This year we began our 9th year of homeschooling. Saying it aloud sounds so strange. It seems like just yesterday I started on this new, exciting journey. I often think of what I would tell the younger me, the homeschool rookie, the mom who was afraid she was going to destroy her child’s life if he couldn’t diagram a sentence by the age of 5… Oh momma, there is so much I wish I could tell you.
Fast forward nine years ahead and so much has changed! Our lives have shifted and we have entered into yet another season of life. Our six children are growing with leaps and bounds ( as are my thighs and the number of grey hairs on my head, hehe ). Over the years, I have used a variety of curriculums and have experimented with different homeschooling methods. (That’s another blog) I’ve spent more money that I care to admit on curriculums and learning resources that we have ended up hating altogether or they just didn’t work for us. I’ve been a participant on the comparison game show. You know, the one where you question your choices and abilities and begin to question whether you can actually do this whole ” homeschool mom” thing. The one where you sit and ugly cry because Little Suzy is the next child prodigy and your child just ate the end off of a glue stick…yeah, that game. WORST GAME EVER! I have no desire to ever participate in that game again. I’ve felt like giving up more often than not. I have let others thoughts, opinions, and negativity lead me down the road of questioning the calling God placed on my heart, but I quickly came to realize that what others thought didn’t really matter to me after all. ( It took a little of time though) I know what God has called me to do and I alone will have to answer for my obedience to His calling. No one else…just me.
I in NO way am claiming to be a homeschool mom veteran who has it all figured out with all of the answers resting at my fingertips. I make mistakes every day…lots of them, but I am choosing to learn from them. I’m not ashamed of my shortcomings or failures. They are helping me to grow. All of these bumps in the road over the last nine years…and I know there are plenty more awaiting me…have helped to shape me. These bumps have actually been blessings. These bumps have been opportunities that God has given me to choose Him and His ways.
My intro became a little longer than originally intended (oops…that tends to happen ), but I said all of that to say this…Momma, if God has placed a calling on your heart to homeschool your children, trust that He will equip you to do it. Sure, there are going to be some hard days, but there are also going to be some amazing days. There are going to be long days of even longer division that leave you ready to run for the hills, but there are going to be some AWESOME ” I get it” days. Days of seeing their little eyes light up when they finally understand the concepts behind what you have been teaching. Days of listening to your once struggling reader laugh as he fluently reads through his chapter book. Days of gathering hands to pray as a family before lessons begin for the day. Making memories that will last a lifetime with your children…that’s the important stuff.
So, when those tough days do come, what do you do? You remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day. You have a fresh start, and a new beginning waiting for you. You try again! You keep going! You keep pressing into His Word, seeking Him with your whole heart. You remind yourself that if He has called you to it, He’s going to help you do it!
During a conversation with some of our friends at church, it came up in conversation about whether we had a name for our homeschool. Honestly, it’s not really something that I had put a lot of time or thought into before. This conversation got my little wheels turning and I began pondering on the idea of “naming” our homeschool. After tossing around several ideas, I kept coming back to the same one…”Higher Than I Homeschool”. This name is derived from one of my favorite Bible verses…one of my go-to’s. PSALM 61:2 “…when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” I just LOVE this verse! Countless times I have recited this scripture to help calm my heart and mind, and to usher peace into the storm whirling around me.
This name helps to remind me, especially on those really difficult days, the ones that I find myself feeling so overwhelmed and discouraged, that I have to lean not on myself, but on HIM! In a short answer, no momma, we can’t do it all. We ourselves can not successfully juggle every minute detail in our life to sheer perfection…not possible, BUT we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us! He is our rock and our refuge, and He is going to equip and guide us through this busy, messy, loud, crazy, and chaotic season of our lives.
Give yourself some grace momma. No, you’re not perfect, but in the eyes of your children, YOU ARE! God has blessed us with an amazing opportunity to shape little hearts into big lives. We have to strive to make every day count with our babies. The days are long, but the years are so short. Embrace your struggles today momma and know that God is molding and shaping you into what He wants you to become. As much as we are trying to teach TO our children, God is teaching us much more THROUGH our children.
I hope my children will one day look back and remember just how loved and cherished they were. I hope that they will remember a mother who shared her heart with her children and taught them to pray. I hope they will remember where they need to go and who they need to lean on when the storms of life come their way… our Rock, our Deliverer, our Comforter, The Lifter of our Heads, The One that is Higher than I…than all of us…our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.