Right now I am writing this from the home where I work as a full-time nanny, at least eleven hours a day, four days a week. I also have a part-time job at a rock-climbing facility and have earned enough money to attend Equine Massage Therapy trade school in the spring, and I have savings with which to purchase a car. I graduated from high school more than a year early. I have learned to trust God no matter what. I am Hannah Wuehler, and I am 17 years old.
How did I end up here? How did I get such an enormous jump-start in life? I was homeschooled. Homeschooling has benefited my life in a dramatic way.
Homeschooling has given me the time to pursue my own interests in both hobbies and education. I love to read about history, practical how-to’s on a plethora of interests, factual and historical trivia, and all of the mystery and classic books on our extensive home library shelves. I technically might have received an “education,” however inferior, if I had attended public schools, but I have to think, What would I rather be: a child succeeding at a test covering information I may not remember or succeeding at life? Personally, I like succeeding at life!
While being homeschooled I was able to learn at my own pace and in accordance with my abilities. Because I usually comprehended and mastered new information quickly, I could not handle the repetitious and time-consuming assignments of traditional workbooks. Rather, I learned or deduced information on my own for most subjects. When necessary, I stopped to gain better understanding about topics of study.
I escaped most of the negative and harmful influences and pressures that I might have received from “friends” at school. I gained from my parents Godly instruction, character, and morals (whether I wanted to hear them at the time or not), which is what parents are called by God to do, not teachers.
Being homeschooled gave me the opportunity to serve in the pro-life ministry both with and without my family. I was able to get up at 4 o’ clock in the morning to drive to a college campus hours away and be a pro-life voice for those who have none, and I went to high schools and passed out information about what abortion really is as the teens walked onto and off of the school property. I would not have been available to serve in this way if I had been enrolled in a public or private school.
Some people would say that you should send your children out into the world to be “salt and light” to others, but in order for your children to be a witness they must first be brought up to walk in the Light instead of being filled day in and day out with secular indoctrination, constant pressure to go against everything that is good, and a herd instinct. They must be packed with true (or uncontaminated) salt and light at home so that they can stand up to the world when they are mature young adults. If you want your children to be set apart for God, then they should be in a Christ-honoring environment. If you fill your children’s hearts with Christ, only then will their mouths speak of what is in their hearts, for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Bottom line: You can’t give what you don’t have.
Parents are called to fill their children with Godly wisdom and instruction all the time:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deuteronomy 6:4–7).
This being said, do not expect your children to be perfect if they are homeschooled. We are all born with a sin nature, but will there be a difference? Yes. Will you have little angels running around? No. For example, I was homeschooled, yet I am the star of the truthful article titled “Homeschooling the Rebel.”1 If you have not read it, go ahead and take a peek at that description of my life, when my mom questioned not only my ability to graduate, but my sanity as well—not to mention hers. But as related in “Homeschooling the Rebel, Part 2,”2 hope was on the horizon as things got somewhat better. Now, after nearly seventeen years of many difficult struggles, here I am.
Other than being homeschooled, which helped tremendously, what else made a difference? Besides the supplements I’ve been taking to help me think and not react (see Dianne Craft’s “Biology of Behavior” at www.diannecraft.org), what else shaped who and where I am today? The main answer is Jesus. He alone can change people from the inside out. Now I’m not saying that my mom woke up one day to find a wonderful daughter who loves to clean the house and be respectful, but something did change, thanks to the prayers of my wonderful mom and dad, who didn’t give up.
The answer to their prayers came when someone wouldn’t leave me alone until I went to the youth group she was attending. This person insisted that this one was different and that if I didn’t like it then I didn’t have to go back, and she would never ask me to go again. It has been almost a year, and I cannot imagine where I would be now without getting together every Friday to worship Jesus with youth who are on fire for Him. The group has no cliques, no dating, and no games or dead religion—just Jesus. He has captured my heart with His love, and I want to represent Him well and give Him my everything. That has made all the difference. Previously, I was bored with normal Christianity and church. Now I am excited to see what God has planned for me!
Are things still hard for me? Absolutely! Homeschooling doesn’t guarantee perfection, supplements don’t change who I am, and Jesus didn’t say that He would make things easier. But I know that the Bible is clear about who is supposed to teach the children whom God has given, and if we let Him, Jesus can turn our world upside down and help us see all the wonderful possibilities He has in store for us.
Hannah Wuehler is a 2012 homeschool graduate and daughter of Richard and Deborah Wuehler (Senior Editor of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine), and she has seven siblings. She will be attending a trade school next spring to become an equine massage therapist with the goal of working at therapeutic riding centers for disabled children and adults. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2013, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the 2013 Print Annual Book of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.