By Jeannette Webb
It’s the time of year that many moms and dads begin to feel discouraged. You started the school year out with a wonderful vision of what each of your children would accomplish, what you would accomplish. And somehow it has not gone as planned. Subjects have not progressed as they should have. Finances have fallen apart. Illness or accident of a family member has monopolized your time.
I homeschooled my two children for 15 years. Of that time, only six went somewhat as planned. I don’t think I ever got through everything that was on the list. EVER! Most of the time we slide into the homestretch glad that at least the basics were covered. Forget the extra, glorious things that I dreamed of.
Almost two-thirds of our homeschool career fell far short of my expectations and some of the early years were an absolute disaster. The year I was in bed for months. The year my husband ran in a statewide political race (we got math done). Period. The year we were unemployed and pretty much lived off the land. The year we moved twice.
I am not being transparent in order to encourage you to throw out your dreams and goals (it is vitally important that you keep striving toward them), but to help you see that life interrupts the best of plans. You can give up and settle into mediocrity (as far too many families do) or you can spend time on your knees learning the lessons that each situation presents to you. Those lessons will be different for each of us.
I am a very strong and capable woman. I had to learn to let go of control and to trust God for our future. To be honest, I’m still working on that one. I had to realize that people are more important than a to-do list. I had to discover that sometimes you accomplish more by resting quietly in the Father than in battering heaven with an agenda. I had to acquire an attitude of listening and watching. It’s pretty amazing what you can learn when the parent becomes the student.
I am a better woman today because of all the disaster years. My children’s character was forged in the crucible of sacrifice and disappointment. I believe with all my heart that the trials we went through then were lovingly created for our good so that we would each have the strength for the life tasks that we have been given today.
I started this journey twenty years ago and am now grateful that all did not go according to my plan. To be sure, I worked very hard and did everything I understood at the time that I needed to do, but the Father’s plans were so much bigger and grander and more amazing than I would have ever dreamed for my family.
If you are discouraged today, know that you are not alone. If life does not make sense to you, know that it makes sense to the Lord. If your children are hurting, rest in the assurance that it is preparing them for their work later on. There are no accidents. Nothing is wasted. You are very much loved.
Look Who’s Talking!
Thank you, Jeannette, for all you have done for us. I cannot imagine having gone through this whole process without you. You have patiently answered my numerous questions and given me the confidence to plunge ahead with what seemed such a daunting process. At the same time, your feedback to my son on his essays/applications really helped him best present himself in a way that admissions officers will understand while remaining honest & real to who he is. As you know, this has been a difficult year for me, but thanks to you at least his application process went smoothly!! ~Vickie, Michigan
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