I’m going to say a few things about homeschool. But I want to make sure you know something first.
Before we decided to homeschool, it was the last thing I was ever going to do. I don’t think it’s a biblical mandate or the only right way to educate children. There are other excellent choices, and any choice carries with it both pros and cons.
Homeschool sounded a bit like torture, for the teacher I mean. To be honest, it sounded kinda terrible to do to my kids as well—like I would be keeping them from life rather than presenting them with opportunities. That’s how I used to see it.
But when I realized I couldn’t screw up kindergarten for a child who already devoured words like candy, we set out to homeschool. Only for that year. Except that now we’re in year 6.
Most days, I love homeschool, and our kids love it too. Our first 3 years, when friends asked me about our days, I gushed about books and plans and freedom.
But then came year 4. When we had the special opportunity to homeschool with a toddler in the house. And 3 others in separate grades.
To put it simply, homeschool beat me. I was ready to throw in the towel. We toured schools, and I prepared my heart to give it up after all I’d poured into it.
While we didn’t feel peace about scrapping the whole program, God changed my perspective in necessary ways through that process. Sometimes changing course is the right choice for a family, but it wasn’t for us, not then. We changed co-op groups and took our littlest to preschool last year, but we stuck with homeschooling.
Those 2 years felt like a neverending season. But now we’ve turned this corner where we’re able to complete our studies with time to spare, and we can get through a lesson without 18 interruptions and mounting frustration. Things are fun again. Some days are still hard–but that would be true with any educational choice.
Homeschooling is like a rollercoaster. It’s the same with parenting. And life. Sometimes things are running along smoothly and you’re clicking up to the top of the hill. You’re excited, you know where you’re headed, and you’re going the right direction. Other times, you’re on that rickety, curvy part where you never know what’s coming next, you’re not having any fun, and you’re pretty sure you’re going to puke. The only way through is through, but you see no end in sight.
If you’re in a beat-down season, remember it really is only a season. It may be an exceptionally long season, but you will look back one day and see God at work between the curves and spins and upside-down loop-de-loops.
I wish I could say having the right formula makes it magically easy to get through. But there’s no simple fix for hard seasons. We need to live through them and let life teach us. Yes, seek God. Acquire outside help. Change things up whenever necessary. But you’ll probably still need to puke.
Then the ride will end, and you’ll step back on, buckle up, and head toward those ups and downs all over again. It’s worth the ride. Turns out, there’s so much beauty in all this chaos.
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4, MSG