Mistake #1: They fail to make a commitment. Jas 1:8 (amp), “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Doubleminded means: hesitating, dubious, irresolute — is unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything he thinks, feels, decides. You will want to give up many times and so will your kids. If you don’t make a firm decision, your kids, friends, and relatives will make one for you but you and your husband will be the ones held accountable.
Mistake #5: They don’t take the time to set goals. Each year, take time to set goals for each child individually. Prov. 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” Perish means to go astray or wander. A homeschool mom who does not set goals wanders around trying this and that curriculum, always doubtful that she is doing the right thing. Ask God to show you what each child needs and how to fulfill those needs. Pray. Romans 8:26 says the Holy Spirit will help us to pray when we don’t know what to pray for. Trust God to give you the answer. Proverbs 16:3 (amp) says, “Roll your works upon the Lord — commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will and so shall your plans be established and succeed.” Then, believe that you heard from God and resist doubt (Jas.1:6).
It was the attraction to the results of home schooling that first drew me to it. No, not academic results but the inner qualities that seem to be characteristic of home schooled children. And, really, it made so much sense. Directing the education of our children would be the most ideal context to execute our mandate as parents to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord”. Moreover, what better assurance than the truth that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the holy one is understanding.” Without God, there is no education.
Armed with this vision, we made the commitment season after season. And with the knowledge that we were stewards and going to be held accountable for parenting our children, we carried on. As we were trying it out each school year, we began to get a glimpse of some of the fruits of our labor. It became clearer that we were to persevere. The strength of the mandate weathered the challenges we faced. We were not seeking to raise children who knew more than their peers, who participated in a wide range of activities, or who could immediately speak up or lead a crowd, although most of these could be a by product of home schooling. Our goal was always before us. We forgot it once in awhile but it always surfaced. The Lord was there to remind us and He provided confirmation in very personal ways.
Recently, we have had to make new commitments. We will have two high schoolers by next school year. We seriously thought we would be off the hook by this time but apparently not. Initially, it was our circumstances that pointed us to home schooling in high school. We had just moved back from abroad and it just seemed logical that we continue what we have begun in terms of curricula, educational system, etc. But as we pondered more about the high school years, we realize what a crucial time this would be since they would be the last years of preparation for adulthood. As parents open to having our children continue their college education abroad, being able to teach subjects in the context of our worldview during this time would be very valuable. The capacity to direct our children’s education will, moreover, help us ensure that they are getting the proper skills they need for higher education. And since this is the ideal time to discover what they will pursue in the future, the flexibility to tailor the education of each child towards their possible specialization is an added bonus. Some of our children are more artistically inclined while others are more analytical or scientific. We are also thankful that instead of weakening the bonds between parent-children or sibling-sibling, home schooling during the usually turbulent high school years is allowing these relationships to strengthen even more.
Although we still trust our Lord’s direction for gradual unfolding of the high school years of our children, we have, by His grace, re-committed to see through the goals that He has allowed us to determine in time.