There is a sweet homeschool Mom at my church; a mother of many, who seems to have more clarity than most when it comes to homeschooling and raising up children. When possible I try to chat with her and glean just a few tidbits of advice from her. What a blessing and encouragement to have those folks in your life who are willing to share because they have traveled the road you are on and understand some of your worries and concerns. Their confidence and clarity helps you to have confidence as well. Sometimes I receive more from her than I would from attending any homeschool conference. The Bible reminds us women folk to do this very thing…to pass on and teach those good things. We are to be models of godliness…of women who love their families and who are confident that God is working in the lives of their families. I must confess, I’m not always the best example of godly confidence, but I do know that God is faithful and He can be trusted with our lives and the lives of our precious children.
Last Sunday this dear Mom spoke just the words I needed to hear. She said that “Life is real, but school is artificial.” She reminded me that school does not prepare one for actual living. School does not prepare one to care for a family….to love babies and grandparents. School does not prepare one to walk through a devastating illness or other crises. School does not prepare one to seek the Lord on a daily bases, to forgive and repent; to practice hospitality. School does not prepare one to be helpful and handy around the home. It does not prepare one to shop wisely and keep to a budget. School does not prepare our daughters to be keepers at home or our sons to be spiritual leaders for their families. She reminded me that homeschooling is learning about real life.
I felt better just hearing those words because our homeschooling journey reflected more of this idea than the ideas in a scope and sequence chart from an Abeka catalog. Our journey was less academic and more practical. Trying to strike a balance between following a structured academic program and allowing for normal family living, we fell somewhere in the middle. We ended up skipping the Latin program, but tore out the carpet instead. We took a year off around Junior high to work on life skills and growing up. Although I was always second guessing myself, I went with my instinct to practice moderation. I think it worked out okay. Homeschooling is indeed about real life, and I’m so glad.