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Lacking Confidence for Home Educating - Are We Giving Our kids Enough?
I'm probably one of the least likely ones to be writing about this topic, but when my husband said someone was asking if I'd be interested in doing so, I thought that maybe it might be something God would have me do.
Ironically, just when I started writing, the program I was using decided I'd done enough, and shut down on me. Maybe I'm not supposed to be doing it, but at the same time, I didn't want to give up that easily.
I'd first like to give some background as to why I lack confidence as to whether I'm able to give my children what they need. I was home educated myself, but never felt that what I received was very thorough. And, yes, partly that was my own fault, in that I was pretty "scatter-brained", and had a hard time focusing on my lessons…. I'd far rather be outside building a treehouse, or something like that. Nonetheless, beyond getting the basics of reading, writing (could I even do that?), and arithmetic, I always said my science consisted of my dad pointing out the north star and the big dipper; and my "social studies" was lived out in that we traveled all over the place. I knew very little history, and, well, just always felt I was lacking in many ways.
Fast forward 30+ years, I'm now the mother of 11 children, half of whom are adults, and all of whom we've homeschooled from the start. I've believed from the first child on, that God gave me these children, knowing my weaknesses and shortcomings, yet He still chose to give them to me, along with the responsibility to raise and educate them.
We began our homeschooling by sticking very close to a particular program which was all laid out for the student, so prep time on my part was very minimal, and it gave me enough confidence to know they were getting more than I did. But as they got older, they began feeling dissatisfied with having to "just follow the book", and we realized they needed to have the freedom to explore more of their own interests, in order to develop in the direction they wanted to go.
While, so far, none of them have gone on to become doctors or lawyers or such, a couple have gone to career colleges (one in Web Design and Graphics, the other in Hair Dressing) and done very well. The older one completed her programs, and has gone on to use those skills in a good-paying job. And, in the case of the other, she went as far as she was able to go, and did very well, but her program is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 shutdowns. The others are all doing well in their respective jobs.
One daughter, at 18 years of age, was made assistant manager in her work place which had a number of employees much older than herself. The same daughter used to struggle a lot with reading, etc., but after getting married, when she took a nurse's assistance course, she scored 99%. Our older son got his first job in a grocery store at age 15, and within about 2 years was well on his way to becoming an assistant manager in the dairy department. Due to that store having to shut down he had to look elsewhere for work, but in each case, he was given added responsibility within a short time.
We still use the same program with the younger children. Our youngest is only 7, and still in the very beginning stages. More and more we are giving them the freedom to explore their own interests, and trusting God will enable them to get what they need, in order to become what He would have them become.
Yes, I do still have days (many of them, in fact) where I feel very inadequate for this job, but my trust is in the Lord, who called me to it, and I know He is able to see my kids through, and is watching out for them. All I can do is my best, in the wisdom and strength He gives, and trust Him to take care of the rest. And I want to encourage other moms too, to hang in there. You are the best person for this job, discouraging as it may be at times, but God is our strong tower and defense, and in Him we should put our trust.