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Spiritual Help for Homeschooling

alec vanderboom

Last week we started year four of home-schooling. This is the letter I wish I had read as a new teacher.

Dear New Home-Schooling Mothers and Fathers,

You're here. Sort of. Congratulations. You are in a Holy Spot. Take off your shoes and pray for a while.

If you're feeling certain about your educational philosophy and school year goals, relax. You'll be feeling uncertain in a few short weeks. If you're trembling with uncertainty, relax as well. There is confirmation on the path of God's will. You'll soon see little sign and signals that nudge you and your child in the direction God wants to lead them.

Home-schooling is spiritually scary.

We don't talk about that enough. Instead there are thousands of thousands of websites, and lists and curriculum. Each author basically promises you "buy my teaching method so you won't be scared."

Beware of false promises.

There are no guarantees in life.

Whether you teach Singapore Math, or Miquon, or Math -U-See. Your kid could still end up hating math, failing to balance their checkbook in twenty years, and blaming you.

Your kid might end up learning "nothing". Hating Mass. Hating you. Home-schooling is not a vaccination against all the challenges of childhood.

Homeschooling is not about you, what subjects you feel comfortable teaching or what level of stress you think you can or can not handle. Homeschooling is also not always about what your kid does or does not feel like doing in the moment.

Homeschooling is about HIM.

If He's telling your heart in a quiet whisper that some or all of your children will learn better with a handcrafted education from you, rather than at a parish school or public school--believe Him.

He is trustworthy! He knows your kids better than you do. He knows you better than you do. He wants your children to learn and be on fire with their faith.

(In contrast, if He is giving you the quiet confidence that your children do belong in a parish or public school classroom, listen to Him. Do what ever He tells you to do. Don't worry about justifying yourself to the rest of the clattering homeschool community).

Make your homeschool journey a time of spiritual growth. Have a prayerful heart. Work at serving Him joyfully with the happy child, and the stubborn child, and the bored "why do we have to do this child." Don't be embarrassed when you fall down. If your stretching you and your child right, you will fail. Fail, often. Be foolish.

Love always protects,
always trusts,
always hopes,
always perseveres.

Home-schooling is just love in service from 8 AM to 3 PM for older kids on weekdays.

Your friend and prayer partner,

Abigail Benjamin