Is homeschooling your calling? I certainly believe it is for me. And over the years this has been important. Believing deep in my heart that God called both Gary and I to homeschool our children has been vital to me. I have been homeschooling for over twenty years now. I still have at least five years left, perhaps more. This means that almost half of my life has been poured into homeschooling my five children. It is easy to look back with rose tinted spectacles, and only remember the good. And, on the whole, homeschooling has been an incredible and wonderful adventure.
But not always.
The Hard Times
I dreamt my perfect homeschool into being…and then I got scared. I finally found the courage to follow that dream…and then my beautiful Becca came along…and cried. all. the. time. And whilst she was crying, I became iller and iller until I needed to have surgery. Then, a few weeks later I was diagnosed with invasive malignant melanoma.
That first year of Becca’s life was horrendous.
Yet God made beauty out of ashes.
Our family, which had always been incredibly close, became as one that year. It was us against everything else life hurled our way.
Yet, regardless of how difficult life became, we all turned up every day to home school. Homeschool was like the anchor in our lives. Chaos abounded all around us, but those routines and rhythms we had faithfully shaped into existence over the years held us together. Their comfortable familiarity enveloping us in a hug, encouraging us to simply keep on keeping on.
When Gary and I decided to nudge against the barriers of convention and homeschool, we fully believed we were following God’s plan for our lives. However, we didn’t necessarily know why. When Thomas struggled with talking for the first decade of his life, we thought maybe that was the reason. Or perhaps it was because I battled with so many health issues the first year of Becca’s life. It may even have been because Charlotte became so ill over the span of her teenage years.
I could go on.
I could go on, because so many tricky patches in our lives have been immeasurably easier to cope with because of home schooling.
You see, although each of those troughs in the road of our lives was an unexpected shock, none of it surprised God. At every pothole, in every swerve and when it seemed like the whole world and his wife were overtaking us, God remained single-minded in His calling for our family. God knew and knows everything that has gone, everything that is and everything that will be. In His Goodness, He chooses not to protect us from the tough stuff, instead choosing to stand next to us in the storms of our lives.
God knew we would need homeschooling, and He challenged us to follow these unchartered roads, beckoning us to live our lives to the fullest in His plan.
Is Homeschooling Your Calling?
So I ask again, is homeschooling your calling? I ask because if it is, I want to encourage you to never look back. Keep your eyes fixed on the destination to come, pour yourself into the ministry God has called you to and breathe deeply, knowing that He is capable of immeasurably more than we can ever imagine.
On those days when you feel you simply can not do this homeschool stuff anymore, turn to Him who will give you strength.
During those turbulent teenage years (my favourite times, by the way), when you feel you do not have what is needed to guide your near adult offspring, lean into Him who will give you wisdom.
When your heart breaks as you watch your beloved children struggle, reach out to Him who is in the business of mending broken hearts.
When you wonder where you will find the money for your next meal because you only have one salary coming in and five hungry children to feed, have Faith that He who leads you will also provide for your every need.
Know deep within your soul, that if God called you to homeschool, He will also give you everything you need to live out His plan for your life.
You can do this. You were called by God. And He will not let you fail.
This is the second post in my series about the ins and outs of how we home school. The first post, Our Angelicscalliwags Homeschool, outlines the early years of the children’s lives.