This last homeschool year was a real turning point for me. Everything changed.
I was a very focused teacher. I had a plan. I had all the best curriculum. I had goals for what I wanted my children to achieve for at least the next 3 years. It all sounded really good but in the end we were all miserable when it came to school. My lofty goals were far beyond necessary it turned out and were actually a hindrance to learning. So, while there was nothing wrong with the curriculum in and of itself my approach was all wrong.
I left no opportunity for the plan of God in my day. I left no room for His input. I was going to force that round peg into the square hole and I wasn’t going to bother asking the Lord if maybe He had other plans. I went through the majority of the entire school year before I hit the brick wall I needed. The Lord had started working in my misery sometime around February and I backed off quite a bit from the schedule I had been keeping. Everyday was a struggle and I hated school and so did the kids. I didn’t know at the time that the Lord had plans to set me free from the bondage of fear and insecurity I was living in when it came to homeschool. Our family took an extra trip and went to the Oregon Bible Conference this year too. Our church puts on Bible Conferences around the country so that all the people who listen through the Internet get a chance to have face to face teaching with their Pastor Teacher and have fellowship with each other. While there, all this stuff about school inevitably came spilling out to my very wise and doctrinally minded friends. One of which had homeschooled her son for something like 8 years and he is now grown and the other who has taught school for many years. I started by asking questions not wanting anyone to know how bad things really were for us in regards to school. I was shocked to find that my friend who had homeschooled had not followed any kind of schedule like mine. I couldn’t wrap my head around how this could have worked out for her. Her son is very smart, has a really good job and went to college etc. This bugged me for a while and the next time we had a chance to talk I told them all about my schedule and plans and frankly they were appalled. They quickly started to set me strait and didn’t pull any punches. They managed to get right down to the root of my motivations in teaching. These are such doctrinal ladies and the word of God is like that. When you use it as a rational for living, it cuts right to the quick and through all the BS of human thinking. In about 2 hours I could see all the lies I was holding on to and the arrogance of my plans. I had decided that since I never went to college I was badly educated and I was determined to get all that I had missed through teaching my kids. I wasn’t really interested in their education as much as I was interested in mine. I wanted to have a little pride when it came to how smart my kids are and all I had done to achieve that. I was also terrified of failing. I had been so insecure about whether or not I could successfully homeschool I had turned curriculum and schedule into an idol.
Here is the beauty of God’s plan, I rebounded. I confessed my sins to God the Father and that was that. No guilt, no regret. I was free and I could hardly believe what the Lord was showing me. He wanted me to stop having a plan. What! No Plan!! I found that instead of being scared I felt exhilarated. I only had to live one homeschool day at a time. He would do the rest. He is the one with the plan. I’m supposed to relax and let Him show me moment by moment what’s next. I could let go of my curriculum. I could use it if I wanted but I wasn’t going to be a slave to it anymore. I also realized that I am not badly educated. I am bright and able to learn anything I need to know. It is a sin to always think less of yourself like that.
Since then we have done less and learned more. Who would have thought. With God things are often backwards. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. I still have a penchant for getting excited about curriculum and ideas and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that but I do have to be careful not to turn it into an idol or a law that I have to follow. We can take what we want from it and leave the rest. Anything can be learned later. Some things are better learned later anyway. I’m sure I have many more pits to fall into but this was definitely a growing experience.