Just a warning…this post my offend you. But I believe it needs to be said.
Homeschooling is a noble journey.
It’s tough. It’s self-less. It requires faith.
However, homeschooling only works when it’s best for all involved. That includes the Mom. As the saying goes, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
Mama needs to be a whole person to do this well.
This homeschooling stuff isn’t about doing it just to get the t-shirt. It must be best for child and parent or scars will be left.
Sometimes I get the feeling we think public school is of the devil, and we would be sinning to send our kids there.
The only time that would be the case is if God clearly called you to homeschool and like Jonah you have run as far away from it as possible. That would be a sin, but not because it’s public school; because it’s disobedience!
I also get the hunch we think we must be all things to our children – always available, always fun, always with a plan, always on the go, and don’t forget, always good at it.
If our child is struggling, we think it’s our fault and our sole responsibility to fix it.
“Oh, if I could just do this better. I wish I was more like Suzie,” we say.
As my friend Alisa shared, we compare curriculum, schedules and art supplies.
We dig our heels in like this is the only option for us as believers. Our identity gets wrapped up and tied up in how well we perform and how behaved our kids turn out.
That’s not homeschooling for the right reasons.
Somehow my original intentions to make disciples of my children got all mixed up with the watercolors and the paint turned brown.
I feel guilty when I need a break, when I want someone else to help me teach math or science, when I need some quiet time, or when I think about enrolling them in public school. Why? When did things wobble out of balance?
The fact is I am a person too. A real one with emotions, struggles, gifts and limitations. It’s not selfish to realize that and do something that fills my tank up. It’s truthful and will benefit my children.
There is a time for everything. Some seasons require more of us than others. Even in those times, it’s important to remember, we (moms!) are still people. Our kids need to see that. They’ll respect us more for it.
Honestly, it might take more faith for me to put my kids in public school. Sure, here I pray for faith – that God would give me strength, that He will take my efforts and multiply them. I pray that I teach my kids His Grace and Truth without tainting or watering it down, or ruining them in the process.
But if they were away from me all day, I would pray differently.
I would pray for God’s Sovereign protection, for them to have wisdom as they make friends and decisions, and that they would seek and trust Him. I would pray for their protection, for their boldness, for them to work hard, be a caring friend, to live above gossip and slander and bullying, and share Jesus when it’s uncomfortable.
I don’t pray that way right now. I am going to start and see what happens.
So the next time you hear of a homeschooling mom enrolling her kids in public school, don’t feel sorry for them. Maybe they made the best decision for their family at the time. Be proud of them. That decision came with blood, sweat, tears and fears, I guarantee.
Be a friend. Pray for them. As my friend Amber says, I’m just keeping it real!
Thanks for traveling with me!