Yesterday when I dropped my daughter off at a new activity, I found myself inside a wonderful private school in our community at the end of the school day. It was bustling with activity and I ran into several wonderful families I know. There were laughing kids and adorable uniforms and groups of friends. The result of this little encounter , for me, was a series of big, hairy doubts that crept into my mind.
“Are my kids missing something better?”
“Am I robbing them of the quintessential cultural experience of a daily school environment?”
“Am I giving them a sub-par education?”
I know, firsthand, the benefits of choosing to home school, and we’ve only just scratched the surface. There are many excellent reasons why we’re making this choice. (click here to read about those) And I know our big picture goals in the educating of our children. (click here to read about those) And I have answers in my head to those fleeting doubts that crept into my mind. But I guess I think it’s important to mention that I still have times of questioning. As great as I think this whole gig is, I have moments that make me pause.
Maybe it’s because this is my first year? Perhaps families who have been doing this for years have fewer doubts…or none at all?
Or maybe it’s because we started our journey in a traditional school setting and made the switch to home school? Perhaps families who have home schooled all along don’t question like I do.
Or maybe it’s because I’ve grown to be very analytical. Perhaps people with different personalities don’t have moments of second guessing their choices.
Or maybe it simply because I’m a mother. If my choices only affected me, I think I’d roll along much more confidently. But our decision affects our kids and don’t we all long to get those choices right? Home school, public school, private school- we’re all making these choices because we believe they’re the best ones for our families. We really want to nail this one. The good news is, I truly believe these are all good choices. Obviously, I lean one way in this matter, but I have seen the good in all the options. I’ve seen wonderful, godly young adults come from every manner of education.
The thing is, there are pros and cons to virtually every life choice. And with every passing month, I’m increasingly convinced of the pros of homeschooling for our family. But that doesn’t mean I don’t experience twinges of uncertainty when I pass a gaggle of giggling girls in a school hallway. It does mean, however, that we need to remain very clear about what we want for our children and keep that vision before us. And it also means, I need to trust.
I need to trust in the God who called us to this path. That He will guide and equip us.
I need to trust in the big picture goals we’ve worked out. That our choices are leading us closer to those goals.
I need to trust in myself. I may not be an entire school staff, but I know and love my kids enough to lead them to an excellent education.
And I need to trust in my kids. That they are capable, brilliant, blossoming young people (as all kids are) who will thrive in an environment of love, empowerment, self-discipline, and delight.
Whatever choice you’ve made in your children’s educational journey, I pray you will lean into God, have a clear vision of where you’re going, believe in your ability to teach your children, and see the beautiful young adults you have the privilege of shaping and influencing every day.