Apparently, it is impossible to homeschool without thinking everyone else in the world should also. At least, that must be the perception. Most frequently, the answer that I homeschool is met with a blank stare. After that, the most common response I receive is a list of all the reasons my partner in conversation can not possibly ever (never, ever!) homeschool. Inevitably, I hear, “I just don’t have the patience for that.”
Oh, friend, if only you could see my heart! I love books. I love learning. I love teaching. I love my kids. I have felt called to homeschool for years (years!), and yet, I don’t have the patience for it. I’m not loving enough, I’m not kind enough, I’m just not enough. Period. As with anything else the Lord has called me to, I avoided all mention and discussion of homeschooling - until He hit me with a proverbial 2 x 4.
So… now I’m a homeschooler. I’m still not patient enough, not kind enough, not loving enough. But I am on my knees. I am on my face. I am praying with my husband. My small group prays for me, and I have friends who pray for me. Some days, I lock myself in the bathroom and pray for myself – again. What do I pray for? I pray for love, patience and kindness… just enough for the day. I ask the Holy Spirit to direct my path.
I also ask for forgiveness often. (So often, I’m embarrassed.) My children are very gracious and, by all appearances, they still love me.
We have had some excellent homeschooling moments. Days, even weeks, have passed in which everything has gone smoothly; everyone has learned and we’ve all bonded together. It’s in these moments that the temptation arises to feel I am a stellar teacher, and a stellar mom. That’s when our golden moments disappear like a cloud of smoke and I’m left with the realization that I am merely a sinner, with a broken heart and a need for my Savior.
Those are the moments that, again, drive me to my knees in humility and desperation.
I love homeschooling. I love my children, and I love the opportunity to invest some of the gifts the Lord has so freely given me. Never do I forget the reason I shouldn’t homeschool: my own character. Thankfully, in God’s economy, shouldn’t is always can - as long as we walk in His will.
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is a children’s writer with a love for God’s Word, history, wisdom and small people. Her work has appeared in magazines including Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr.; Upper Room Ministries’ Pockets and Devozine; CBH Ministries’ Keys for Kids, and Cobblestone Group’s FACES and Odyssey. Her work also appears in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters.