Parenting

Ep 64. Lost Innocence and Why I’ve Decided to Homeschool

I'm Ashley!

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Today, I’m going to be very vulnerable with you and share my thoughts on the idea of lost innocence of my children and the decision to transition to homeschooling. It has never been on my radar, and it’s never something that I’ve considered, so I want to walk you through my journey to this decision.

How did I get to this Decision?

The current COVID-19 pandemic was the turning point for me. Homeschooling was never on my radar. I always thought it’s a great idea, but not for me. I could never homeschool my children as I don’t have enough patience. Then when COVID hit and my kids were forced to stay at home, I noticed something different. There was a change in my family dynamic with my kids being at home. I felt a burden lifted off my shoulders in the sense I didn’t have to be rushing out in the mornings to get them off to school.

Admittedly, online learning was a challenging transition. It was difficult to keep my son, who is in kindergarten, engaged online. Again, I started to feed myself those lies that I could never do homeschooling. When schools opened back up, out of desperation to have some ‘me’ time again, I just sent them back. But the catalyst for this homeschooling idea came from a podcast episode I listened to. It was titled something like this, Why every Christian should homeschool their Children and it really just caught my attention.

Time Away from our Influence

One thing that really stood out to me the most was the amount of time that my children would be in a secular situation away from me being influenced by so many other children and teachers. When you do the math, it’s about 35 hours a week that your children are not in your care and they’re at school. When you multiply that by 42 weeks out of the year that your kids are at school that equals 1,470 hours a year that your children are not under your influence. And if you multiply that number by 13 years, the amount of time your children will spend in school in a lifetime, not including college, that’s 19,110 hours that your children are not under your influence. This was so mind-blowing for me as I didn’t realize how much time our children are away from us when they go to school. Think about how much innocence is lost in kindergarten, first, second, etc.

Sensitive Topics

Today, our children are learning new things much earlier than we did when we were children.  A friend recommended a book called “God’s Design for Sex” that would help to introduce the topic of sex to children. It’s a series containing 4 different books based on the age of your child. I wanted to ensure that my children had a firm foundation on what we believe God’s design for sex is, and this book helped me a lot to start the conversation. You want to make sure you are the first one to introduce the topic to your child. And you want them to know that they can freely come to you with any questions and you as the parent have to be so willing to have those really awkward, difficult conversations with your kids.

We also had to start having conversations with our children about homosexuality and bisexuality. I never thought I would be having these conversations with my kids at their young age, and I will admit, it’s been difficult for me. A lot of parents don’t think about it until they are faced with the question.

Loss of Innocence

With my daughter being in 4th grade, it has been a huge eye-opener for me. Every day she would come home from school and relate the various events of the day. Situations where a classmate confided in her about his sexuality, or children using profanity on the playground. All the way to the most extreme, where a boy at her school was dancing provocatively with a pole and making noises that were suggestive of sexual activity.  Kids are talking about a lot more very personal and very sexual things that I didn’t even know existed at this age. So every day when my daughter Scarlett came home and told me something new that happened at school, I became more and more convicted and sure that I was being led by the Holy Spirit to pursue homeschooling.

Homeschooling Resources

I want to share with you some resources that have given me the confidence that I could make homeschool a reality in my life.  First, there’s the book by Ainsley Arment entitled The Call of the Wild and Free”. I  listened to the audiobook version, and it opened my eyes to so many things. It answered all my questions and addressed my fears and objections towards homeschooling.

I have joined a Facebook community called Homeschool CEO, that is filled with hundreds of mompreneurs who are running high level businesses while also homeschooling their children. They encourage you and give you tips as to how you can fit homeschooling into your schedule. This group has been a total blessing for me as I embark on this new journey.

Other Helpful Podcasts

I also have two favorite podcasts that I enjoy listening to, and they are Wild and Free, hosted by Ainsley Arment, and Simple Homeschool. These podcasts have been very informative in providing tips on how to make this journey easier. As I embark on this journey, I’m pretty excited about the fact that I can take my children away from that outside influence that persists at school. I am also exited that I don’t have to be rushing them all the time to get out the door to head to school. The same is true for afterschool. No more rushing them to put away their stuff, get a snack, and get started on homework.  This slower pace of life allows me to have more time with my children, and it also helps them to breathe, be themselves, and enjoy their childhood and learn whatever they want to learn.

Let’s be real, I know homeschooling is not going to be a walk in the park. I’m going to have concerns about finding the time to work, what to teach them, how to deal with behavior issues and ensuring my children get enough social interaction. But the pros definitely outweigh cons, and I will be able to figure out a plan to get things done and get the necessary support that I need.  All I know is that I am just so excited to have my kids home.

I am excited to take you on this journey with me and share my experiences and give you encouragement if you are also thinking of pursuing this path. It is an incredible opportunity for us to have the biggest impact and influence on the lives of our children. If you enjoyed today’s post, I would love for you share it with other mamas and share it on Instagram and tag me @thepurposegathering.

As always mama, I am here rooting for you and you are not alone on this journey.

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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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