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Friday, May 23, 2014

Looking back. Moving Forward

Today we will write the last lines of the last chapter for the 2013-2014 homeschool year.
You would think that with three years under my belt I would be more sure of myself. I end the year with gratefulness and much fear and trembling. The weight of the responsibility God has put upon me to educate my children is sometimes quite heavy. Of course I swiftly realize this heaviness is my own doing, and I quickly repent and let Jesus carry the load.
I will say we have come to a place that I cannot imagine doing anything else. I have seen God knit our family together in an even closer way. We are daily forced to look in the mirror and realize that to work together we must give up pride and selfishness.

We chose homeschooling because we first and foremost felt the great responsibility to provide our children's educational foundation. I also personally had a distaste for the test mills our schools have become. I desired my children to truly learn and to love it, not to  merely cram for a test they would soon forget. I wanted to celebrate their individual personalities and strengths.
Fast forward three years in and I often find myself preoccupied with what my children know. Worrying that they might not measure up to other kids. I was slowly becoming an apologist for our homeschooling ways to strangers who question our decisions in public.
Then it hit me. Am I doing this all so my kids will be indistinguishable in a crowd? Are our core values to work so hard in orde please men?

I fell into the trap. I lost vision of this whole thing called education. Of course I set standards for my children. I want to see them flourish and excel, but not so they can prove to some stranger they're not one of those "weird," homeschooled kids. I desire that they have intelligence tempered with character, love for people that softens selfish ambition, and wisdom that permeates every decision they will face as they grow and leave this home. Most importantly I pray that they are pleasing to God. I cannot force these things. I cannot build robots after my own will. What I will strive to do is be the greenhouse for their little souls by allowing the sunshine in. This is not hiding them from the world, but providing a safe place to grow and be nurtured until my little one's are ready to put roots down in that big, wide world.

Today we celebrate all that has been accomplished. I am so proud of my children. They put up with me and that says a lot! They have worked hard. We have laughed and cried. We've worked through a lot of junk. We haven't arrived, but we are on our way. Now we enter the reward in this season of rest, and prepare our hearts for the new year to come.

Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better 
Colossians 1:10