My homeschool filled with grace is not me walking around gracefully schooling my children. My homeschool filled with grace is God's grace. His grace and His promises and His faithfulness is what is going to get me through this journey. Holding to the promise that He who began a good work in me (and my children) will carry it to completion.
The one PERFECT thing in my homeschool is Christ and the one thing that I would NOT change about my homeschool is having a Christ centered homeschool. And some days, that means not doing school at all. Some days it is about showing my children grace and forgiveness. Some days it is more about character building and less about fractions. Is every day like this? No, of course not. I still have academics that I have to get done but I rely on God to show me what is most important each day. I also rely on God to convict me of my sinful ways that so easily trap me and whisper to me that it would be better to watch Netflix. I rely on God to help me recognize when the Enemy is deceiving me and telling me that I can't do this. That I am a failure. That my kids are better off in school. I don't believe everyone should homeschool but I do believe that God has called me to homeschool. And through His strength and power, I am able to make it through the journey as I trust Him to guide me through it. I could not do it without Him. I know that other people do it without Him but I know that I could not.
So here are the top things I have learned in my homeschool journey in the last 4.5 years. And I know that I don't have it all figured it out. And I know I have a lot more to learn.
1. It is not going to look like school. While some people succeed in making their homeschool look like school, I found so much freedom when I freed myself that not only was my homeshool not going to look like school but that it wasn't supposed to look like school. Sometimes it looks all crazy but as long as I don't stress and just let it flows its natural path, the kids and I are quite happy with our system. And amazingly our system is somehow getting them educated. Yea!
2. My role is Mom first, Teacher second. And one of the reasons why it can't look like school is because you can't separate out those roles. I can't start school at 9 AM and have my children call me Mrs. Teacher and expect everything to go well. It won't. Being the mom is going to look different than having a different teacher. But what a tremendous opportunity it is as well to influence them and guide them in their education, life choices, walk with God. The opportunities and therefore the responsibility is huge. But so worth it.
3. My deepest desires for my children have nothing to do with education. I would not even say that I want them to go to college. I would honestly say that I don't have any clear cut aspirations for them after my short time with them. My deepest desires for children are for them to develop their own relationship with Jesus Christ and have their own desire to passionately follow Him. I want them to seek His will for their life. If after all my homeschool endeavors, they come to me and they have prayed about it and they feel like the Lord is leading them to become a garbage man, then they will have my blessing. For our identity is not in the career or the job that we do, our identity is in Christ. And I want my children to be so attuned with Him that they desire to follow where He leads them whether it be college or missions or a garbage man. Would life be easier for them if they went to a great school and got a great job? Maybe. Maybe not. Would it make them more happy? Maybe.. Maybe not. God didn't it call us to a happy easy life with a 6 figure salary. God called us to holiness. And it is my desire that my children pursue that with all their heart.
I take each year at a time but right now, I can say that I am not opposed to the idea of homeschooling them all the way through high school. Could that change? Sure. But I don't really have a desire to put them in school unless some amazing opportunity comes up that I just couldn't pass up. And while we have good schools in our area, none of them are screaming "amazing opportunity" to me right now. But you know what IS an amazing opportunity that I don't want to trade for anything right now... having them right here in my home, teaching them about God's love and how they can become followers of Christ and men after God's own heart. And that is why I love homeschooling and love spending each and every day with them.