What’s really important…


Years before our kids were even old enough for pre-k I can remember pouring over countless books, curriculum catalogs, and homeschool forums. I studied learning styles, teaching methods, curriculum approaches, and multiple intelligences. I spent hoards of time listening to lectures, webinars, programs, guessing what my childrens learning styles would be. Then I’d spend months more researching curriculum for what would *best* suit them. I interviewed other homeschool moms, asked lots of questions, and came up with a fool proof plan of attack. Or so I thought…

By the time our oldest was 4, I had his educational path well planned out. I knew what curriculum would be best for him, how to teach him, and how to troubleshoot every possible obstacle from pre-K to college. I was prepared. Sure I was a bit nervous, but how hard can pre-K be? Right?! Wrong…

Turns out all the books/professionals/webinars/reviewers in the world cannot prepare you for an actual child. And the subsequent teaching of that specific child.

Why was he not sitting for longer than 3 minutes? Why was he not repeating back to me the facts that I just told him 12 times? Why was he not excited about this lesson that took me hours to prepare for? Why, oh why, oh WHY?!!!

I can remember other homeschool moms talking about how they just waited until their child was “ready” to learn that skill. That when they showed signs of “readiness” the teaching/learning process was so easy and enjoyable. At the time I heard that, I thought, by waiting it showed a lack of discipline and that we needed to forge ahead and toughen it out. Yes, I thought that, and, yes, I was wrong, wrong, WRONG! “Easy” & “enjoyable” were definitely two words that I could NOT use to describe what was happening with my “fool proof plan”. Where did I go wrong?

Thankfully, it didn’t take me long to realize that my ‘fool proof plan’ was a flop. It was so hard to let go of a plan that took so long to compile, however, I had overlooked one very important thing… my child. In the midst of all of my research into forming the ‘most influential mind of our future’, I lost sight of who my child really was. I had forgotten what my goal in homeschooling him was. Afterall, why were we homeschooling in the first place.

Was it possible that my need for others to know what a great job I was doing as a teacher had overshadowed my sons actual needs? Maybe…

Was it possible that I was putting more emphasis on trying to sculpt him into who I wanted to him to be that I had overlooked who God had already made him to be. That was possible too…

When I sat down and really thought about it, I realized I wanted to homeschool because I wanted to be with my son. I wanted to be there when the ‘light bulb’ moments happened and celebrate with him as he learned new skills. I was less concerned about what he would decide to do with his life eventually and more concerned with wanting to be in his life right now. I wanted to be the one giving him high fives when he read his first words. I wanted to be the one to watch his eyes light up as he discovered just how far a frog can jump & why they are the colors they are! I wanted to be with him. I wanted that relationship, that bond, & to be that safe place.

I wanted to be the one he ran up to and asked “What’s a cloud & why is it white?”, “Why do camels have humps?”, & “Do you think God can see me right now?”. It became very clear to me that if I really wanted to have that kind of relationship with him I would have to do things differently. What I was doing was clearly straining our relationship more than anything. I was going to have to give myself permission to let go of my plan, and give way to a plan with a far greater outcome. I told myself it would be worth it. I let go.

Six years later I smile when I think about that pivotal time… about letting go… I am so thankful we did… and yes, it was worth it!


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