I remember those days… I was a busy mom of three little boys, ages 3, 5, and 6! Plus, I had a baby girl…, and I was homeschooling!
I enjoyed homeschooling and loved getting to be the one to teach my boys how to read. I took them on field trips, taught them addition by using Little Fishies, which they then ate once they solved the problem. We used sidewalk chalk to form groups of letters, and they had to jump on the group of letters that I called out (e.g.: “A’s,” “B’s,” and “E’s,” etc…). We made letters from play-dough. We even made letters from cookie dough and pretzel dough. We used textbooks, played educational games, and enjoyed learning together. The boys loved it, and I did too.
But… It was so busy! We finished school, and my daughter began to crawl that same month. I really felt that I needed a break so the boys were enrolled in private school the following fall. By then, I was pregnant with my fifth child, and I felt no pressure to return to homeschooling.
I remember struggling with the decision to put the kids in private school. I had been raised in a strong homeschooling culture, most of my friends were homeschoolers, and I felt that I was somehow doing something wrong by not homeschooling. I had to work through the gamut of emotions and finally be willing to do something different.
God was teaching me that He can’t be boxed in and neither can the way He leads me be kept to a rigid formula.
Fast forward a few years past that time, and I knew God was calling me to homeschool again. I fought Him over that. Yes, I admit, I “wrestled” in my heart with God over homeschooling. It felt like I was being asked to return to those years of feeling like a failure because things were crazy, outside of my control. Yes, I loved much about homeschooling, but it was never easy and never completely always under control (meaning put together perfectly and tied up in a beautiful package with a ribbon on top).
When I know God is calling me to do something and the decision is between obeying God or succumbing to my fears, I will normally choose obedience over my fears.
In obedience, I pulled my child from private school and began to homeschool him (five years later from when I had first homeschooled him). There were challenges, but overall, I really enjoyed the time to connect with my child. I loved the talks we had, the sermons we enjoyed together, learning together, engaging in critical thinking discussions, and watching him regain confidence.
In fact, the experience was so positive that my husband and I decided to take a year to homeschool each child so they would each get that one-on-one time with Mom.
This year, I was on my third year of homeschooling one-on-one with a child and enjoying it, for the most part.
It’s a really, really long story, and this isn’t the time or place, but three weeks ago, we pulled our three kids from private school. I am now homeschooling all five kids.
If you had asked me just a few months ago if I would homeschool all of my kids, I would have said, “No, that’s not for me.” It’s amazing what I am willing to do when God is in it!
I cannot even begin to tell you all the ways He moved and how smoothly He worked things out so we were able to pull kids on a Friday and begin homeschooling them that Monday with everything necessary completed!
By Monday, our homeschool affidavit was notarized. Course Objectives were done. Medical forms were pulled and ready. Dentist appointments were done that day! All paper-work was turned into the school district on Monday. Curriculum was bought. Co-op classes were all registered. Reading partners and helpers were scheduled. Kids were added to my Wednesday Community Bible Study classes. It all came together so quickly and smoothly, and I had such joy and peace that I knew it was all God! Plus, for me to be willing to take this on was such a God thing! I just shook my head and laughed at the audacity of God. I am so glad that He loves to move me outside of my own boxes!
There are challenges in all of this, but one of the most important lessons that God had been teaching me prior to homeschooling all five was dying to my need to be sufficient. Let me explain…
I was led to read the book Nothing To Prove by Jennie Allen. The book is excellent and so full of truth! It confirmed so much of what God had already been showing me and was just the encouragement I needed.
In her book, Nothing To Prove, Jennie Allen states that we don’t need to be sufficient and won’t because God is the only, all-sufficient One.
When I began to homeschool, I felt peace because I no longer stood on my own abilities. I wasn’t attempting homeschooling because I thought I was perfect or could do better than anyone else. I wasn’t homeschooling because I had a “Pollyanna” view of everyone sitting around the table, quietly working on school, while sweetly asking me what next they could study and profusely thanking me for all of my excellent teaching skills. 🙂
I wasn’t homeschooling because I was Wonder Woman and could maintain a pristine house, while serving three delicious meals a day, and being my children’s best or favorite teacher of their entire education.
I didn’t begin homeschooling because of my own abilities. I began because God called. I knew that if God calls, He also enables. I have heard it said before that God doesn’t call the qualified. God qualifies the called.
Homeschooling is not about me standing on the legs of my own abilities. It is rather about me standing on the authority that God has given to me as His daughter and as the mother of my five children. I take that responsibility seriously and also humbly.