Beginning

An excerpt from Nourish, Encouragement for Parents Homeschooling Through High School

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” Psalm 105:4


Homeschooling isn’t for the faint of heart. Do yourself a favor and if you decide to homeschool this season, be all in. Starting out wishy-washy makes for a tough time for everyone.


As you begin, first make sure homeschooling is for you and your child. Maybe you don’t have a choice, maybe you do. Talk to God. Look for His nudges and direction. If you think it is the path God is leading you down, know with certainty that you and your child are on the same path. I have met plenty of parents who decided for their students without any input. It is painfully obvious their kids hate every minute of every day. They battle with their parents constantly. Invite your child into the decision by praying and discussing it thoroughly as a family.


We all have doubts in everything. We all want an absolute guarantee with homeschooling to deliver a Harvard-bound, full-ride scholar, grounded in faith and motivated to save the world. However, the results can never be known for sure. There are no guarantees that homeschooling means perfection or success. As with any form of education -- public, private, charter or homeschool -- there is no absolute certainty your child will thrive and succeed.


Certainly, do all the things you know beforehand to have confidence in your decision. Do your research. Know what all your school options are, evaluate your resources and talents, pray about it, and look to God for direction and confirmation.


The high school years are particularly hard for doubters like me. It feels like a high stakes game when you think your child’s future success in life depends on you. Yet is that really true?

Is it true high school was the complete and ultimate thing shaping your success in life? Maybe. Most likely not. High school absolutely gives you tools in your toolbox. I look back on my high school years and the most memorable equipping I received was from a typing class and working for a fast-food restaurant.


Yes, high school is important and we want to give our kids as many resources as possible. However, this season is not the only one giving them what they need to launch into the world. This is simply the season your family is in and there will be many more equipping seasons to come.


As you begin, decide you will do this for one year. When it’s over, then evaluate. Or if you are like my friend Anne, decide you are staying on this path until God taps you on the shoulder and tells you otherwise. Think about the kind of year that makes your child’s soul come alive. Gather input from your child for emotional investment in their education, too. This is your child’s practice for taking ownership of their future.


Most importantly as you begin, be all in for the year. The greatest torture is the parents who second guess every move they make and constantly want you to know how much they are struggling. They are the obvious ones because their kids see their doubts and begin to reflect those, making everyone miserable.


Remember, nothing pursued out of love is ever lost. As you commit to the beginning of a school year, decide this will be a year of love no matter what. Even when it is hard, drama-filled, accomplished, or beautiful, this time spent with loved ones will be yours to keep. All of the golden memories -- good, bad, or otherwise -- will never be lost. Be all in.


Think

Ask God to direct your path for the year. What is He whispering in your heart about His plans for your family?


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