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Homeschooling as a mission – I have no idea what I’m doing


"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

So I’m a week away from the day that my life is going to change yet again.

After 2 1/2 very painful years of having my son in the public school system, we have decided to bring him home. And I have no idea what I’m doing.

I’m not a teacher. I have no education degree. Who am I to think I can teach anyone anything? Doubts abound.

Truth be told, if I let myself go ‘there,’ the concept is so frightening it’s nearly crushing. The burden of educating my children to adequately prepare them for adulthood seems so big. We’ve decided to bring our preschooler back home as well, and my fifth grader is begging to come home too. I’ve asked her to give me this spring to figure it out, then plan for the fall.

Just thinking about this responsibility is enough to make my chest ache.

But not nearly as bad as it aches thinking of what will happen if I don’t reclaim these children God has entrusted to me.

This isn’t some sort of indictment on the public school system. My kids have had many wonderful educators in their lives, including those of the present. I have appreciated so much about their time there.

But too much has happened to make me see that my children are my responsibility, and no one is going to love, nurture, develop and build them up like I can and should.

So I’m doing what I was inspired back in high school by a public school teacher to do. I’m going to close my eyes and jump. Forget fear. Forget doubts. Just jump.

Some days I feel like I can do anything. I’m so excited about the wide open opportunities homeschooling can afford my children, and I’m so ready to go. I’ve got this. And then other days, the lies start flooding: I’m not smart enough to teach my kids. I’m not patient enough. They’ll drive me nuts. I’m too selfish. I need my ‘me’ time. They will be outcasts. I will be an outcast. They’ll hate me. They’ll have no friends. I’ll have no friends. I’ll hold them back. I’ll hold myself back. I’ll never have a career again.

It’s in those moments I have to go back to the Lord for truth.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline,” 2 Timothy 2:10.

“Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.

I believe God has prepared me for this time in my life. I’m certain it’s no coincidence that many of the women I interact with are homeschooling moms, whom I consider myself quite blessed to know. The safety net of this group is such a comfort.

For so long, I thought that in order to be who God created me to be, I needed to look ‘out there.’ I needed to achieve, do, be it all.

But what He has shown me in recent years is that I was overlooking a very important detail. My home is my primary mission field. He’s gifted me in many ways and given me many passions. But first and foremost, He’s given me this family. It’s my job to equip these kids to do His work.

So I will.

Here goes..everything.

I may not know what I’m doing, but God does. And that’s enough for me.

Proverbs 22:6 ‘Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

About Melissa Smith

www.backyardmissionary.net

Discussion

7 thoughts on “Homeschooling as a mission – I have no idea what I’m doing

  1. Melissa, I hear your fear and doubt! But we both know that God who is bigger than all things, has you and your kids in His capable hands. Bless you as you set out.

    K

    Posted by krekker | January 6, 2012, 3:58 pm
  2. Sounds like you are making a great decision, and I applaud you casting out fear. Stay strong! I know you will!

    Posted by westernwoman | January 6, 2012, 8:48 pm
  3. Sounds like an adventure! We had kids in the public school for awhile, too. Although it was an overall positive experience, there were things that weren’t perfect, too. It did give me more confidence for schooling our kids. (I knew I wouldn’t be perfect, but neither is any other system of education.)

    There many types of curriculum available. We use Sonlight, which I have been very happy with.

    Posted by Anna | January 8, 2012, 7:43 am
  4. I remember thinking the same things…and now have a sophomore in highschool! No worries! I absolutely LOVE homeschooling my kids – notice I didn’t say it was easy…but few things worth the huge benefits Homeschooling provides are easy. The best advice I ever received was from a friend of mine when I called her in tears one day, explained why I wasn’t cut out to homeschool…she responded, “Nina, you don’t have a homeschooling problem, you have a discipline problem! Sure, you can put the kid on a bus, but then you’ll be dealing with his homework, doing the same thing you are now, AND trying to make dinner! :)” So I stuck it out. And I’m glad. I KNOW my kids. We talk about everything. Literally. And we learn together. And we do PEP for highschool, and I just manage the homework – http://www.PEP1.org is awesome! 🙂

    Good for you!

    I love Sonlight, Abeka, and we do coops! 🙂

    Nina

    Posted by Nina Roesner | January 10, 2012, 5:18 pm

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