When did I become a homeschool expert?
The answer to that question is...never. I never have, and probably (considering that I have only four years to go) never will.
Oh, I have learned a lot in my homeschool journey of twenty-four years. I certainly feel more confident that I did in the summer of 1991 when I was getting ready for our first homeschool year, reading like crazy, planning unit studies, ordering curriculum, planning our schedule. I was afraid I would make that one giant mistake that would either ruin my kids or cause The Authorities to swoop down on me and deem that I was doing it all wrong or was not doing enough.
Yes, I am more confident...compared to that.
But I have to confess something.
Every year as I am looking ahead and planning for our next year of studies, I have qualms. I still sweat my choices. Because I don't believe in cookie cutter courses (the same thing, the same style, the same order for everyone), that means that our options are many. As I peruse homeschool catalogs or talk to my homeschool friends, I can get excited about a lot of things, but what is the best for my child? So much depends on the individual student -- her passions, her abilities, her needs. How do I prepare her for her future when I don't know what is ahead for her? There is so much that I just don't know.
I hope my confession doesn't discourage new homeschooling mamas! I think I can hear you saying, "You mean I may never get to the place where it's all easy-peasy-no-sweat-I-know-what-I'm-doing?!"
Hold on, Mamas. Hear me out.
Recently, alone in my van while out running errands (think time), I was going through the myriad of homeschool thoughts and ideas and their pros and cons in my brain, but my focus was not clear. And I stopped. Not the van...the spinning thoughts. Why am I muddled? Am I making these decisions alone?
Then I prayed something like this...
Father, I feel so inadequate for the task. Teaching my child, preparing her for what is ahead is a big deal. I don't see Bekah's future. I don't know everything. In fact, I know very little. But You...You see. You know. You know what she will need to prepare her for what lies ahead. I pray for your divine guidance as I map out our school year. Help me.
Here I am, spinning my wheels about academics, but it is even more important that she be prepared spiritually, that her character is strengthened, that she hears from You. You knit her together before she was born, during those days of difficult pregnancy and hope. You had planned for her life from the start. Help us to be the parents who aid and encourage Your plan for her.
So as I make choices for Bekah's ninth grade year, I ask for Your leading, as One whose love and care for her surpasses my own.
And that, my friends, is where confidence comes in. It is not confidence in my wisdom or my years of experience or my hunches. It is only when I put my confidence in the Lord that I can rest in His plan for my life, for the lives of my children, and for our future.
Yes, I still have to do the legwork. I have to plan, and I must implement the plan. As I write this, I have yet to choose our science for this year or decide whether I will begin a writing club. But I am trusting that He will direct our paths because we have acknowledged Him. (Proverbs 3:5.6)
So while I'll never consider myself an expert, I can begin this twenty-fifth year of homeschooling with the confidence that He is!
In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence,
And His children will have a place of refuge.