The majority of us are used to being told what to do. We sat in desks for hours on end and were told what to study, what to write, where to write it, when to move from one class to the next, and what to do when we got home.
We spent years being taught how to follow directions, how to listen to the “experts,” and how to fit into the mold.
So when many of us came home to homeschool our children, we didn’t know what to do. Without someone giving us a schedule and a list of duties, we found ourselves bored. We didn’t know how to fill our time.
And so, some of us squandered it with entertainment, social media, and television. Some of us went in the other direction and overfilled it with excess curricula and activities.
The reality was that we didn’t know how to be free.
For those of us new to homeschooling, it’s easy to find ourselves in the same place. We want to start as early as possible so that we have something to “do.” We want to find the just-right curriculum so that we know what to do.
And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that—except that oftentimes, we find ourselves and our children right back where we ourselves started—enslaved.
We enslave ourselves to curriculum because we want to make sure that we don’t have a single gap. We enslave ourselves to an overload of extra-curricular activities because we want to make sure our children are “socialized.” We enslave ourselves to the humanistic idea of grade levels because we don’t want our children to “fall behind.”
But friends, that’s not education.
Education is about so much more! It's about drawing our children's affections toward what is good and true and beautiful. It's about helping them form connections with God, others, and the world around them. It is not just about checking off boxes and filling in gaps; it is about igniting a love for learning and teaching our children how to learn. It's equipping them with the skills they will need to fulfill God's unique purposes for their lives.
The Bible tells us that "the fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom." It tells us to "seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto us." (Proverbs 9:10; Matthew 6:33)
But no. We don’t want to start there. We want to start with the curriculum, with the textbooks and workbooks and tests and the cute homeschool room. We want to make sure that our children learn what they need to, when they need to, and how it tells us to. We want to do as we are told so that we don't miss a thing.
But sadly, we often risk missing everything.
We miss the opportunity to share life and a love of learning with our children.
We miss the opportunity to capitalize on our children's God-given talents and abilities and interests.
We miss the opportunity to teach our children how to treat others, how to handle their big emotions, and how to overcome their struggles.
We miss the opportunity to engage in ministry, to serve others, to be flexible with our time.
We miss the opportunity to walk in freedom.
Friend, when you choose to homeschool, you will have some local requirements to meet, and yes, we must faithful with what is required of us and “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” But apart from that, you are FREE.
You are free to create your own school calendar.
You are free to create your own schedule.
You are free to learn about whatever you want to learn about in the order that you want to learn about it.
You are free to teach it however you feel is best. Does your child learn better through living books? Workbooks? Videos? Hands-on experiences? You have the freedom to choose.
You are free to use parts of a curriculum or to add to a curriculum. And you are free to use the entire curriculum as-is if it works for you. Or no curriculum at all.
You are free to take as long as you want on a particular subject—until mastery is achieved. Or you are free to just drop a subject for a semester and resume it later—or never.
You are free to take that field trip, to visit that grandparent, or to read more of that wonderful book with your children.
You are free to teach your children about creation and what God's word says about history and science and genders and truth. You are free to share a Biblical worldview--free to share Christ with your children.
You are free to disciple them, to love them, to encourage them, and to come alongside them to teach them what is most important.
But friend, you must ask yourself first, what is most important?
What do you truly value--for along with freedom comes great responsibility. What does God’s word say is most important? And are you taking this precious time to share those values with your children?
Or are you simply checking off boxes and shuffling them from one subject and activity to the next to fill the time and stay on task?
Are you ignoring character struggles and heart issues because you don't want to "waste" time?
Do you get frustrated with your children when they fall behind or just don’t understand?
Do you shush their interests in birds and snails and rivers because you want to just get through the curriculum?
Sweet Mama, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handywork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.” -Psalm 19:1-2
God created such an amazing world to learn about! And He created your children with a natural curiosity to want to learn and explore and experience it. He created your children with unique abilities and gifts that were never meant to fit into a one-size-fits-all world. He created them in His image for good works for such a time as this. (Ephesians 2:10)
And as a homeschool mom, you have the freedom each, and everyday, to help them grow into all that God created them to "be."
Do not walk in fear, Friend. Do not walk in comparison. Do not walk enslaved.
Trust in Him above all and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
Walk in freedom . . .
So that one day, your children may fly. 💗
Have you personally struggled with walking in freedom in your homeschool?