The summer before my son started kindergarten I was talking to another mom at church with a son the same age. When she found out I had decided to homeschool, she said something to the effect of, “You’re so brave.”
I didn’t feel brave.
But she wanted to know where I got the confidence to homeschool.
I didn’t have a perfect answer for her. It came slowly. It seemed like everywhere I turned when my son was between the ages of one and four, I found another reason to homeschool. The reasons came more frequently as he got older. By the time he was four and half, I was firm. I had prayed. We were homeschooling.
Originally, I didn’t recognize all those reasons as being from God.
Now I do. I know that homeschooling is right for us.
I can hear you out there, Mama, you’re wondering where that confidence came from. I know because I have seen it in so many mothers’ eyes when I talk to them about my decision to homeschool.
It’s something that so many moms consider, yet the worries of the world settle in and fog their hearts. Is that you? Listen up.
The decision to homeschool was just the beginning of my confidence. I’m going to tell you what happened next in hopes that it will help you have the faith to consider what is best for your kids. It might not be homeschool. I do not for one minute think that it is for everybody. BUT, I hope that every mom has confidence to take charge of her children’s education. (And Dad’s should be involved, too, obviously, but Moms are the primary teachers, and they shouldn’t be afraid to take that role.)
I was firm in my decision to homeschool, but I had no idea what I was doing. I would talk to people and realize I didn’t have anything figured out. It was then that I had to really trust God. He guided me through.
Friends asked what curriculum I was using. (We didn’t have one.) Family members asked what our plans were for the upcoming year. (School was starting soon, and my plan was more of an idea.) A fellow homeschooling mom shared her plans and ideas. (She had it all together!) It was hard. I was overwhelmed. I was confused. I learned that learning really does come line upon line.
I would try things out: phonics?–no the Holy Ghost whispered; scriptures?–yes. Phew. But still, I didn’t have something that felt like a plan. It was more of a weekly supplication with God. I wanted the big picture. Where are we going with this? I would ask. What about the state criteria?
I found small helpful things here and there: research saying that later readers did just as well as early readers; talks with my dad-whose personality is close to my son’s-convinced me too much school at a young age wouldn’t work for us.
I had a bunch of scattered puzzle pieces, but I wasn’t sure how to put them all together and form a person who was ready to fulfill what he had come to earth to do. I wasn’t sure how I would cultivate my son’s gifts and help him gain the education he needed to fulfill God’s plan for him. I didn’t even have an inkling of what God’s plan for him was! (I’m still not sure on that one.)
One day I had the idea to check a friend’s facebook page. I knew she had some similar ideas to mine. That’s where I discovered TJEd. It was meant for us. I got a glimpse of the puzzle put together. It was beautiful. The main idea behind TJEd is allowing each person to educate themselves in a way that allows them to discover their inner genius. It was exactly what I was looking for, exactly what God had been telling me. (That’s not to say that I think TJEd is right for everyone.)
But I still had questions. God answered those too. He’s still answering my questions.
As I’ve worked to put the pieces of TJEd together in our home, I can see how the puzzle will come together. I still don’t know what the full picture is, but I can see it working for us.
But the most important thing, is I can see God working with us. He is leading me. I have been led by him to where we are, and that is where my confidence comes from. God is leading us. He will not lead us astray. If homeschool is right for you, He will lead you, too. He will lead you to whatever philosophy will work for your family. If your kids need something entirely different, He will lead you to it. Trust Him.
I am so sad when I talk to moms who don’t feel confident enough to do what is best for their kids educationally. That is the world talking. Moms, you are your children’s primary teacher, the person most entitled to revelation for them. Trust that revelation. Trust God. He will lead you to do what is best for them. It will be beautiful, just like our growing puzzle.