I finished up this last school year with quite a bit of doubt and frustration. Between helping my tween work through an overwhelming amount of mood swings and emotions that made accomplishing any academics difficult for her, to having a exploring toddler who was effectively causing chaos in our Morning Time together, I was ready to throw in the towel. How in the world would we get anything done with this little boy who loves being free to explore the world? And yes, that means he has no fear at all!
I knew it was time to hit the refresh button. While reading, Pam Barnhill’s Plan Your Year, I realized I really needed to revamp and refocus on the mission of our homeschool. “Why are we doing this again?” Was the question I needed to re-evaluate and pray through. I know what God has called us to, He will supply the grace and help to accomplish. For “the real challenge is recognizing that homeschooling is a call from God and then fully embracing His call to do it,” as Jamie Erickson shares in her new book, Homeschool Bravely, which is a powerful little book full of encouragement and wisdom to help squash doubt, trust God, and teach your child with confidence.
God didn’t call you to homeschooling because you could handle it. He called you because He could handle it. - Jamie Erickson
Homeschooling is a powerful opportunity to trust God. It is a day by day call to trust not in our own strength and wisdom, but to daily bow the knee before the Greatest Teacher, and ask Him to gather and teach our young through our feeble efforts. For as Isaish 40:11 says, “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”
Scared is just the mask that fear wears to lure a mom into defeat—and defeat never comes from God. Bravery, on the other hand, admits not only who you are, but also who God is. Brave shifts the confidence to God and fully embraces His ability to do it right. God chose you for this task, so don’t question His ability to choose wisely. - Jamie Erickson
Homeschooling is a powerful means of growing in sanctification for me! It’s part of the good work God has called for me to do and grow through. He uses it to prune and refine me as I learn right alongside my children to apply the fruits of the Spirit in my interactions with my children. I continually have to learn to repent when I stumble, believe the gospel, and get back up again by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Here’s a cold, hard reality: sometimes homeschooling is not about your children at all. Sometimes it is about you and what God seeks to do in your life. He wants to use everything about it, even your difficult child, to sand off your rugged edges. It’s easy to assume that home is where your children learn to be more patient, more kind, more mature, more righteous. But don’t forget, home is where you learn to become more too. - Jamie Erickson
So, it was time to remember why I was homeschooling:
I want my children to be surrounded by the truth of Scripture, the reality of God, and a love for His Word in everything we do. God and His Word is the center of our homeschool (Luke 10:27, Deut 6:7). Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
I homeschool in order to focus on cultivating good character and habits in the hearts of my children.
I want my children to have strong sibling relationships by learning, playing, working, and exploring together.
I want my children to have freedom to explore things that interest them, cultivating a delight directed learning environment, and not limit them to a core standard that the public school system requires.
I want to raise young adults that are others centered, servant-hearted, and globally minded children (Matthew 23:11-12).
When I narrowed it down, God & His Word, Character, Relationships, and Service were the four key cores to why we are homeschooling. Reality struck: Why do I then get so caught up in stressing about the academics? Why do I believe the lie that my children are behind? Do they love Jesus and love to serve others? Yes! Then our homeschool is a success. Are they working hard and persevering through learning challenges? Yes! Then character is being cultivated.
If God has led you to homeschool then you are compelled to walk in faith, not fear. Faith recognizes God is bigger than any challenge life sends, including homeschooling.- Cindy Rollins
God doesn’t want—or expect—you to do homeschool like the elusive Jones family. He didn’t give you the same tools that He gave them, so He doesn’t expect you to build the same thing. You have unique gifts, time, and talents. You have unmatched children with one-of-a-kind interests. - Jamie Erickson
Ultimately, my homeschool is not supposed to look like yours, and yours is not supposed to look like mine. So let’s stop comparing and keep our focus on what Jesus is calling for our own unique families. He is fighting for you and your homeschool. If God is for your homeschool, who can be against it (Romans 8:31)? We are either listening to fear or listening to the Voice of Jesus, and His is the only Voice that really matters. God doesn’t make mistakes. You are called to this, and He always chooses wisely.
He will carry your kids from womb to tomb, and that includes all the parts that come after their education. Their stories belong to God and are covered by the blood of Christ. Homeschooling is not their savior, Christ is. So no matter what trials or temptations come their way someday, if they’ve put their faith in Him, the final line of their story will surely read, “Happily ever after.”
Fear will never lead you well because it speaks in falsehoods and cannot be trusted. Doubt is a bully that will always try to knock you down. But here’s the thing: if you feed your faith, your fears will starve to death. - Jamie Erickson
So be encouraged with me dear sisters. If God has called you to homeschool, read God’s Word, get this book, and cast your concerns at His feet. But do take the time to write out your own mission statement, for it is an excellent centerpiece to help refocus you each time you’re tempted to give up. Making this mission statement also has helped me begin my planning for this next school year, making sure I prioritize what is most important. This temptation will likely circle around again, but I now have truth to fight it with!
Bravery is the courage it takes to say with boldness, “Here is my homeschool, God. Here, too, are my fears, faults, and failures. They’re Yours now to face, fix, and forgive.” - Jamie Erickson