When we started homeschooling, we were desperately committed to doing right by our children. We worried and fussed and pushed them as hard and fast as we could. We see lots of people right there right now.
For us, homeschooling meant an intensely challenging, rigorous academic program. It meant a conservative lifestyle. That’s what everyone said -and that’s what suited us. Then life happened.
It took a few years of burnt-out children and worn-out parents to make us re-access a bit. When the Lord sent trial after trial that torpedoed our homeschool and reduced us to barely surviving sometimes, we began to ask an important question, “What does the Lord want us to teach our children?”
Micah 6:8 says, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
Hmmm. Not much about multiple foreign languages or calculus there. There’s not much about how we dress, or what we eat, or what kind of medicine we use. Instead, it’s about our relationship with God and man. It’s about discipleship, not trying to have the best educated kids or the most conservative looking family or the healthiest children.
That meant much less stress. It means that those things don’t rule us. Where the Word commands us, we obey. In matters of liberty, we are free. What does that look like?
We try to do what is best for each child, even if it doesn’t fit what everyone else is doing. For some of our kids, reading ancient philosophers was right up their alley. Others focused on entrepreneurship. When we keep our children doing the latest homeschool fad because everyone else is doing it, although it’s not serving them well, we need to think again.
We’ve tried to drop out of the Everybody’s Doing It Club in other ways, too. I try not to worry about what other families are eating, how they’re dressing, or how they’re treating sickness. These are matters of liberty, not law.
It’s incredibly freeing to ask yourself at the end of a “wasted” homeschool day, the kind where you spent the whole time disciplining, training, teaching, and counseling, “What does the Lord think about this?” Even though it feels like a failure, maybe instead our Lord is saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” We think it’s pretty plain His thoughts are different than ours!
For us, homeschooling became much less stressful when we took our eyes off other homeschoolers and put them on Christ.
Dear friends, we would be grateful if you would consider the very cool (we think) and character-building (we hope) gifts at our site for your Christmas shopping. Those purchases keep our ministry going until the speaking season starts again. We appreciate your support so much! Check out our store here.
Hal & Melanie