I have not always homeschooled teens. This is how the story began…
When my first-born was approaching school age, we found out that he had a peanut allergy when he was 6 months old (I know you are not supposed to give a baby peanut butter but we learned the hard way!) Anyhow, when Maxx was four we went to the open house (for pre-viewing Kindergarten) at the local Christian school. Our plan was for him to attend there. When I approached the subject about his peanut allergy to the principal, I asked how they would handle this situation. We lived in a small town in Northern, BC. I guess no one else had ever had a peanut allergy in this school. In Vancouver, at this time, many schools were “peanut free”. In larger centers, a note went home to parents to caution them to pack lunches without peanuts (or in some cases all nuts). In this school, the principal suggested that they would just have Maxx eat his lunch separately, in a classroom, away from other kids as to risk exposure to others that may be eating peanut butter sandwiches. You can imagine my shock and dismay when I found out they would segregate my child daily to each his lunch which of course would make him feel different and scar him for life! I would have none of it. I suggested the letter-going-home to parents idea, informing them and asking them not to send peanut products to school. There was immediate objection to this suggestion. I knew there and then what I had to do.
You see, God had already been preparing my heart. I had a good friend who homeschooled. She had 6 children and at the time she was homeschooling the oldest 3. I was so drawn to their lifestyle. She was my hero, my mentor and I wanted to be just like her! Her children would tend to their rows in their huge garden (which supplied them with food most of the year), collect the eggs from their chickens and the oldest daughter would bake little loaves of wonderful bread and sell them to them to the doctors and various other customers in town. Her boys would make their own swords and slingshots out of wood and have battles like David and Goliath. Maxx loved being with them. Her kids were respectful, joyful and loved being together. I wanted a family like this. I knew, however, this not go over to well with my husband. You see he was an academic. He was a PhD. He believed in the educational system. He would not entertain the idea of homeschooling UNTIL….the OBSTACLE. The school was going to make Maxx eat his lunch ALONE every day in a classroom. I suggested to my husband that we homeschool just for Kindergarten, until he was old enough to make sure he did not ingest a peanut product. He agreed. Thus began my homeschool journey!
Kindergarten went well and lead to “Just for the primary years”. My daughter, Carlee was already wanting to do school at age 3 so she started right along with us. I had another baby. Maybe we would homeschool until grade 6. Grade 6 came and went. We were enjoying business trips with dad, holidays in mid-school year, learning fun and interesting things together. We moved twice. It was working in our life. Grade 10 came for my oldest son and we decided to try out “public school”. I will save the details of those years for another post. Now, Maxx is graduated, Carlee is in grade 11 and Jonah is in grade 9. I have been homeschooling for 14 years and still going strong.
I hope to share my experiences with you to encourage you, inspire you and most of all to glorify the One that I love most and made this all possible, God. Without Him none of this would be possible.
PS. When Maxx was 7, our church surrounded him in prayer and prayed for complete and total healing for the allergy to peanuts. He was completely healed the next time we got him tested. The allergist said that this very very rare and usually each exposure gets worse! Maxx enjoys all peanut products today!