It’s that time again already, the beginning of the school year. All parents who home school know that teaching their kids at home is often hard work. Sometimes it’s easy for parents to lose perspective and become discouraged. You and your home-schooling child are faced with a new set of schoolbooks, filled with pages and pages of material. You may have already planned how many pages per day your child needs to work through in order to finish on time.

But a couple of weeks or months down the road, you fall behind for one reason or another. There’s no way you’re going to get through all the textbooks this year. What should you do? Panic? Or worry that your child’s academic training will suffer?

As every parent knows, things don’t always go according to schedule. If you find yourself getting behind schedule, don’t worry. It happens to every home-schooling family I’ve ever known, including my own. Although my family creates a schedule for every school year, we never follow it perfectly. Don’t get caught up in the idea that you must plan every detail and follow a perfect schedule. No home-schooling family can follow such a schedule.

One year my wife, Vicki, felt very prepared for the upcoming school year, but two weeks into the school year she was ready to send the kids off to a public school. Why? If she were here, she’d tell you that she lost perspective. She had placed such importance on her schedule and planning that every deviation from her plans made her feel defeated.

In times like these, you need to remember that academics is not the No. 1 reason you’re teaching your children at home. Home schooling is not merely about rejecting the poor academic instruction provided by the public schools.

It’s a revolutionary restructuring brought about by the conviction that parents need to teach their children academic subjects, because hidden inside of all academic instruction is a value lesson. We home school because we desire to impart our values to our children. In the school year ahead, remember that home schooling is about values first — and academics second.

Also, I have one word to share with those of you who are just starting to home school. Relax! I know that teaching your children at home sometimes seems like a weighty and complicated task, but if you can remember to relax and keep the right perspective, I guarantee that your home school experience will be much more enjoyable.

More importantly, remember that your goal is to raise your children to love and serve God, not to get through every textbook by the end of the year. Rest in the Lord, relax, and enjoy your home school experience with your kids.