I’m often asked, “Why do you homeschool?” (or “Why do you continue to homeschool?”)
I’m not a homeschool zealot, so my answer is pretty straightforward: calling. At this point, we know we are called to homeschool our kids. We aren’t so arrogant as to believe that this is for everyone, that no one can teach our kids as well as we can, or that our calling may not change one day. But for now, homeschooling is a matter of obedience to God.
That carries me through on those tough days. And yes, in spite of the fact that some homeschoolers seem to leave the impression that every day is filled with learning delight, we all have bad days. We have days when we are weary, when all the kids do is fight, days filled with interruptions, days when we wonder if we are doing a good enough job.
Obedience (whether in this area or any other) is an opportunity to learn to lean on Jesus. Such lofty words! That’s easier said than done. This summer I’ve had debilitating physical and mental fatigue, brought on by a combination of factors. I felt unprepared. I was up all night with the toddler the night before school started this year. With each passing hour of darkness, the flicker of hope I had for a perfect first day of school faded. I prayed all night long, “Jesus, help me to lean on you,” alternating with, “Help me to be kind and gentle with the kids tomorrow.” I know myself so well. I like a plan, and I like to force things. When things don’t go according to plan I get frustrated, and it’s easy to take out frustration on those closest to me.
God was gracious enough to answer those prayers and I slogged through the day with breathed sentence prayers. My words were (mostly) sweet. In spite of all that went wrong, it was still a good, if imperfect, first day of school.
I couldn’t have done that on my own, and I certainly couldn’t have done it without a sense of calling.
Some days I fail to lean on Jesus. One day, perhaps, I’ll be mature enough that I can lean on Him without an entire night of asking for His help—it will just come naturally. In the meantime, I’m grateful that He leads us gently and helps us be obedient to all the things He’s called us to do.