It speaks to things convoluted.

When we complicate our homeschools, things start to feel very convoluted, or they can. Doubts creep in just like dark thunder clouds, and you begin to wonder why you're even doing it to begin with. Let me remind you, ok? The Lord your God has called you to it. He has given these children to you (for a time) to train up in Him, to bring Him glory. He loves these children even more than you do, and look what He's done: He's given them to YOU to cherish, to raise up. He has placed them squarely in YOUR care. God has equipped you through His word to do this task that's set before you. You just walk; you follow. He will do the rest. Our homeschools do not have to be convoluted, confused, tangled up, nor must we slowly and without direction muddle through the season of homeschooling we're in. It can be orderly, lovely, light, and fun. Rewarding, fulfilling, blessed. Drop the extra junk even if it means the house doesn't stay as clean as it used to. Shrug off the daily stresses that come from those "spelling words tantrums" or the messy bedroom you expected cleaned up three hours ago. Exhale all of that.

Start anew today. Look around your house and at each child. What is living, what inanimate, dead? Will the living room care in ten years if you clean it today? Will your kids care ten years from now that today you dropped everything to play and talk with them, smile instead of scowl, skip instead of drudge through the day? Believe me, friend, I am SO speaking to myself right now. Bummer to me for not being the poster child for this (since I so easily advise everyone else). But I can't be that poster mama; I won't pretend to be what I'm not. No one is perfect except the Lord, although we are called to strive for it, to be more like Him (Matt 5:48). I have to remind myself at times to stop and grin. Stop and chat. Stop, put away the laptop, and spark a conversation. I think tonight Paul and I will choose ONE kid (one of the middle ones) and take him on a date. Just us and him. He needs to know he's special. I want to stop and smell the flowers with him —while I still can. What if I, like my own mother, pass away when he is in his 20s? Lord forbid it. But it can happen; it happened with my mother. Now is the time for relationship.

I am quite the complicated homeschooler living in a very complicated world in a rather complicated day and age with an even more complicated life than some. My house is a whirlwind of activity, I get too many emails per day, and we travel a lot (thankfully, with the kids). Yet I am determined to change my moniker. I want to be the uncomplicated homeschooler. I want to simplify. I will choose to be an uncomplicated homeschooler from this point forward, Lord willing. And He will help me if I stop and read His word, pray, and lean on Him for direction. Lord, make me like You, orderly and lovely, without complication. Remind me to stop and smile on my children the way You have smiled on me.

Copyright, 2011. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally published by The Old Schoolhouse®. Visit The Old Schoolhouse® at www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com  to view a full-length sample copy of the magazine especially for homeschoolers. Click the graphic of the moving computer monitor on the left.