School is technically out for the summer or at least very close, but for most of you home educating moms it’s never really over, now is it? We all have those few straggler subjects, doesn’t everyone at least have math to do all summer?? And even when we are “done” we still have to plan for the upcoming year.
From an academic standpoint, I don’t feel like we have had a phenomenal year. But does any home educating mom ever feel that way? When I look back on what we accomplished or didn’t accomplish, I am reminded that the Lord directs my ship. He will finish the work that we started this year. I know we grew in a lot of areas both academic and experiential.
I recently read a book called Strengths Finder 2.0, in hopes of finding out where my strengths lie. I often struggle to see what I am talented in and find myself in a comparison game with other moms. I look at all of these great projects that other moms are doing. Their homeschool looks so fun at least on the outside, but mom, I’ve discovered something about that perceived outward appearance.
Things aren’t alway what they seem. It’s earth shattering I know. Pinterest and Facebook don’t always tell the truth. On a high level I know this, but deep down I find myself comparing and striving to be like “that” mom. I’ve had to embrace the fact that I’m not “that” mom.
I am not good at coming up with amazing art projects, I HATE science experiments, and my children do not sit still at cute little desks hanging on every nugget of wisdom that I am ready to impart. I live in a loud and crazy house. I have learned to embrace that loudness. I have learned to become content with the crazy.
Growing up I loved music, I became very proficient in several instruments. Music has impacted my life significantly. But guess what? My kids have no idea how to play any instrument. I have spent so much time being “that” mom that I neglected to impart my legacy and love for music to my children. That failure my friends is a travesty.
My goal this next year it to be the “mom” that I am. Giving myself the freedom to shut out all of the voices and listen to the most important voice, God’s.
Another lesson I learned from the Strengths Finder book, and something that I have sadly seen in our educational system, the fact that we spend so much time majoring on the things our students struggle in and rarely promoting the things at which they excel.
Maybe that’s why I struggle to see my strengths. When a child struggles in math what do we do? We sit for hours and hours struggling through math. What message are we sending that child? That they are a failure, stupid, or incompetent. That math is so important that we are going to torture you day after day and frustrate you when maybe just maybe you just aren’t good at math. It isn’t your thing. What’s the likelihood of that child going into a math profession? Does it matter at the end of the day?
Trust me, mom, I’ve had that “lazy” learner. I’ve also had the struggling student that literally couldn’t get it, and we quit for a year and came back the next. I’m not saying just throw out every subject that a child struggles with, but what I am saying is take a hard look and evaluate is it worth it? Do they need it? Are you reaching for a world’s standard that truly doesn’t matter?
Maybe you will come to the conclusion that it does, but are you willing to throw out your expectations and fears to let them not do that particular subject if it doesn’t? Are you prepared to let them spend the time doing something that they love?
I’ve been wrestling with this all year. I have come to the conclusion that I’m fearful. Fearful to let go of what the world says is a well-rounded education. Fearful that my kids won’t turn out just what the world would say is successful. At the core, I’ve been educating out of fear and not truly listening to what the Lord has been calling my family to do. I’ve been stuck in a comparison of those around me.
Every child is different; I see that in my house. So many personalities and bends, yet we want to educate them all identically. Does this make sense?
I started my home educating career with the intentions of being different from the public education system, but I have lost sight of those goals.
This next year will look different for our family. I don’t even know yet what it will look like, but I am leaning on the Lord to show me because I know that he knows better than me.
What does this look like practically? I’ve been praying about it. I’ve enlisted the help of my husband in these decisions, and our Lord is so good because he has put the same burden on my husband’s heart. Just another confirmation that we are going in the right direction.
What about you mom, are you listening?
Surrender. The Lord is doing the work.
by Tom Rath (Author)
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