Experiencing High School Jitters
- Paula Moldenhauer Contributing Writer
- 2005 5 May
Tonight I'm laughing at myself. I recently had an article published about how God knew the exact needs of my eight-year-old and showed me how to meet them. I wrote that we could always trust God to lead in our homeschooling journey. Here's the rub. I spent the afternoon stressing about my first year teaching high school. My thoughts roamed wild and unchecked, causing me panic.
See, I'm worried that I won't be able to provide all my firstborn needs to have a successful experience. Come on! I hated Algebra and now I have to teach it?
How am I going to juggle the varied needs of my children? Am I really ready for this plunge into the academic rigor of high school? How am I going to keep up with it all?
Do I really want to do this?
The elementary journey offered much grace. I often reminded myself to let the children develop at their own rate. If we missed a concept one year I was sure we'd catch it the next. I felt they needed to be free to discover the world and have a full, well-rounded childhood.
But now? We have certain subjects that demand mastery -- and a few of these I'm not excited about learning, much less teaching!
On top of that, my wonderful, well-rounded daughter has discovered all kinds of pursuits she wants to continue. Can she really handle singing in our home school choir, competing with the gymnastics team, and learning to debate? Will there be any time left for academics?
Another realization marches into my consciousness. In a few years I'll have all middle school and high school children . . . the thought is paralyzing!
Where's all that faith I had as I looked back on my earlier homeschooling journey? What happened to the confidence I claimed as I wrote that article?
This afternoon I keenly felt the dread of those two looming words: HIGH SCHOOL.
After I finished wallowing, my husband encouraged me with thoughts that eased my pounding heart rate back to normal. "Sure, you can't do everything the same way you did last year," he said, "but you'll find the approach that's best for the new set of needs. God will lead you, step by step."
Step by Step. Isn't that what life is really about? I can't think of a time that God handed me a detailed plan of how to approach my next heavenly assignment, but He has always led me one step at a time. Just as the Father gave me the resources to meet the needs of my elementary students, He will provide just what I need, when I need it, to teach high school.
Sometimes homeschooling seems to be more about my spiritual journey than my kids' academic pursuits. Few things push me back into the Father's arms as often or as quickly as homeschooling. God has used homeschooling to show me how much I need to be in communion with Him. Its demands keep me returning for the wisdom and inner strength I need.
In a way, I too am leaving my elementary pursuits. I'm graduating into a whole new level of challenges, as is my daughter. And, just as she has the basic skills of readin', writin' and 'rithmetic to build her academic career upon, God has been honing my basic skills in the areas of trust and faith. I'm already ahead of the game because I've learned that I can't do this job without Him. I know the basic ingredient for homeschooling success -- letting God show the way.
So, for tonight, I'll laugh at myself instead of fretting over the magnitude of the new school year's calling. I won't even think about the fact that in a few years we'll be filling out college applications and taking SAT tests. I refuse to ponder the truth that it won't be long before my daughter is on her own or that I have only a few years to be sure she's prepared -- and Oh my! Help, Lord!
I know, I know, . . . step by step. You've got it under control.
A homeschooling mother of four, Paula Moldenhauer is passionate about God's grace and intimacy with Jesus. Her website offers homeschooling hints, book reviews, and a free weekly devotional, Soul Scents. Subscribe to Soul Scents at www.soulscents.us. You can contact Paula at Paula@soulscents.us