*(Note: This post includes links to affiliates, which give me a small percentage of the sale. You are not obligated to use these links when you make a purchase, but when you do it helps to support this site, so thank you! Enjoy the post!)
I used to be a public school teacher and I know what it's like there. As an 8th grade English teacher I had so many students I wanted to save. So many kids that needed help, not just a good education. I wanted to mold and shape them to be "good kids."
But through my experienced I learned that as the teacher I had very minimal influence in their life. I was an influence, but so miniscule compared to their family and their homelife and what they had grown up with. My mission of changing those students was not going to be accomplished.
And when it came to my own kids, I looked at the public school system and thought it will not accomplish what I want for my kids.
While I do have my reasons that stem from convictions and prayer, I put so much stock in how "bad" the other options are in order to justify my reasons. Why do I feel the need to justify in the first place? I'm really not sure. But that's another post.
Then on the flip side I can place lots of weight in how "good" homeschooling is that I feel it is the ulitmate mode that is going to shape my kids into the best kids that I want them to become; character, life skills, academic skills, spiritual skills... and you get the point.
But I have so naively thought that in order to acheive all this, for them to be a "good kid," HOMESCHOOL is what would form this kid into all things good, true and beautiful. Keeping my kids at home would be my savior.
I've realized this isn't right.
My kids are sinners. My kids have hearts that need Jesus. And they would be this way if they stayed home or if they went to public school. They also have their own personalities and preferences and will make choices as they grow older. How much control do I have over this??
I was talking to a friend the other day about disciplining our kids and she said something along the lines of "We, (the moms or dads), can't make the kids have good behavior or make good choices. It's not our job." We can't discipline the "bad" out of them and discipline the "good" into them. The most important part of our kids is their heart, and we don't have control of the hearts. Only the Lord can do what He wills with their heart.
So what in the world do we DO?
As I sat on that question for a little bit, I thought of a few things.
They really are going to do more what we do than what we say. Basically, more is caught than taught (to quote my awesome Dad's nuggets of wisdom). If I want my kids to be kind to their neighbors or friends, I need to model kindess. Do I want my kids to love the Word? They need to see me in the Word, and they need to hear it come my lips.
This is. So. Hard. But it's so true.
I HAVE TO BECOME WHAT I WANT MY CHILDREN TO BE.
I actually saw this happen the other day. I was making my bed one morning, like I do on most mornings, and my 7 year old was watching and said, "Mommy, you can make your bed really smooth." I was like, of course, that's how it's supposed to be, and that's how I do it every day. But this was the first time she noticed it. And it dawned on her that she could make her bed smooth, too.
So immediately she skipped down the hall to her room to make her bed, and by golly, it was the smoothest I have ever seen her make her bed! I had been wondering for a whie now how I could get her to make her bed better. It was always such a mess! __I had no idea that she would learn just by me being faithful to make MY bed. __
No amount of nagging was going to bear fruit in her life.
This means a big word here-- SURRENDER. It's bringing what we do have to the table, and then letting go and letting God do with it what he wants. Surrendering the actual molding and shaping of our beautiful children to HIM.
This is also so difficult, I know. Just when I think I'm trusting the Lord, I've gone and put my hands in again and messed with his work. I have to turn around and surrender all over again.
We just have to trust that he's going to show up. Like when Jesus fed the crowds. The little boy brought his loaves and fishes and Jesus showed up. Jesus provided just what those families needed at that moment and did what only God can do. In Sarah Mackenzie's book Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace she calls it "bringing your basket."
I really believe the Lord will be faithful and take my basket, my feeble efforts in homeschooling, and form my kids for his purpose and glory.
This needs to be done no matter what type of schooling my children have, am I right?? I would be doing this if they were in private or public, so prayer needs to happen just as much with my kids at home.
I need to be seeking the Lord on my knees and fighting for my kids' souls. Asking the Father what is on His heart for my children.
Forming my kids into adults that pursue God, love people, and have practical skills to invest in the world is not going to come from a perfect homeschool curriculum. It's not going to come from my kids being with me 24/7. It's not going to come from hiding them in a bubble from the outside world. If I trust in any of those things I am not in complete surrender.
Thank you for reading! I pray you were encouraged. I wanted to include a few resources that I have used and found to be helpful with teaching my kids at home.
Karen DeBues at her site Simply Living for Him has an awesome FREE 31 Days of Prayer for your Homeschool printable. It's a great tool to use to support you in praying for your kids and for your homeschool.
THIS book by Karen DeBues was a HUGE influence for me in learning to let God lead my homeschool- for letting him show up and do what only he can do! I wanted to share because maybe it can help you, too! Check it out below:
Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God lead your Homeschool by Karen DeBues*