Deuteronomy 6: 5-7 “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I command you this day, shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when thou sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
I am a bit eccentric. I like being left-handed, thought my most attractive feature growing up was my feet - alas, no longer the case, - and am glad that I am part of the 5% of the population who doesn’t have wisdom teeth, not because I don’t have wisdom teeth, although that is great, but because I am part of the 5%. So it may not be a stretch to say I was initially drawn to home-schooling simply to be different. It also shows I am a bit dull to just now be realizing this. Eccentricity and denseness is not what got me to actually begin home-schooling or what kept me going, however. It was clearly a gift from God.
Before we even had children, we attended a small church in Tennessee which had one home-schooling family. I had never heard of home-schooling, but I was intrigued and wanted to know more. This kind, godly family invited me into their home to spend the day watching how they home-schooled. It was delightful chaos as this mom nurtured the growing minds and hearts of her children. I was in awe. Now attracted to this concept, I attended a home-schooling conference with my new friend, bought books on the topic, and examined different views on education, all before my first child was even conceived.
By the time we had our first little bundle of joy, I was a convert to home-schooling. When asked how long I have been homeschooling, I usually respond that I have been home-school minded for some 23+ years, 23 being the age of my oldest son. Having grown convinced that home-schooling was our calling, I could not imagine putting my little 5 year old boy on the bus that road by our house that first day of school 18 years ago. We have re-evaluated that decision over the years, but no matter how hard it sometimes was to continue, how stressed I seemed to be feeling, how much more the newspaper made me think my children could be getting in a school environment, the Lord continued to convict me of this calling to home educate my children.
Now I can look back and continue to home-school without wavering. I see that His purpose is as much to grow me as it is to educate my children. I have had to rely on the Lord in ways I didn’t even recognize. I have seen the fruit of persistent prayer through focused biblical training from the time we rise up, as we walk by the way, to when we lie down. I have learned what it is to trust the Lord, to pray without ceasing, to seek the face of Jesus, and so many other biblical concepts which were Greek to me at various stages of my life.
Our home-school has changed every year. It is never the same. Each year, I have a different classroom with different aged children and different subjects to teach, and for many years, since we were military, different locations as well. I can look back on it now and see what an abundant blessing we have had and still have. As our family gathers to pray and have our devoted time with the Lord, we don’t hear any bickering because it is something they accept as a normal, expected, joint experience. It wasn’t always that way, but it is now. We have changed and grown as well.
So if you are among the eccentric who sense a call to home-school or are on the home-schooling journey already, let me encourage you to persevere through the difficulties and uncertainties. Don’t give up as you hear the voice that tells you you are no good at this or that you can’t do it. Don’t give in to discouragement. God will lift you up as you lean on Him and continue to trust that He is doing a good work in you and in your children. You will see the fruit of persistent, consistent time with Him and investment in your children for kingdom purposes. They are your primary mission field, and you are not alone. Delight in the gift of the Lord.