Never be afraid to do something new.
Remember, amateurs built the ark;
Professionals built the Titanic.
It seems like only yesterday when I received the phone call that evening. A male voice on the other end of the line, asking how to go about homeschooling their two boys.
Mike and Sharon had moved here to North Carolina from Milwaukee Wisconsin, and the new school system where their sons were enrolled just wasn’t working out for them.
Sharon’s story in her own words:
“It was in April of 1985 (Tyler’s kindergarten and Joel's 2nd grade year) when I received the wakeup call. I always took the children to school and picked them up. They were both usually happy and cheerful when they boarded the car every afternoon.
“But one day Joel climbed in the front seat and, as we pulled out of the parking lot, he began to cry. ‘What’s the matter?’ I asked. His reply: ‘I’m so stupid I could blow my brains out!’
I was shocked... but I didn't show it. Where would he even have learned such a horrible thing? I said, ‘Baby, there is nothing stupid about you. You're a very smart boy.’
“Very shortly after this incident I heard the Lord say to me, ‘Get them in the ark.’ I knew what this meant.
It meant pulling them out of school and teaching them at home.
“Within days a friend of ours told me about Debra Elramey, a woman in our city that was home schooling her children. She was the first one in Wilson to have done this. I called her. She told me how to go about registering with the state and making the move. We became good friends and remain so to this day.
“Mike and I never told the children what we were planning to do. On the day we went to the school to withdraw their records, I remember sitting on the steps in our den and being aware of my Mom’s presence. I felt like she was saying that this was the right thing to do.
“In the natural, my Mom would not have approved of this decision. While she’d been living she was one to go with the flow and not buck the system. She had passed away a few years before and I really believe that she was among that ‘great cloud of witnesses’ that was cheering me on.
“When our children were safely in the ‘ark’ I noticed that the sullenness in Joel’s life was gone and his joy had been restored.
“I often wonder what would have happened to Joel and Tyler if I hadn’t obeyed God and had just left them in the school system. Where would they be today? What kind of men would they have grown up to be? I just thank God that He gave me the grace to obey Him.
“Year by year I’d ask the Lord if He wanted me to continue homeschooling. Since I never received an answer I assumed that the silence meant ‘continue full steam ahead.’ I will not say that it has always been easy. I can say that I often felt inadequate and wondered if I was doing all that I could to provide them a good education. But God was faithful and sustained us through the duration of our homeschooling years.
“I’m grateful for those productive years and the time God gave us to grow together as a family. I learned right alongside my children and grew spiritually in the process. God was, and still is, faithful!”
I look back over the years Sharon and I spent together, raising our children and spending time in each other’s company as the best of friends. It’s one of those rare companionships that you know was not accidental, but divinely ordained.
Our friendship has never been based on superficial interests but is spiritually focused as well as mutually beneficial. I may have mentored her in the very beginning stages of homeschooling, but she has been for me one of the wisest of spiritual friends, and one I’ve always leaned on, especially in times of anguish. Friends like this are few and far between.
Every time I look out in my backyard I can still see our two sons playing pirates or whatever. They were the best of friends as well, with HUGE imaginations.
Then one day they both grew up and went their separate ways.
My son Jesse moved across the country to Oregon where he now works with a publisher and remains single.
His old pal Joel currently lives in Wilson with his wife Lauren and their four daughters.
The Killion Family
Moriah, Kathryn, Olivia, and Bristol
Second generation homeschoolers