Lovely isn’t it? It’s a perfect picture, but it isn’t reality. These things are good things. Things that are certainly beautiful and treasured. But they aren’t always real life. When we picture homeschooling families this way, we are focusing on their ideal best day, not their everyday. Real life is messy… even when you love Jesus. Even when you homeschool. Even when your family gathers round the table with a Bible in hand. The truth is, all siblings fight, mommas burn bread, and even christian homeschooling families walk through tragedies.
When my oldest child was just a few months old, my husband told me that we would homeschool her. Being a former classroom teacher, I wasn’t initially sold on the idea. I wasn’t against it. I just wasn’t for sure that it was the best option. My husband, however, was convinced. So, I followed his lead. I began teaching her casually at age 3 and was in full swing by kindergarten. Our second child followed just 13 months behind her and was usually a part of any lesson that we embarked upon. I started following blogs of large homeschooling families, reading books and attending conventions. I started DOING things that I thought made me a good homeschooler.
By the middle of first grade, the enemy attacked our home and everything came crashing down. Within a few months, he left and I was suddenly a single mom: a single homeschooling mom with a 1st grader, kindergartener, 2 year old, and baby on the way.
I bought the lie that homeschooling families were perfect. I tried hard to “make” our family fit this perfect mold and now I had no idea where to turn. It was such a crazy lie and so far from the reality of life.
It took me a long time to accept this reality. Somewhere in there, I was forcing homeschooling into a box. One that closed the lid and said- “Keep Out: imperfect families and single moms.” I bought the lie that I wasn’t enough, so I kept quiet. In God’s merciful grace, I didn’t quit homeschooling, but I did hide.
For so long I prayed that our family would be reconciled and once again fit into that perfect homeschooling family mold. I still pray a part of that prayer, but God has gently taught me that the perfect homeschooling family doesn’t exist. He’s taught me that I can still homeschool in the broken world because we are all broken, even those who aren’t showing it. Once I began to believe Him, he brought the Teach Them Diligently convention alongside me. TTD has encouraged me, prayed for me, and provided resources for me like no other convention. With TTD, I find no judgement or funny looks, only love and grace.
Homeschooling as a single mom is certainly a sacrifice. But if my eyes are fixed on Jesus, I remember that my purpose is to glorify Him. Teaching my children to love Him and enjoy Him forever is my calling. For now, that is done in my home. I pray that I will always be awarded this opportunity, but rest firmly in the protection and provision of our gracious God. Yes, this momma doesn’t see a lot of quiet time and rarely goes the bathroom without an audience. But in the end, I hope that this tiny sacrifice of my life agenda will enable my children to one day give up their lives for the ONE who gave it all up for us.