Dear Young Mom of Many,

You said in your letter that you were needing reassurance. You said that you were needing someone to tell you that the gut feeling you had about homeschooling was “ok” and that you weren’t endangering your children’s minds by not doing all the books and the workbooks and the worksheets and the and the and the…….

I don’t know that I’m really the person you are wanting to ask, but I’ll give you my thoughts none the less. (You DID ask. You may learn to not do that around me.) πŸ˜‰

I spent YEARS doing all the hoops with our homeschooling. We even did one program where I spent 20 (!!!) hrs a week in preparation alone. It nearly killed our love of learning… and me. It wasn’t worth it. (I still love the program, but it just didn’t work for our family.)

In His kindness, the Lord reached down and began to open the eyes of my understanding. I began to ask questions of Father about the value of public school. I had this sense that if a mom is going to educate her children in the same way as the public schools, that perhaps it’s best to put them into a school format. (Perhaps not public, but rather private or parochial…)

The reason I feel this way is that the public schools have spent years learning how to perfect what they do. If we, as moms, simply want to mimic what the schools are doing, only doing it at home, then it would seem that the public/private format would serve us better.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I LOVE homeschooling. We made the decision to homeschool with our eyes WIDE open. Before we began, we had to decide if we were willing to follow this to the end. (As in, if it became a source of persecution, were we committed to continuing, even unto the point of incarceration?) Once we made this decision, we jumped into it with open arms and great passion. AND we did it just like the public school does.

We invested in books, notebooks, workbooks, etc, etc, etc. We couldn’t find that… rhythm for homeschooling. We kept battling against it. After much prayer, I began to see that the system really is best for teaching our children, if we’re doing it the way the system does. If it looks like a duck and smells like a duck and quacks like a duck, it will do better sitting in a pond. IF however, we want it to do something other than look, smell and quack like all the other ducks, home is a wonderful place to accomplish that.

At that point, the Lord transformed our homeschool and we found our rhythm. We continue to grow in that each and every year. Our time together is getting richer and more personalized with each day. Our delight in schooling together does as well.

So dear Mom, you are right. You can’t keep up with everything you listed – that is the way of the school system. I will pray that the Lord will show you what you are to do. Perhaps you need to consider a private/Christian school….if not, then perhaps you need to leave some of Egypt behind – come out into the wilderness. I don’t always like the sand between my teeth, but I love that I am following Father and not the system.

(This letter is in response to a couple emails I received. I am helping to prepare dinner and directing a household full of craziness, so this may end up making no sense. PLEASE, I not only welcome, I INVITE discussion of this. AND don’t feel you aren’t able to discuss this just because you don’t homeschool.)

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Comments
8 Responses to “Dear Young Mom of Many,”
  1. Thank you for answering my questions, Dawn. πŸ™‚

    (I miss you! 😦 )

    Holly

  2. javadawn says:

    You BEAN!! πŸ˜€ It wasn’t YOUR email I was answering. πŸ˜† (I miss you too – pray for me this week. It’s been wild and hairy!! Jeff has had appointments day and night all week long. We left here at 4 yesterday and got home after 10 pm. Today we left at 2 and got home around 5…only to leave again before 6, get home for 25 min and leave again. THEN he had business calls that started at 8 and they just ended at 10. I want ALL that Father has for us (I DO, I DO, I DO!!!) – I just want to be able to keep up with it. πŸ˜† How about you guys??)

  3. ReneeFL says:

    I am an “old” mom of many, homeschooling for 8+ years, and I still struggle with this. Just when I think I am on the right page, someone starts a new book. I am basically on my own (with the Lord as my husband) in seeking to know the manner of homeschool God wants us to have. I am totally convinced He wants me home with my children, although I am often at a loss of the “how” to manage this. Workbooks are easy and yet they often miss the mark of where I imagine God wants us. We have had a wonderful start to our school year discussing the Middle Ages and seeing God’s hand in history and thus in our future. We are learning to discern right and wrong and to just plain THINK using a great beginning logic book. BUT I feel the need to “prove” we are getting enough “school” in for those who question our progress — some of them need to know and some just want to confirm we aren’t. They can only see progress by seeing worksheets and math pages and finished textbooks. I definitely am not “following the system” and love the feel of sand between my toes (NOT teeth :)) but am becoming weary in the constant battle of proving myself. I really am not whining — just coveting your prayers. Thanks for your encouraging words — both here and on the TQ site.

