You might be surprised to learn I don’t think I’m better than those of you who don’t homeschool. I don’t fancy myself a godlier mother or one who loves her kids more. Fact is, I’m simply following in the path I believe the Lord has laid before me. And while it’s human nature to want to believe we’re the authority on whatever we’re passionate about, I have just enough wisdom to know I’m the authority on pretty much nothing.
And I’ll be honest, I’ve come across some arrogant, self-righteous homeschoolers who’ve left a bad taste in my mouth. I almost didn’t homeschool because I was so afraid of being lumped in with them. But fear is never a good reason for not doing something. Especially something you feel that God is leading you to.
I quickly learned a few things…
- All homeschoolers aren’t arrogant. In fact, most aren’t.
- All non-homeschoolers aren’t anti-homeschooling. I’ve met very few who are.
- Homeschooling does not, in and of itself, save your children.
- Non-homeschooling does not, in and of itself, destroy your children.
Because here’s the thing: We’re all kind of a mess in one sense or another. We’re all in need of a Savior to save us because we just aren’t capable of doing that ourselves.
I homeschool (understand I’m using the word I because I’m the one writing this article but homeschooling is a family affair and my husband and I decided together) because I’m not loving what I’m seeing out there. As parents, we control the climate of our home but we don’t have that same liberty at a school. And to be honest, I don’t have the energy or wherewithal to de-program my kids, day after day.
Here’s a few fast facts about my journey…
- I’m not a good homeschooler. Just being honest here. I don’t function well on a schedule. I despise clutter. And guess what? Homeschooling requires a little of both most days. I just take a deep breath and pretend it doesn’t bother me. Sometimes it even doesn’t.
- I’m not organized. At least not in the way a good teacher might be. I’ve never sat down at the beginning of the year and written out plans. I barely have plans at the beginning of the week. I’m happy if I have a plan at the beginning of the day. The only reason we don’t sink is because the Lord has blessed me with the ability to perform under fire. Okay, the real reason we don’t sink is because He makes sure we don’t. Believe me, without Him we’re sunk.
- I don’t have time. Good grief, how could I? I’m keeping a home and preparing meals and chasing toddlers and crying for a nap. Yes, sometimes I actually cry for it. (Yesterday I even got one!) It just isn’t possible to squeeze enough hours into the day to cover homeschooling 5 unique, individual children with any dignity. Or is it? Again, only by the grace of God. He multiplied the bread and fishes and He does the same with the time I’m willing to dedicate to that which He’s set before me.
- I’m not a good student. For truly, I’m just not. I cheated my way through high school (kids, hide your eyes!) and rarely turned in a math assignment I had completed myself. For the record, I didn’t cheat on tests. I tried once and felt so guilty I went and told the teacher. I’m not sure why I felt it necessary to tell you that, but I feel better now that I have. I don’t have the gift of retention I see others have. Others, in this case, being my husband. He can read it and know it and it just sticks. I’m not jealous, though. Honest.
So you see, I don’t homeschool because I’m a natural-born teacher. (Hang on just a second while my kids stop shrieking in laughter at the thought.)
I homeschool because He’s asked me to. Right now, in this season of inadequacy and doubt. There’s nothing at all like embarking on a journey it just seems you weren’t designed for to remind you clearly of your need. And my need is great.
But so is my love and my desire to raise up children who know and love their Lord. If we get to the end of this experience and my children are a little less schooled than their peers but they know Jesus intimately and chase after Him with fervor, I will consider it a job well done. Even when it wasn’t. And all because of Him!