At least I thought I did.
Homeschooling is something I never thought I would, should or could do. When God introduced this thought to my mind and the calling into my heart, I was horrified. I have no teaching background, and in fact have always been more inclined to just do something myself rather than deal with the frustration of showing someone else how to do it. I’m impatient, self-centered, unstructured and in reality, have never felt like I was even doing that good of a job as a mother. I have a past full of junk and really just tried to do the best I could not to let it infiltrate the lives of my daughters as I brought them up in what has become a Christian home over the last several years.
I talked to everyone I knew that was already homeschooling their kids, from long-timers to those who were just starting out. I prayed for months, I read books, I researched curriculum and talked to all of the people whose opinions I valued. I really prepared in as thoroughly a way I thought was possible but still knew there would be bumps in the road. My kids wouldn’t always listen to me. My house would be a mess. Personalities would clash and schedules would fail, chores would go undone, nerves would be tested and I would lose pretty much all free time. I got it.
I’m about 6 months into homeschooling right now and I have to say that logically, I really did get all of those things. I haven’t really encountered any surprises on a mental level, but I have been astonished at the emotional and spiritual stretching that has taken place during this journey.
I’ve scaled back on a lot of activities, like lunches with friends, shopping dates, even volunteer activities and Bible studies. I grossly underestimated just what chaos would result from the kids and I being here all of the time, and how little time I would have to keep things neat. I definitely didn’t account for our budget spinning out of control over curriculum, art classes, Taekwondo, piano lessons and library late fees. Who could have guessed my husband’s business would pick up, leaving me to deal with a pre-teen attitude and an artistically temperamental 7-year-old not just all day, but all evening as well?
My time is no longer my own to spend as I please, that is true, but it means that I have to work to make all of the moments that I have matter. The time I spend in instruction with my kids needs to be focused and intentional but loving and flexible at the same time. I’ve had to learn to be creative, to see the value in what it means to pass on knowledge and interests and especially faith. I’ve had to start carving out time with God so that my relationship with Him stays close, as this walk is all about obedience, love and grace.
“It does not, therefore, depend on my desire or effort, but on God’s mercy” Romans 9:16
God led me down this path, and He is using it to His glory. I know my children so much better than I did 6 months ago! I have the opportunity to do things with my girls that many of my friends don’t, like travel on my own schedule, study the best curriculums and subjects, take field trips whenever we want and learn hands-on.
Thank you God, for teaching me.