Posts Tagged ‘love of learning’

Story by Debbie Ward. Photos by Richard Ward and Mary Lee Boosinger.

Ward family

photo by Mary Lee Boosinger

Shortly after we married, the Lord began introducing Richard and me to people who were homeschooling their children. Our first encounter was with our neighbors’ nine-year-old. She spoke intelligently, listened well, demonstrated impeccable manners, and spoke confidently with adults.

Then again, when we visited my high school friend who homeschooled four boys, we found they demonstrated the same character traits as our neighbors’ daughter. There seemed to be a pattern. They were smart, polite, godly, and confident.

I felt God calling us down the homeschooling path for our family. It was more than coincidence that I was continually in the company of these families. I asked God if this is what He wanted for our family. His response was that He did.

calloutMany people have questions about homeschooling. How can you spend that much time with your children? Aren’t you sheltering them from the outside world? Are you concerned about socialization?

My answers are direct. There is nothing we would rather do than spend time with our children. Yes, we are sheltering them from the outside world, and also training them in the way they should go, so when they are old, they will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6). And, yes, we are concerned about socialization, so we choose whom our children socialize with.

Ward family

photo by Richard Ward

First-time homeschooler Amy Lyn Brooker also provides perspective on these questions. She homeschooled two of her children last year and found the rearrangement of her schedule was not as much of an inconvenience as she thought it would be: “Being with my children far outweighed the inconvenience.” Amy Lyn’s husband played an important and typical role by helping with their children’s schoolwork and with household chores. She recommends homeschooling to others: “I definitely believe it was a blessing to have that extra time with my children, to be a part of their education and have a positive influence on it as well.”

With hundreds of different types and styles of curriculums to choose from, children can learn scholastically what they need to learn. But homeschooling also provides the freedom to teach our children’s hearts. Who better to train their hearts than those who love them the most?

Hope Cumbia, a 16-year veteran says, “It was difficult at times, yet it forced me to face areas in my life that needed working on, such as patience, grace, encouragement, letting go, handling interruptions. I soon realized this was a job bigger than me and that I was going to have to trust God and depend on Him to give me what I needed to succeed in this huge task that He had given.” She describes the results as a close knit family unit: “We have grown in our faith together, enjoy spending time together, are able to gear school around interests, have freedom to do what is best for our family, can travel anytime, and have been allowed experiences that the girls would not have had in a classroom.” Additionally, the eldest two have had easy transitions to college life.

One of our main goals is to train our children in the love of learning. We think it is important to introduce children to great literary works so they will develop a thirst for more. If they love to learn, they will read to find their answers. Hope agreed that our job as homeschool parents is not to teach our children every detail but to “teach them how to learn and how to find the information that they need to teach themselves.” Perhaps this is the most important lesson for us because what we want is for our children to continue to learn far beyond their school years.

Debbie WardDebbie Ward has homeschooled for 10 years and is an enthusiastic stay-at-home mom to her two children, John and Leah Mei. She and her husband, Richard, own and operate Caretime, a home healthcare software company. Debbie has an extensive background in commercial real estate and SBA lending, as well as real estate paralegal work. She has served First Baptist through TLC (Tender Loving Care for preschoolers), Vacation Bible School and as one of the producers in the upcoming Prodigal Project film.

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