  4. Just tag surfed in and wanted to say thank you and I agree! Homeschooling is completely different than classroom schooling. To attempt to copy that at home is to ask for burnout. (Ask me how I know!)

    I, too, sometimes question whether I’m doing it right or whether I should even be homeschooling my children at all. Sometimes I think, “If these children are going to be ruined for life, why not let the ‘professionals’ do it?!” But it is so gratifying to sit down with an almost 7 year old and have him start reading seemingly out of nowhere! How in the world did this child learn to read when I only spent about three hours of his entire life on structured “reading lessons”??

    God cares and He honors our efforts to do things his way. If God is for us, who can be against us?? πŸ™‚

  5. javadawn says:

    Oh Renee, you DID stay out of hiding! πŸ™‚ I’m so proud of you. I know just what you’re talking about. We’ve been homeschooling for 11 yrs now and I still have to stop and tell myself, “Self, KNOCK IT OFF! You know the Lord has shown you a better way.” I struggle with fear of the VERY same things you’re talking about. AND you’re right – workbooks ARE easy and when you have a few children at your feet, the temptation to throw workbooks at them like raw meat to the lions is GREAT! (does this sound like experience?? :lol:) AND I think that there is a season for that, it just isn’t the way of life. Don’t ya just love the “vultures” that are hanging around waiting for us to fail, so that they can say, “Yep, I just knew they would.” (URGH!) 😑 I WILL pray for you. I will pray for you to know that your Husband will stand before you. My prayer will be that you will feel His protection about you, in such a way that you finally feel the freedom to school the way you feel He is calling you to!! (I LOVE Mrs Nickelbee’s final comment – If God is for us, who can be against us? INDEED!)

    Btw, what?! You don’t like sand in your teeth, huh? Guess that means you don’t have as big a mouth as I do. πŸ˜† That seems to be the thing that catches the most of it. πŸ˜‰

    Hello Mrs Nickelbee, it’s a pleasure to have you join us. I hope you’ll wander back in – I will eagerly be wandering over to your site, as well. πŸ™‚ My 7 yr old learned to read over Christmas vacation, last year. Her older sister came and said, “Mom, I think she’s ready to learn, I know we’re taking a break from school, but can I teach her to read?” I said, “Oh sure.” (You hear the lack of belief here?!!) Forty minutes later, she comes into the room and said, “We’re done.” “Ok” says the clueless mom. πŸ™‚ In comes the 6 yr old and she climbs onto the dryer and says “How about I read to you while you’re doing laundry stuff?” I was speechless. (An event, I assure you.) Last week, I came into the room where she was reading and said, “Whatcha readin’ Toots?” “Hamlet. This is really a sad story Mom.” πŸ˜† My kids almost all read Shakespeare for fun. Now, will someone else’s kids do that? Probably not – not because my kids are better than anyone else’s, but they are OUR kids. We’re theatre fanatics. If they want to keep up in the conversation, they HAVE to read Shakespeare. πŸ™‚ (It would also help any eavesdroppers as well. Otherwise, they might be a little confused when someone is told to stop acting like Bottom.) πŸ˜‰

  6. Mrs. Nehemiah says:

    Isn’t it funny though, how after you’ve (I’ve) finally let go of text bookishness and turned toward discussion led, charlotte mason-y “unschoolishness” (and had an awesome couple of years with it)God steps in (again) and says “Now I want you to use this text/programme” What!?? and give up my perfect school day??? yet here I’ve turned from one Idol to another (an idle idol). and God is turning me back to himself, reminding me whose children they are, and who gets to decide on curriculum, method, and timing. Anytime I start following the method instead of my Lord I am out of his will.
    Mrs Nehemiah

  7. javadawn says:

    Mrs N, OH YEAH. Been there, done that. Isn’t it amazing how He has time to orchestrate EACH of our individual lives?

  8. Sarah says:

    What a great post and wonderful discussion!
    Being so new to homeschooling (umm… we’re up to an even month, I believe), everything feels possible, everything feels exciting, and everything feels potentially intimidating. But a very dear friend of mine reminded me of something that sustains our schooling — “Why on earth would God call you to what you can already do? He didn’t call Peter to the side of the rocking boat, He called him out of it. If His strength is really made perfect in your weakness, then how strong are you willing to admit?”
    And so, we just have to laugh and love, day by day to His rhythm and not mine.

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