Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Full Circle: Journey of a Homeschooled Child

Being the homeschooled kid of our church has been part of my identity for as long as I can remember. By the time my brothers came along four and ten years respectively after me, people had gotten used to the idea. Me? I was a novelty item.

“So what do you do all day?”

“So do you have, like, no friends?”

“Does your mom know everything?”

Those were just a few of the questions regularly thrown my way by fascinated strangers and family friends. For a practice that’s been around far longer than Father Abraham, homeschooling sure seems mysterious to many.

Primarily due to that mystery, my mother—juggling duties of homemaker, homeschool mom, and pastor’s wife for the past 24 years—has long accumulated a mental list of homeschooling benefits, ready to advocate her family’s choices at a moment’s notice. From time to time, people would visit us to inquire about or copy from my parents’ practices, eager to understand what homeschooling in the Philippines entails.

In the midst of all that, I remained blissfully oblivious. As far as I was concerned, I followed whatever schedule my parents set for me from day to day, learning all sorts of fun and exciting things along the way. While my friends in church were complaining about projects, traffic, and annoying boy stalkers, I was enjoying myself with trips to grandma’s house, activities in church, playtime with my brothers, and even off-season vacations to various destinations.

Life wasn’t about living in starchy uniforms and stuffy classrooms. It wasn’t about enduring one more boring class after another.

Life was real.

Life was about learning to run a household, from meal planning to sewing up my broken stuffed toys. Life was about making friends with little babies all the way to old grandmas in our church. Life was about reading, endless reading, of books that acquainted me with the whole wide world before the Internet was a way of life. By the time high school came around, life became a time for blogging and writing and reaching out to various communities

And life didn’t stop with home and church. It got bigger.

By God’s grace, I moved on to different chapters of life. I completed my college degree in Florida, U.S.A. I became a high school teacher in MGC New Life Christian Academy, a school whose administration and students I still love to no end. I dated and married my wonderful husband. Life was real and blessed and happy.

Then God called me back to my roots.

Last year, the Lord led our church to make the decision of establishing a homeschool academy—a school that would provide multilingual, biblical curriculum and guidance for homeschooling families. The need is present, and someone has to answer the call.

So here I am, administrator of Kairos Homeschool Academy.

Am I nervous? Yes.

Am I excited? Yes, yes.

Am I perfect at this? Not a chance.

But more than anything, I believe with my whole heart that the Lord’s grace is ever sufficient. It is the heart of every person involved in Kairos to build up a school that will bless, guide, and enable the next generation of parents who, like mine, want to bring up their children in a godly home.

I never saw it coming, even if others did.

Being a homeschooled child established the essence of who I am. It’s not a perfect system; there are no perfect systems. But my parents’ efforts and sacrifices in homeschooling have equipped me and my brothers with the love and skills we possess today, each of us still following God’s leading one step at a time.

And by His grace, Kairos will be making the reality I so enjoyed as a child into a reality for many, many more children to come.