See those little hands? Those messy adorable hands belong to my two older boys. Who are now 10 and 8. Those two little hands I have watched day after day grow and grow, every moment of every day. I had a friend at church sunday ask me how home schooling was going this year. A friend who I look up to and admire greatly. One that I value her advice and opinion and will always and forever remember. She was a wealth of help when we first moved here and for her, I will always be thankful.
When she asked me that question though I couldn’t help but think back to the moment we shared in a ladies group, where I cried and cried about the struggle with home schooling my boys.
I was pregnant with our 4th at the time… Travis was in the police academy… and life was completely different than what I had been use to the last 10 years of our marriage. I once was married to a Pastor whos schedule although busy was very flexible… I once had the ability to rely on him to take off when I had a bad day… or at least be close by if I needed him. All of that was gone when we moved to Georgia… and I now was married to a cop… whos schedule was far from flexible… always changing and very demanding. When I became pregnant with Reed, Travis was brand new into the police academy. He had to go through 6 mo. of training while I was pregnant… which meant he could not miss any days. It was “school” and a job. To miss would mean to repeat the mandate and that was out of the question.
So when the pregnancy got hard… I was put on modified bed rest due to low fluid and pre-term contracting. Something I experienced with my 3rd as well… the task to home school our boys flew out the window… and ate me up with guilt and doubt.
I didn’t know what to do…. I just knew I did not have a peace about sending my boys to public school… Public school is not the enemy. It is not evil. It does not mean a mother or father loves their child any less… but the calling to home school my children is a deep deep deep conviction and desire of mine. I truly feel CALLED to do it… and so when I was faced with this hard time in my life… and had to weigh the pros and cons, it was gut wrenching for me.
I am thankful for grace and for wisdom during those moments. From other moms on both sides. Home school moms who encouraged me to press on and shared similar experiences and struggles throughout their years… but also Public School moms who shared with me their heart and burden for their children as well.
Being a mom is hard…. it only makes it harder to feel as if it is a competition between mothers on what is best.
It isn’t and should never be that.
As we finish up my 5th year home schooling my boys I am filled with joy at the ability God has given me to do so. This journey home schooling has not been filled with painless days… and constant joy. There have been lots of sorrow and heaviness throughout.
Our Pastor sunday morning started his sermon with this line…
“God empowers us with an ability beyond ourselves. We will never know we are capable until we do it.“
I know he was probably referring to more “spiritual” matters in-regards to the sermon itself… but that simple line he preached sunday struck a cord in me… and just encouraged me so much.
Had you asked me 5 years ago if I would still be home schooling my children. I would have probably told you no. I felt unqualified… I didn’t feel smart enough. I felt overwhelmed at the responsibility… knowing that my children’s education was in my hands… I struggled with doubt daily.
… yet God has empowered me and given me the ability to do something I never thought was possible…
I expected to fail…
… but I am so thankful I stuck it through… and God truly has blessed our family because of it.
So as my friend asked me Sunday, “How is home schooling going?“, I was so thankful that despite the bad year we had the last time she asked me that… I could look at her and honestly say “It has been great.” Peace filled me at that moment and I was so thankful she asked… and ended with encouragement and praise.
So to end… I just want to encourage the home school mom who may be struggling today… who may be where I was while pregnant with Reed… battling fear, tears, doubt… know you are not alone in that…. If you home school a year… or 5… know that you are amazing.
Regardless if you home school or public school. Love your children well and be involved. There is reward in both journeys and nothing trumps a mothers desire to do her best for her babies.