination of these resources was an excellent preparation for college.
Currently, I am attending the University of South Carolina, Sumter. I didn't have a difficult time being accepted; I just filled out an application and had our Third Option representative mail a copy of my transcripts containing my SAT scores to the college. And honestly, my SAT scores were not even that great. Before I started college, I was concerned that I was not academically prepared. But once I got to the classroom, I realized that I was more equipped than most of my peers. For me, the transition from home to a classroom was a smooth one.
Above any educational preparation my parents gave me, I am most grateful for the firm foundation on the Word of God that they made ever present in our home and instilled in my life. They taught me to be in the world but not of the world--to hold fast to the Light in the midst of darkness. In the classroom, as in the world, many of my teachers and peers do not share my faith, but I am able to glean from their educational knowledge without being easily swayed by their secular opinions because I am walking in the Truth. In this way, I feel that homeschooling allowed my parents to prepare me not only for college but also for life.
Recently, I was sitting outside at Sonic with some friends from college when one of them asked me if I planned to homeschool my own children someday. Without hesitation, I told him yes. Although homeschooling may not be the easiest educational option, I cannot imagine having it any other way. From making butter to shopping for the best deals in the grocery store, I have so many fond memories of learning at home. For my family, school wasn't just an eight-hour day; it was a way of life. After all, isn't that the way it should be? The Lord commanded us to teach our children of the Lord "...when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up" (Deuteronomy 11:19). Someday, God willing, I will be in my mother's shoes--educating my children and instructing them in the ways of the Lord. It is my prayer that I will prepare them, as my parents did for me, to be confident in their knowledge and to be "holding forth the word of life" (Philippians 2:16) to the world.
Kendra Winegar is a preparing to begin her sophomore year at the University of South Carolina, Sumter. She was homeschooled for 11 years and resides with her parents and sister in Sumter, South Carolina.
Copyright 2005. Used with permission. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Right now, 19 free gifts when you subscribe. www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com