Homeschooling isn't About You
Some dreamed of the day they would homeschool their kids and some, like me, fell into it and never wanted to look back. Either way, there comes a point when sit down to make our plans for the year. We spend hours picking out the perfect curriculum and organizing the perfect schedule to fit our perfect homeschool. We would never admit it but while rational thought tells us nothing is perfect out secret dreams are of a perfect homeschool year. We don't shoot for the moon because missing means landing on the stars; we shoot for the moon expecting to land smack dab on the moon.
Then it happens.
The point when landing on the stars would be preferable over burning through the atmosphere and landing at the bottom of the ocean. Our day failed. Our plans failed. We failed.
But we didn't fail for the reason we think. We didn't fail because we had a bad plan. We didn't fail because we have bad kids. We didn't fail because we are bad homeschooling moms. We failed to make our homeschooling an offering. We failed to give ourselves and our kids grace. We failed to focus on the purpose we homeschool to begin with.
Homeschooling can easily become a source of pride for the homeschool teacher. The perception of a successful homeschool mom is akin to superhero status. Our kids express themselves intelligently, creatively, and always with proper manners. We hear, "You amaze me. I could never do that!" or "Please help me, I need to learn the homeschool ropes." We want for the perception to somehow morph into truth. We want the gold medal. We want to stand back and say, "I raised that child...you know the one that just cured cancer."
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. ~Proverbs 16:18
Once plummeted to the ground there is no where left to go but up, and since up would be too easy, we stay there awhile. We nurse our pride and seek out affirmation. Once our pride is healthy enough we find those that will tell us we are amazing homeschooling moms. Pride feels better and awaits the next fall.
Are you telling me there are no hard days?
No, I am not. As with any of life's endeavors trials follow. Managing a homeschool day comes with many challenges. We love our children and desire to provide them the best homeschooling has to offer. The successes and struggles of our children are felt within our bones. Homeschooling resides in our hearts.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?~Jeremiah 17:9
The other day my husband endured 20 minutes of me telling him things like how my son scored not only above average but Olympic gold medal above average on the standardized tests and I didn't even teach to the test nor did I know what was on it. I explained how I managed my homeschool through a perfect balance of independent thought and teacher interaction. I managed to pry an essay out of a child who hated to write. I managed to get my dyslexic child to read simple sentences. I managed to train up a daughter who is now #1 in her high school class and rocking the world of robotics. Look at what I did! Who can tell me homeschooling is not more effective than your systems; moreover systems I refuse to bow down to. While schools keep grades, I keep my kids challenged and hitting goals. No child of mine gets out of class before mastery. I expressed my frustration that two of my children seemed to respond to curriculum that hardly required my amazing teaching skills and I wasn't having it. That is simply cheating, right?
Oh yes, when I get fired up, I get fired up. (And perhaps some of that is riddled with hindsight as I would never say I was amazing...just making sure we are on the same page here...I am not that insane.)
When my speech, pitch, self love, whatever you want to call it, was finally over I expected praise perhaps even an invitation to dinner out. I looked at him expecting him to build me a bigger soapbox. After all, I proved that homeschooling can be successful. Get this woman a speaking engagement! He looked at me puzzled and simply said, "This isn't about you."
I plummeted and broke my pride.
He asked me my purpose in homeschooling. He reminded me that my love for teaching the individual did not only apply to those individuals who respond to how I like to teach. He instructed me to teach for their profit, moreover so they can live for Christ. Homeschooling is not about proving homeschooling works as that is mere distraction from its purpose. It wasn't just about successes but the struggles. A child didn't need to amaze crowds of millions with intellect to prove I was doing my duty as his mom and teacher.
I stood and dusted off the pieces of pride. Vowing to leave them there, I felt immense pressure lift from my shoulders. The measure of my success as a homeschooling mom was not in direct correlation to how many grades levels ahead my child was in school. I could dismantle my soapbox. I had nothing to prove to another homeschooler, anti-homeschooler, or school system on the merits of what I felt convicted to do.