School is not about school,” Andrew Kern says, “Homeschooling is not about school. It’s about pursuing wisdom, it’s about becoming virtuous beings, it’s about soul transformation.”
We aren’t talking about products off a factory line here, we’re talking about children- made in the image and likeness of God and all that.
As we near the end of the academic year, I bet you’re feeling a twinge of anxiety because you didn’t get everything done that you set out to do this school year. But think about it- who the heck cares if you checked all the boxes you meant to check when you started?
It doesn’t matter what grade level your child reads at. He reads as well as he can, so continue to work diligently at it. It doesn’t matter how far you get in the “6th grade” math book. Encounter math every day, and work diligently at it. The only time we really care about how our children compare to other children is when we’re giving into our own vanity, when we’re worrying about what other people think of us and the way we homeschool.
You are where you are (which is, quite likely, exactly where He wants you to be).
So work hard every day. Value academic work because nurturing the intellect is part of what makes us fully human, but don’t elevate it beyond its place. There are relationships to cultivate, books to read, oceans to swim in, forts to build, toilets to scrub, bills to pay, paintings to create, dinners to make. This is why we homeschool- because we want to engage in a full-to-bursting life.
We make a grave mistake when we think that the success of our homeschool hinges on whether or not we can pull together the ideal curriculum or read the best books or teach our children the nuances of long division before they’re 12. The mistake that we make is that we make it all about ourselves. Without a doubt, God loves to do great things in the lives of children through the toil of their hard-working and ever-loving mothers. But He can do it without us. And He certainly does not want us burning the candle at both ends, wearing out our souls and spending sleepless nights tossing and turning with worry about whether or not we are doing a good enough job.
God doesn’t need you. But He desperately wants you.
Take a deep breath, mama. This isn’t as dependent on you as you think it is. Give God your “Here I am. Use me.” Let Him carry the burden. The God who turned water into wine can take our smallest efforts and weave them into a glorious tapestry for His delight.