About two years ago, God placed it on my heart that I needed to start homeschooling my kids.
I took it off my heart and placed it on a shelf, explaining to God that I was going to need Him to show me FOR SURE that it was what He wanted me to do.
So He did.
And in September 2017, we began an incredibly rocky homeschool journey.
And now that our first year has ended, I can safely say that I still hate homeschooling.
I only committed to one year, so I could enroll them in the FABULOUS public schools in our town and be free of this burden.
But, I’ve already bought the curriculum for next year.
See, the fact that I hate homeschooling doesn’t mean that it’s bad for my kids.
In fact, despite the trial by fire sort of year we’ve had, they have learned so much.
And this isn’t just a humble brag about how I’m a great teacher.
Yes, I have a Master’s Degree in Teaching and taught public school for six years.
Yes, I was awesome at it.
That brings me to the first reason why I hate homeschooling.
I hate homeschooling because I miss the point.
The point of my job in public education was clear. I taught the students foundational rules and skills for mastery of language arts. My job as a homeschooling mom is different.
I teach my kids every subject. Which I mess up so many times during the day. Like forgetting that 6×7=42. But, it’s bigger than that.
I forget my purpose and calling in homeschooling them.
I get so wrapped up in the in the tangible – completed worksheets, memorized facts, passing tests – that I forget the intangible.
I forget that my calling is to nurture their hearts. To make sure that they love God and love others.
That’s why God started us on this journey.
Sadly, there’s no worksheet for that.
It’s something that I have to model.
DAY AFTER DAY.
I know that my kids are looking to me as an example of how Christians really live. At home. Behind closed doors. When things are bad and there doesn’t seem to be a way out. When people you love are dying. When being in vocational ministry sucks.
And I’m so imperfect.
I get it wrong so often, it hurts.
But when I get it right, it’s amazing.
Last year, my kids and I memorized twenty Bible verses. Which basically quadrupled the number of Bible verses I knew at 33 years old.
We learned sign language to some of their favorite Christian songs because my oldest took an interest in ASL.
So now we are that weird family on the front row singing and signing the worship music on Sundays.
We completed 36 family service projects.
We did a morning devotional three out of five mornings each week.
I know that there are families that do public school AND all of the things that I just said, and I am truly in awe of them.
If you’re one of them, please tell me in the comments and then send me an email explaining how you do it. For real.
Because when my kids were in public school, we spent our weekdays in survival mode and our weekends just catching up.
I hate homeschooling because of my need for solitude.
The constant presence of my kids seeing all my flaws is a big reason I hate homeschooling, but it isn’t the only reason.
Just being with my own kids 24 hours a day is exhausting.
I miss the quiet of when they were in school and the babies took naps.
There is no quiet now.
And I am a person who craves quiet. So I’m learning to adjust.
I also want to do things without four kids.
I want to roam around Target sipping Starbucks listening to audiobooks and perusing the clearance racks for stuff I definitely don’t need but kind of want to have.
And that whole scenario is impossible when driving one of those double seated expansion shopping carts.
I hate homeschooling because it takes place in my home.
And it’s messy.
So messy. And not from fun craft projects because I’m not a fun mom.
It’s just messy from four kids.
And I’m sure there are moms out there who are able to handle the chaotic mess better than me.
If you’re one of them, please share your secrets in the comments. We can all benefit from mess wrangling tips.
My current routine is to start the diffuser with Stress Away, blast some Lauren Daigle, and try to clean while not letting housekeeping steal my joy.
But all my reasons for hating homeschooling are selfish.
I seriously doubt any of the early church wanted to be martyrs.
So, as long as I am certain that I am supposed to homeschool my kids, I will put my own desires for solitude, quiet, and clean to the side in favor of following Christ’s example of sacrifice.
Because it is a sacrifice to homeschool them.
But I am sure that in this season of life, this is one of the sacrifices God has called me to make.
I would never try to convince someone else to homeschool, although I do often try to convince God to let me stop homeschooling.
I would like to convince you of one thing.
Whether you homeschool, private school, public school, or unschool, remember that you are your children’s most important teacher.
God has placed your children to learn by your example even when you need space, to learn by your words even when they are lost in the chaos of a loud house, and to learn from your grace even when your life is cluttered.
My prayer for you is that you not just accept this calling, but embrace it. Even though you may want to convince God that someone else would do it better, or you just need a break.
God made the right choice when He chose you.