Homeschooling Is Much Like This


Sometimes writing comes easily for me. An idea will pop into my head and it spills out of my mind onto the paper effortlessly. If it’s a piece that brings encouragement or laughter, I think there is nothing I’d rather do than write. Other times it is a painful process. My mind is a blank canvas and there is not an artist to be found; I am at a loss to write something…anything. I’ll jot down a few lines and then cross it out. I’ll write something else, only for it to become a crumpled ball on the floor. Other times, there is a disconnect between my mind and my fingers, and the thought stays trapped in my head. It’s as if the ability to take those thoughts and transform them into a story no longer exists. It can be utterly frustrating and leaves me wondering why I ever thought I could be a writer in the first place.

Homeschooling is much like this.

There are days I am amazed at our homeschooling. The kids seem to be learning so much from their experiences, their play, and my words. There are times when I amaze myself with my creativity in presenting a new concept, my patience with meltdowns, and my ability to balance homemaking and homeschooling. All is right with the world, or so it seems, and I think there is nothing better than this life. Then the days come when the inspiration isn’t there. The kids are grumpy. I’m grumpy, and we don’t feel like doing anything. Efforts put forth are met with resistance. I’m left wondering how I ever thought this life was a possibility for our family.

When the inspiration doesn’t come easily, I would like to give up on my dream of being a writer.  In fact, I do give it up every few months. I can’t make it work easily and I walk away from the blog and my journals. I justify that I no longer write because it frees up my time.  I tell myself that I wasn’t that good of a writer anyway and that nothing would have come from all the effort required. I admit that even with my rationalizing, I still mourn my failure. Then, a month or so later, something stirs within me. An idea, a spark, a moment I need to process; I make a choice and I’m writing again. It’s in me. It’s a gift God has given me and if I try to deny it, I can’t.  It has become a part of who I am.

Homeschooling is much like this.

I would like to give up on homeschooling probably every other month. I can’t make it work easily and mentally I just throw in the towel. I consider alternative options to our current homeschooling situation, reasoning that they will be fine in a more traditional school setting and packing lunches won’t be so bad. I mourn my failure as I get ready to dial the number to the public school, but God won’t let me follow through. He stirs something within me, a question, a moment I need to process. He reminds me who I am and of a choice I need to make. These children are gifts from God and are undoubtedly a part of who I am.

In Luke 12 Jesus shares a disturbing parable.  He speaks of a servant waiting for his master’s return.  This particular servant has been given the responsibility to watch over and care for the other servants.  At first the servant is waiting patiently for his return, tending to the responsibility given to him; then for whatever reason–maybe it’s boring or too hard–he decides to give up.  He knows what he is supposed to do, what he is capable of doing, what he has been equipped to do, but he chooses otherwise.  The master comes home and the servant is left in a world of hurt.  Jesus sums this parable up for His disciples: whenever a person is given a lot, a lot is expected in return.  I find this disturbing, because this is what I’ve done, what I do.  I can’t tend the things given to me.

Talents, children, resources, provisions are all from God.  He expects us to do something with them.  He doesn’t require it, but he expects it, and we are left with a choice to make.  Although I think these verses are far-reaching, when it comes to our lives I think we miss the significance of them in the smaller, more mundane tasks we take part in.  I believe God gives us creative giftings to encourage us personally, but God’s plans and gifts are never one deep.  He gives us creativity so that we can glorify Him and show love to others, fulfilling the two greatest commandments.  Tireless effort and hard work will be needed to fully recognize the scope of our giftings, but  we can choose to do otherwise.  We can choose to give up when it’s hard.

Homeschooling is much like this.

Homeschooling parents have felt a calling placed on their lives to educate their children and have been given the resources to handle the responsibility of this ministry.  We desire to give our kids the building blocks to learn. We recognize their personalities and want to help them develop character as well as a personal relationship with Christ.  Teaching our own children requires tireless effort and hard work.  To fully recognize the scope of what He is calling us to do for our children, we need to realize what has been given to us and take the role of parenting/teaching seriously. What He expects us to do for our children is not one deep.  We have been given much with each child in our care, an opportunity to pour into their lives the beauty of love, service, and grace.  If we push through, if we make the choice to do what is expected with what He has given, one day we will see that our efforts are wide-reaching as young adults live for the Lord and for others.

We have been given a lot as believers, a lot of talents, blessings, and responsibilities.  We have to make a choice regarding whether we will push through the difficulties to what the Lord expects so that we can eventually see His handiwork.    It’s what I’ve decided to do with my writing.  I might not see the fruit of my labor for many years, but I know God expects me to do something with the gift He has given me and I trust that He has given me this opportunity for a reason.

I think homeschooling is much like this.