Bringing my daughter to college has changed everything in so many ways. First, our daily life has changed. The whole family dynamic has changed. It is different. And hard sometimes. But oh, so good too. She is where God has led her to be and we are excited about that! (that makes the hard times easier to handle.)
But something else changed that I didn’t expect. My perspective on this whole homeschooling journey. Well, there are some regrets-or shall I say, lessons learned. Nothing huge, but things I realize I could have done differently. That’s always the case with the firstborn in anything I am sure…you learn from your mistakes.
But, my perspective on what truly mattered has really shifted. I look at my boys that I am schooling now and realize, these truly are the greatest years. And I want to live out this calling with joy instead of fear that crippled me many times early on. I want to keep it simple more than ever because I don’t want to be distracted. Time is short…why waste it on things that don’t matter?
I think fear is why I got caught up in so much of the “homeschool stuff” over the years. Yes, fear. Instead of faith.
Homeschooling moms…I know it seems overwhelming and you want to do it all. You want to keep up with what everyone is doing. You want to succeed. You want the best for your kids. You feel the responsibility of educating your child.
I get it. I truly get it.
But looking back in the rearview mirror, it is like everything came into focus.
The time spent around the table, on the couch, on the porch…in the yard…it mattered.
The time spent worrying over all the little details. Did not.
The time we spent together…our inside jokes, our fun moments…and even our arguments and hard times…it all mattered. It was shaping our relationship.
The time spent shopping for school room decor, or researching methods…not so much.
We learned together, and ultimately we raised a young woman…we didn’t just build a transcript.
Life is about so much more than academics.
She ended up learning math, and science, and history…but most importantly she learned about life.
I see homeschool mamas chasing after so many things- the right curriculum, the right plans, the right stuff…
And I want to tell them…
Stop. God called you to this journey and He already knows what you need to walk through it and do it well.
God called you to this journey and He already knows what your kids need.
So why are you looking everywhere else?
In the end, so much of the stuff I stressed over is just a memory now. It seemed SO so big at the moment. But now…I get it.
The year of the workboxes. Oh, finding just “the right” plastic little boxes and the right cards to insert. That was the homeschooling trend of the time, I suppose.
Or the year I wanted to make sure our little office was transformed into a proper schoolroom. It just had to be the “right atmosphere…” Otherwise, how would they learn? (Ha!)
The right planner. The right system. The discipline chart. The chore chart. The meal plan. The hacks everyone said would make my life easier. You name it. I chased it.
In the end, they seemed to complicate things more. I relied on all these things. Expecting them to make me successful. And if I wasn’t, then on to the next one…Always a new trend to follow. Always a new thing to research.
And all along, my kids’ hearts and my own heart were needing tending to most.
I have talked over the years about the homeschoolers of years ago…how they didn’t have ALL the STUFF we have today and they did just fine. Well, I know now more than ever how much I want to be like them! Not relying on stuff, but on God. Keeping it simple. Focusing on my kids. Getting off the screens (that just make me feel so inadequate anyway) and stop searching for answers there, and start searching for answers in the Word.
They say your babies don’t keep. Well, neither do your teens. In my mind, I just hadn’t really realized that. But when your daughter starts a new life two hours away…no matter how good of a life it is, that is just HARD. You are faced with the fact that those childhood years are done. They are over. It doesn’t go forever.
But they were the foundation for what has built her into who she is now. And thankfully we built mostly the right things…even though we may have fussed over things that we didn’t need to at times.
So I am telling all the homeschool mamas today…your babies don’t keep. Your teens don’t keep. Picture yourself here like me someday, when it’s all done…and ask yourself…is what I’m focusing on right now really going to matter in the end?
I want to tell every homeschool mom reading this…yes, the transcript is important. Yes, the curriculum is important. But truly, what matters is a mom that points them to Jesus. Not to the things of this world.
I am thankful I learned some of these lessons along the way. Some were painful lessons, but I am thankful that I tried to keep it simple. And to my surprise, it seems there is still room to simplify even more.
I recently started a Personalized Homeschool Consulting and Mentorship Program for these very reasons. How I wish early on I had someone to walk alongside me, that was seasoned, and could have gently told me…”Keep your eyes on Jesus.” or someone to say, “Stop looking for the perfect curriculum. You’ve got one that works. Look at your kids instead.”
I have just started appointments and I am so thrilled to be able to do this for the homeschooling community. If you are interested in my consulting or mentorship click here or email me any time! firstname.lastname@example.org
This journey is such a blessing. It doesn’t have to be filled with fear when walked in faith…
Babies don’t keep. Teens don’t keep. But thankfully, by the Lord’s grace they grow into adults you will adore and be blessed by each day.