A friend of mine sent this to me today to encourage me. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share it with you, my fellow homeschooling moms! Enjoy and I pray that God would use it to ease your minds and hearts.
Did we do enough school?
C2006 By JulieBeth Lamb
It's the end of the school year. From this vantage point you are just happy to be nearing the summer break and the beginning of school seems so long ago. It is hard to remember the enthusiasm you had and all the plans, so many plans. Your children were going to be smarter, brighter, more Godly, well educated, and learn everything under the sun. It was all written out neatly on pages of lesson plans. Looking back it somehow feels like hardly anything got done all year, there were so many days spent cleaning the house, making Christmas cookies, helping Grandma in the yard, visiting a friend who was having a bad day, skiing, playing in the mud (there was alot of mud this year!), looking at old family photos, and. ah, yes, I do remember cracking the math book a few times.
Did we do enough school? How do I know? Who decides? If we really want to get technical we can look at the public school's approach to it. They use standardized tests to evaluate if a student is progressing. It doesn't tell if they are thriving, love learning, are really excited about a certain subject, all they really care about is a higher test score than last year. That tells us if they are better at taking tests than last year, if they are less nervous about test taking, if they have been taught to the test, and if they are having a good day today. It doesn't really tell us what we parents need to know.
As Christians there is only one way to measure how well we taught our students through the previous school year. Are they growing in God? Are they better prepared than they were before to be used by God now and as adults to live out His good plan for their lives? If we seek these things first, everything else will be added to their lives as needed by the perfecter of our faith. Did we do enough "school"? What are the things that are truly of value, did we make time for them? Were there times spent in the Word, singing His praises and memorizing scripture? Did we make time for family meals, great conversation, and breaking bread together?
Did we visit the Lord and His family at church regularly and fellowship with believers for our mutual edification? Was there time spent in service to others, training up the next generation in Christian service, the true proof of our belief? Did we have fun with our children, enjoy these quickly passing years together before they speed away? Hours of daydreaming, thinking, planning, pretending, should have been accounted for also, they are very important. You did enough school. If there were some of these areas that you need to improve on, you can do more school next year.
You know in your heart how the school year went. Maybe Johnny needs to work on his reading over the summer and Suzie has to practice her multiplication tables. There is always more time for book learning. But you also know in your heart how much you love your children, more than anyone else on this earth. You know you have prayed over them and worked to provide them the things that God ordained for them, even when it didn't make sense, was overwhelming, or difficult. When God showed you that narrow path you followed it, just as you did when you chose homeschooling in the first place.
That is all we can do, that is all we should do, that is all that is required of us-to obey God in the area of our children's education and trust that He has given us and them everything they need and those things He hasn't provided were not needed. It is such a blessing that we don't have to provide our children everything they need, only one can do that, our Lord God, who loves our children even more than we and is working out His good plan in their lives.
Next school year lies before us in glorious anticipation. With God's help our plans will come together for another home school season. They will all be written out neatly on pages of lesson plans and we will be once again full of enthusiasm. We will do some more math, English, reading, history and science, but more importantly we will make time for God's Word, service, family & friends, and mud and God will make up the rest.