Homeschools are not invincible.
No matter how much we want our homeschool to survive, it takes more than just a desire of our hearts to keep it thriving.
I can speak so clearly on this issue because we are now into our third year of homeschooling and we are only just beginning to move from surviving to thriving.
As I sit here, I can think of three families right off the top of my head whose homeschools have failed. They’ve called it quits, packed it up and sent their kids off to public or private schools. I’m not here to bash any form of education. Each family has to do what works for them and what they feel God has led them to do. However, if God leads you to homeschool, no matter how difficult it may get, we have to keep our trust in Him and know that He will see this good work through to completion.
We have to be aware of how the Enemy works. We have to be on guard and know that Satan wants to see our homeschools fail. He knows that has less of a chance to get at homeschooled children and that makes him furious. He’s a clever one though and he knows just which tricks that will bring a homeschool crashing down.
Here are three main issues that cause your homeschool to fail:
Comparison. This is the single thing that causes the most homeschool fatalities and often times it starts out very innocently. As a new homeschooler, you want to find out all the information you possibly can. You subscribe to as many homeschool blogs as you can find. You connect with all the fellow homeschoolers in your area. You join a local homeschool group or co-op. And it begins. You start noticing little differences in your homeschool. You think these other women have it all together and you’re an unorganized mess. You see their children who can speak five languages and play 12 instruments. You see their preschooler who is reading on a 4th grade level and you then you look at your children and think they aren’t functioning at an appropriate level. You begin to doubt your ability to teach your children and think you are most definitely ruining them. You think you must have misunderstood God when He called you to homeschool and you doubt His faithfulness. But God tells us “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise”- 2 Corinthians 10:12 When you give in to these thoughts, Satan has won and your homeschool will fail.
Fear. You started homeschooling your children out of fear. Fear of the horrors of public school: bullying, school shootings, getting in with the “wrong” crowd, etc. Let me make a confession here, I’m guilty of this. One of the major reasons we decided to homeschool our children was because the local elementary school our daughters would have attended had a 9 year old girl who was pregnant. Not that I thought my child would end up like that child, but I simply didn’t want my children exposed to those ugly realities at such a young age. Thankfully, God has changed my heart and shown me many better reasons to homeschool our daughters. If you homeschool solely for reasons based on fear of the public education system your homeschool will not thrive. Fear is simply one of Satan’s attempts to control your thoughts and it directly contradicts what we know to be true. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Control. You believe that you are in control of your homeschool and you attempt to run it all. You schedule your days to the minute. You have made all of your daily lesson plans for the entire year prior to the first day of class. You refuse to get off track, believing that the entire world will stop if math, spelling and reading aren’t all done for 2 hours five days a week. You don’t let God into your homeschool and believe you’ve got it all covered on your own. I’ve been that girl. The first year and a half of our homeschooling journey was miserable to everyone involved. We were slaves to our five hour a day kindergarten schedule. There was no fun in sight and relationships were not being nurtured. Oh yes, my children learned to read and do basic math functions but the stress level was through the roof and most days ended in tears. Truthfully, I’m surprised we made it through. I just knew in my heart that homeschooling was meant to be so much more than what we were doing and I prayed to God to take over our homeschool. The day when I finally “let go and let God” take the reigns, is the day when we started thriving. Each day I pray for God to interrupt my plans and give us opportunities that we normally would have missed. Moms, you weren’t called to this lifestyle to do it on your own. You were called to be a teacher’s assistant- an assistant to the one and only Teacher we need. Give your days over to Him and watch what He can do.
Homeschool Moms if you find yourself in any of these places, stop what you’re doing right now and pray with me.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for this awesome life you’ve called us to lead. Help us to protect our families from Satan’s evil schemes. Let us look only to Jesus for comparison. Don’t let our eyes be clouded by what other homeschools look like. Remind us that you’ve made us just how you want us to be. Replace our fears with your perfect peace. Knowing that you’ve promised us that even though we will have troubles in this world You have overcome them all. Let us put our trust in you to be the King over all of our lives, including our homeschools. We know that our help comes from You and you alone. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.
Heather Bowen is a wife, homeschooling mother of two sweet little girls, Labor & Delivery nurse and most importantly a daughter of the King. She blogs at Upside Down Homeschooling where she brings love and encouragement to moms through all the seasons of homeschooling. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.