Not too long ago, if you asked me if I like gardening, I’d have answered…
“No way! I kill plants!”
(I didn’t mean to kill them – it just happened. I’m pretty sure it had to do with forgetting to water them for months at a time…)
In any case, I didn’t think I had a green thumb and didn’t know the first thing about plants or how to keep them alive.
But, when we moved from a condo to a home with outdoor space for gardening, I decided to give it a try. I liked the idea of having a garden and I thought it would be a fun experience for my young kids.
You know what? It worked! And now, years later, it’s one of my favorite hobbies and our garden is thriving.
It’s kind of the same way with homeschooling.
Many parents are scared to jump into homeschooling since it’s unknown and not too common (although it is much more main stream than it used to be).
They wonder if they’re qualified, how they’ll teach calculus, if their kids will make friends, and all those intimidating questions.
Honestly, if you’re considering homeschooling – if you feel God calling you to this and you have reasons you think it would be a good fit for your family – then don’t be afraid!!
I used the same strategy for starting homeschooling as I did for starting gardening. That is, I read books about it, learned from those who’ve done it, joined social groups, and, ultimately, I just started. Kind of like a Nike commercial… at some point you need to JUST DO IT.
Sure, I’ve had setbacks in both my garden and in my homeschool. The celery seeds didn’t even sprout. The pumpkins got powdery mildew. The math worksheets were boring. We didn’t click with the first homeschool support group we tried.
But the key is to learn from the setbacks and grow from the experiences.
Spend time thinking about why things didn’t go as planned and find ways to tweak things or try something different. A lot of times a small adjustment is all that’s needed. Like when the exact same boring math worksheets become highly sought-after “Prize Math” worksheets when M&M’s were awarded for finished rows of problems (I’m not above bribery every now and then).
The point is, don’t let fear of the unknown or difficulties in your first attempts discourage you. Be like Dory… “just keep swimming!”
My garden has succeeded, but not because I’m some genius gardener. It’s because God created plants to grow. He brings the rain. He made the sun. He created the information in the seeds’ DNA so they know just what to do. The plants are doing what they were designed to do! I just have to play my small part and then get out of the way! Plants WANT to grow.
In the same way, our homeschools succeed because God wired people to learn and grow. He equips us with gifts and talents. He gave our kids curious minds – minds that want to gain knowledge. All we need to do is follow his leading – guide and nurture our kids – and then get out of the way! Kids WANT to learn.
If you’re thinking of homeschooling, YOU CAN DO IT! Your kids are already natural learners and you’re already the person who most loves them and wants them to succeed. Anything else you might need to homeschool successfully will be God-provided as you go. The key is to GO.
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