I’m pretty sure most of you know that I am not a homeschool mom. So I was a little bit hesitant about writing this. But it was laid on my heart, and I hope I can encourage a weary mother in her homeschool journey or a new homeschool mom heading into this crazy yet exciting phase in life. (I know this description to be accurate by observing my own mom in her journey.)
As a young woman who has attended the convention as a future-homeschooling-mama-hopeful, I have observed concerns and expectations of mothers who are 1) preparing for the convention and 2) attending the convention. I have taken notes to tuck away for my own remembrance, and I want to share a few of them now:
First thing first…
Growing spiritually is one of the best things that you can do for your child’s education. I am a passionate supporter of homeschooling because of the experience I had growing up. My parents love the Lord. As my main educator, my mom always put a huge emphasis on serving the Lord with gladness through the way she taught me and my siblings. She has a desire to chase after God and dig into His Word daily. I saw that growing up and that is why I think I love homeschooling as much as I do, because I had the unique privilege of seeing that day in and day out. Mamas, loving God is the foundation for success in anything: homeschooling is no different.
I’ve noticed that new homeschool moms are full of questions for the “veterans” when they are on the topic of homeschooling. When I “get there” I want to remember this: When talking to homeschool veterans at convention (or anywhere), after asking questions about curriculum and such, remember to ask them one other question: How did God use this season in your life for His glory? I believe whole-heartedly that the academic portion comes second to the spiritual in home education. Ultimately that is what homeschooling should be about.
Which leads me to this…
Never forget that instilling a love for Jesus Christ and raising His warriors should be top priority, not raising children with high test scores. My mom has always been very involved in the homeschool community; ever since I was in high school I loved sitting with my mom and listening to her talk (and even joining in the conversation every once in a while) with other moms either in group settings at co-ops or one-on-one settings over some coffee on a living room couch. The moms that always, without fail, stand out to me and inspire me the most are the ones who ooze Jesus’ love. When I talk to homeschool moms who are more interested in teaching their children life skills and character qualities than in boasting about their science grades, that is when I take the most mental notes. I want to remember what they did so I can incorporate that into my own journey someday. Please understand that I am not saying good grades aren’t important, because they are; and kids should work hard to earn good grades. What I am trying to say is this only: God comes before grades. After the foundation is established, then the building can begin. If that foundation is solid, then the building will be less susceptible to crumble.
If you made it through all three of those you probably noticed a trend? Yep! That’s because I encounter lots of questions as a homeschooler about my experience and about my Mom. Things like, “Did you enjoy being homeschooled?” and, by far the most frequently asked question, “How does your mother do it? I don’t have enough patience for that.” If you asked my mom, she would tell you she doesn’t have enough patience either.
Homeschooling is a walk of faith. Yes, not everyone is in a place where homeschooling is an option for them. But for my parents and many of the homeschooling mama friends I know, they would agree that God is in control of everything. Including homeschooling.
These are definitely more general things to remember throughout your school year and aren’t specifically for attending convention. But the convention is a time of refreshment and encouragement, so I hope that this is something that can read and be encouraged by as you’re preparing for convention weekend.