This May marks 9 years of homeschooling for me. Nine years! After that much time, I really thought I would have more figured out than I do. I think what I’ve figured out the most are my weaknesses and knowing better how to navigate around them. One problem with homeschooling is you don’t teach the same grade each year. Our job morphs as our children grow. So just about the time you figure one thing out, they’re moving on to the next!
One morning over Christmas break, I was journaling some of my struggles and questions, and I felt the Spirit encourage me: You can do this, but it’s not going to look like someone else.
Isn’t that a great word?
It challenged me to look around and see if I’m trying to implement how someone else is schooling their kids instead of looking to the Lord and asking Him to guide us. Isn’t it crazy how we can admire how one mom “does school” and we try and do it just like she does?
But it often doesn’t work because the other mom isn’t me!
Recently I had a revelation. For almost 9 years I’ve homeschooled like there’s a right way to do it. I’ve tried to find the right curriculum, the right schedule, the right group of friends. And that’s good, right?
However, this mindset implies there’s a wrong way to homeschool that I must steer clear of.
Trying to avoid the wrong way leads to frustration – and comparison, because who defines it as right or wrong?
In my quest to find the right everything, I began to fear that if we didn’t read this book or do this curriculum or join this program, my kid’s education wouldn’t be complete. And that would be the wrong way!
Let me just say: this mindset is strangling!
I was forgetting something the Lord revealed to me back from the very beginning of this journey.
The magic isn’t in the curriculum or booklist. The magic is what we put into it. The books are just books. The curriculum are just words on a page until we implement them. My passion and love for what we do infuses life into our school room. That is the special sauce.
Galatians 6:4 says “Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.”
This verse tells me to evaluate what we do by looking to God’s standard instead of a human standard. We are accountable to what God has called us to do. He has given us our personality and our kids on purpose and by design.
There are so many curriculum choices, so many philosophies of homeschooling to consider. It’s so easy to compare my homeschool with someone else’s, but God didn’t give me someone else’s kids! He gave me my kids. And by His grace He wants to teach them something through me.
As moms, we don’t pass or fail, do it right or wrong according to what curriculum we use. The truth is, my kid’s education will not be perfect because I am not perfect and they are not perfect and they do not live in a perfect world. So trying to give them a perfect education filled with perfect choices is actually not the goal.
Galatians 5:6 & 6:14-15 is my new goal:
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.”
May I not boast in what I do or what curriculum I use, but only in what God has done. Neither this curriculum nor that approach means anything, what counts is a new creation and my faith being lived out by my love.
Homeschool takes faith right? How I express my faith through love becomes the over-arching goal. Jesus didn’t come to give a new law for homeschooling! We are new creations in Him. Each of us, even our kids are a new, unique creation, with talents, personality and gifts to be discovered and used by Him. We have the awesome opportunity as homeschool moms to watch our children learn and apply these things. The metamorphosis happens right before our eyes. And God can use any book, any program, any curriculum, any group of people to bring it about!
The freedom of the gospel reaches down into our homeschool. It sets us free from following any law or formula to turn out “great kids.”
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Let’s bring that freedom into our homeschool!
You can do this, it just may not look like someone else’s!
This is strong-willed parenting homeschool style.