Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the task God has given you in home schooling your children? I know I do. I can get so overwhelmed by the busyness of life that my time with the Lord becomes a quick prayer as I head to the task at hand. I will go on like this for days becoming frustrated and exhausted.  It's not until I allow the hand of God in my life that things begin to change. And they always change for the better when the Lord directs my path.

This is exactly what happened to us one summer. We had become involved in a church plant in our little hometown in New Hampshire. Being a small, fledgling ministry, there were many tasks that needed to be done.  In addition to this, our small business had become very busy. I was called to be a support to my husband during a time of turmoil in his day to day work. I began neglecting my time with the Lord, and neglecting my children's education. Something had to change, but I didn't know what. The business was our income; the church was small, and an answer to prayer; and we were certain God had called us to home educate our children. I threw up my hands in defeat and turned to the only one who could help, Jesus.

I remember crying out to Him to be released from all this busyness. I needed more time in my day, which I knew was not possible, but I didn't know how or what could change. It was during this time of "casting all my cares on Him," I found my answer.  It was as if he spoke directly to me with that still small voice saying, "Anything I want is best. Come to me and find rest." I still didn't know how or what, but I had peace that He would show me. I began taking the time in the morning, again, to seek him. I read His Word. I prayed for help. I turned my thoughts to the needs of others. My mind cleared of the stress and strains I had placed there. I knew that the Lord would show us. I just needed to obey and come to Jesus.

One afternoon in August, my husband came home after a very difficult day at work. His discouragement showed on his face We had been talking about making changes in our life, even discussed putting the children in a local Christian school. As we talked that day, and prayed for the Lord's guidance, it became clear to both of us that we needed to have a more structured lifestyle.

I have to admit that we had never really prayed about which curriculum to use in our home school. To date, our experience had been haphazard at best. Trying out the newest curriculum, changing direction each year, trying to find what worked best for our family. We prayed about whether home schooling was our calling but had never asked the Lord to choose our curriculum. We would go to the home school seminar and choose based on what seemed best. That day in August, we allowed God to lead us. At first when He showed us what to do, I cringed. It was so different than anything we had ever done. But, my husband was convinced that this was what was best for us. So, I ordered it.

As we began our new home school year, I discovered that the new approach we were taking was working very well. I found areas in my children's education that were lacking. The curriculum was very organized, complete with a teacher's guide. It was a bit more "school-like" than what we had done before. However, my children loved it, my husband loved it, and I had to admit, I did too.

I am amazed at the time I have in my day. I feel more involved in my children's education than when I planned it out. The children are excited about school, excelling in their work, and motivated to begin each day. We have been able to add in extra-curricular activities and time to visit with fellow-believers.  I have been able to return to a Friday morning Bible Study that I gave up due to lack of time. My husband is able to call when he needs to discuss an issue he is having at work, and I am available. Our work at church no longer seems a burden.

Why do I say all this? Is it to convince you to take a new direction in your home school, or that the ultra-structured approach is best? No, not at all. I say all this to encourage you in the task God has set before you. Pray constantly for His guidance. Pray for His leading in everything. But most importantly, take the time each day for Him. He says to us, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you," because anything God wants is best.

Phyllis Naegeli has been homeschooling for ten years. The mother of four, she and her husband run their own business from their home in the mountains of New Hampshire. She has two married daughters, and continues to homeschool her two youngest children.

This article was originally published in the May/Jun '04 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. For more information, please visit http://HomeSchoolEnrichment.com.