|CBD: What factors led you to homeschool your children? When you left your career as a trial lawyer to educate your children at home, what was the biggest adjustment you had to make?|
CF: I had never even heard of homeschooling before becoming a stay- at-home mom. As I read more about it, it sounded like a good idea, but still not something I would actually want to do! As my oldest daughter approached kindergarten, the thought kept returning and I became captivated. Clearly it was the Lord working on my heart. We sent Clare to kindergarten for four months while I wrestled with my indecision. At Christmas that year we pulled her out and havent looked back. There simply is no better way to disciple and educate children while preserving family values and unity.
Leaving the practice of law (or laying down the law!) was a hard decision for my heavily invested ego. I went from being called Counselor to sweeping up Cheerios under the table. The Lord had to tear down my false securities in order for me to rebuild my identity as His child. I am schooled daily at His feet while I teach my children.
CBD: Three of your four children are adopted. What guidance can you give to parents who are considering adoption? Have your children faced any special challenges either inside or outside your homeschool as a result of adoption?
CF: Adoption is a phenomenal picture of Gods grace. He took the dilemma of birthmothers and transformed it into joy for us! I believe that Christian parents should adopt. Its the way to extend Gods grace to those we welcome into our forever families here on earth, while we are blessed by His grace with the privilege of parenting.
Adopted children will always deal with that early loss on some level all their lives. Our hope, as Christian parents, is that that void will be filled with the love of God. The world can be cruel and thoughtless to adopted children, especially those who do not look like their parents. By filling them with our love and acceptance and showing them the love of God, we pray they will be equipped for life.
CBD: In your book Help for the Harried Homeschooler, you say teaching children of different ages is a juggling act that requires patience, grace, and creativity. Your comment no doubt resonates with many home educators. How have you dealt with teaching kids of different ages, abilities, and learning styles?
CF: Ive learned to delight in the differences! I used to make myself crazy trying to stuff the children into the mold I had created for proper homeschooled children. Then I experienced the fruit of this method: burned-out kids who didnt love learning and who werent that crazy about family life, either!
I came so close to alienating these precious children by my own idolatry! I asked the Lord to help me focus on their strengths and learn to work with their weaknesses. This approach has breathed fresh life into our homenot just our school. They are each flourishing in their own way.
It also really helped me to make a serious study of a Scope and Sequence chart. So much is repeated over the course of grades K12. If you dont get around to a particular study this year, another opportunity is right around the corner.