“Jill, I want you to homeschool,” the voice said that whispered to my heart.
“Oh no.” I thought to myself. I knew this voice and it’s one that will not let up until I give in. “B-b-but Lord. Why?! It’s hard enough being a mom and I was looking forward to some breathing room when the kids go to school. I’m not a teacher. Me? A homeschool mom? Ha! That’s actually funny. I can’t even fathom it.”
“Jill, it’s what your kids need. And it’s what you need.” He patiently and lovingly responded.
“How can this be what I need!? I need more quiet, less stress, more time! “
“Just trust me Jill. That’s all I ever ask of you. Just trust me…….”
And that is how this whole thing began. Little by little, God continued to press into me. He began to show me why I was the best person to shape my children’s hearts and minds. He showed me that I was fully capable and to see what an honor it was to be their mom and their teacher. I’d get to be the one to witness them reading their first full sentence, and solving their first math problem. I’d get to teach them the different types of clouds and then look for them on our daily walks outside. But the most rewarding of all, I’d get to be the one to pray with them, sing worship songs and read the Bible to them every morning and explain how everything points back Jesus throughout the day.
When it came time to decide if we were sending them to school, my heart was softened and had been completely changed. There was just no way I was sending them to school. Isn’t it funny how God can change us and equip us for His plans? This reminds me of the verse Proverbs 16:9, “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” And in this case, He certainly did. My plans were to enjoy some “me time.” His plans were different. And I wouldn’t change it for anything. And here is why….
The Most Valuable Lessons
We learned some of the most valuable lessons.
The first one was to be moldable: God talks about this in scripture. He describes how we are the clay and He is the potter. I’ve never been a person that was easy to mold. I am a stubborn gal to be quite honest and God really worked this out in me this year. He made me understand that I have to let go of my own plans and go where the Spirit leads. I needed to learn that disruption is often an opportunity. If Scarlett was crying too much during lesson time, I had to stop school and regroup later in the day when she napped. (This was hard for me because I like to get done what I need to get done and use naptime for my own enjoyment.) And if Jameson couldn’t get through a math problem and it started to bring out the ugly in both of us, it was time to put it away and move on. As much as I wanted him to learn something, I had to let go of my own desires and remember what was best for him. When I was able to let go of my own plans, I learned that nap time ended up cultivating some of my favorite times teaching Jameson. We were relaxed, the house wasn’t as chaotic and we left room for laughter. And when we put the math problem away for another day and picked it back up again, we almost always tackled it with ease. God wants us to be moldable. His way is better than ours. And I saw that the quicker I realized God was leading us in another direction, the quicker our home was back to a place of peace and rest. We can apply this to all areas of our lives, can’t we?
The second valuable lesson was that we could do more than we ever imagined: Jameson struggled to write and read as we stepped into the year. I’d never imagine at the end of this he’d be reading whole books and writing full sentences. As for me, I struggled to imagine that I could ever do this. And here I sit with a full file bin of papers that fill up each subjects file folder. I think about how I started the year full of fear of the unknown and now I end it teaching my children from a place of rest and rhythm. I could cry realizing, “I got this.” But I know, it is only because God gave me all I needed to get through this. He placed the right people, the right conversations, the right books and all the things I needed to get us here. And now, I can’t imagine doing life any other way. When God leads us a certain way and we take it, we will see Him show up like never before and accomplish more through us then we could ever do on our own.
The last valuable lesson: just trust. Trust God. He taught me through all of this that I need to lean into His voice more and trust His direction. There will be struggles and hard moments but oh, the reward. Obedience and trust lead to the most fulfilling life. I have a memory tucked so deep in my heart of my 3 babies in their PJ’s and happily looking at me as I taught them the song “Turn your eyes Upon Jesus.” I will never forget it. Scarlett on her tiny chair and the boys wrapped in blankets, looking at me to lead them. What a gift. I still fill up with tears thinking about it.
The Memorable Moments
And then there are the memorable moments, too numerous to count:
- Special days like twin day and Dr. Seuss Day!
- Finishing reading Winnie the Pooh and then watching the movie in my bed with popcorn
- Our field trips: One to the pumpkin patch and another to a fun place called Kid Space.
- Adorable moments like Silas holding up the Bible on stage during the “The Bible Pledge of Allegience” at our Co-op group. The Bible was almost as big as he was!
- Special moments at home like the days of hot chocolate at the kitchen table as I read aloud “I Survived” books to them.
- And the days on the playground at co-op with the other kids: Scarlett loving the swings. Jameson finding a new friend every week. And then there’s Silas who you could always find playing football with the big kids (2 times his size) while everyone else acted their age. LOL
I won’t forget the tough times because they made us stronger. I won’t forget the happy times because they brought us together. But most of all I won’t forget the time God is giving me with them. I know time is fleeting. One day they will be gone but my heart will know I did exactly what God wanted me to do with them. My heart will be full because with the time that I was given, I gave it all I had. And I just can’t image a greater way to live.
So today I’m thankful. I’m thankful for God’s whispers that don’t give up on me. His love is truly the greatest love of all. He knows what’s best for me and gives me abundantly more then I could ever ask or imagine. Oh how my soul loves Him.
Our Homeschool Mission Statement:
Here we teach and learn from a place of rest. We cultivate a love of learning but most importantly a love for Jesus, knowing all things point back to Him. Everyday we take notice of God’s creation and thank Him for it. We commit our hearts to His word. Here in our homeschool there is warmth, joy, hope, love and laughter. And if ever there is a moment this doesn’t feel true, we come back to read this and make it right again.
Favorite things we used this year:
I love my wall planner. It was perfect for planning my meals, our chores, upcoming events and we even used it as our chalkboard too! I don’t know what I would do without it.
My homeschool planner was perfect. I’m a sucker for planners. It was simple and concise and great for keeping up with our plans. I loved that it also had encouraging Bible verses too!
The “Who is God?” book was GREAT for Jameson. It had stories about Star Wars and kids his age, while also not lacking deep wisdom for him. I loved it for myself as well!
And lastly, Silas loved his Pre-K sensory bin lessons. He did great this year with his letters, numbers and counting, using these simple but fun and colorful products.
All of these can be used for any mama and child, not just for the homeschool family.
If you have any questions about homeschool, please do not hesitate to reach out. It would be such a pleasure to help in anyway.