Today's Guest Post is written by CC's literature teacher, Linda Bryant. For over ten years she has been delighting her students with the beauty of good books and great writing. Here, she shares reflections and wisdom from her experience homeschooling her three children from K-12.
When people asked me why I homeschooled my children, I had to fight back my passionate response. For me, it was a no brainer. It was who I was. It was how I wanted our family to feel. I knew that nobody could possibly care more about my children’s character or education than I did. It was an honor!
But after taking a deep breath, my response went something like this:
“First, God asked me to. Also, my kids only get one childhood, and I want them to have the chance to explore, imagine, and play. That hopefully will lay a foundation that fosters a love of learning that can last their whole life.”
Time has a way of moving by too quickly, and now my years of homeschooling my children are completed. All three of them are married and pursuing careers and life with great joy and integrity. They’ve displayed character in situations that has far surpassed their 'teacher.’ To say that I have never once regretted my choice to homeschool would be a severe understatement.
When we began homeschooling in the mid-90s, many people were skeptical of our decision. I leaned into my commitment to raise children with strong roots and confident wings and was so grateful for the freedom of homeschooling to help facilitate that. It mattered more to me to do what I believed was right for my family than try to please others. So we pursued a literature and unit based approach to learning with great enthusiasm.
When people were concerned about their ‘socialization,’ I often had to stifle a laugh. In my opinion, my children got to experience a more real slice of life by being homeschooled than they would have gotten by sitting in a room filled with others of their own age day after day. They learned how to communicate with people of all ages and walks of life because of the ways we were able to structure our days. That was one of the greatest hidden benefits of homeschooling.
Ron and I entered the journey with the end in mind. We thought and prayed through what we wanted our family to look like. We also intentionally educated our children based upon their unique learning styles, interests, and weaknesses. I will never, ever regret one day that we spent huddled over the kitchen table doing math or hiking through the woods doing science or curled up on the couch reading historical fiction. While some days were tedious and difficult, the entire race was one touched with joy and grace and deep relationships.
Each of my children have independently come to me in recent months to thank me for their education. While I didn’t do it to receive a thank you, I realized that they know they were given a gift. Each of them have had the opportunity to embrace and develop their interests that were evident as young children. They all have wise discernment and humble spirits. They can communicate with people of all walks of life and deeply desire to follow Jesus.
Could this have happened without homeschooling? Possibly. I’ll never know. But, I do know that our family would have been fragmented, and we would have missed out on the wonderful mystery of learning and living life deeply together. Each of us will always be grateful for those years together.
Linda Bryant has taught literature at CC for 10 plus years. She is passionate about creating an environment where people can be who God created them to be. Linda has been married to Ron for 37 years and is mostly adjusted to being an "empty nester." She loves investing her time into her family which now includes two little grandsons.