Have you ever purchased some kind of curriculum because it claimed to have all the answers for your particular child in your particular situation with your particular learning philosophy – only to find out that it really didn't meet up to its boast? Or, that it's just too complicated to figure out, let alone put into practice every day? Or maybe it promised to provide everything you would need to teach everyone in your house from your baby up through your grandmother, and you find it lacking. But it looked and sounded so perfect! Frustrating, isn't it.

We can be so easily deceived. It reminds me of when my daughter was four years old and came running in from the backyard with hands raised and shouting, "They tricked me! They tricked me!!" After getting her to settle down, I asked what happened. "Well, I was out feeding the chickens and I saw a prune on the ground in the chicken coop.  You know how I love prunes! Well, I picked it up and it wasn't a prune! It just looked like a prune! The chickens tricked me!" Sometimes we too are deceived by what looks good, in the hopes that it will satisfy our desires.

Just this morning, I received an email from a friend that claimed if I would just forward this message to umpteen people, I would receive thousands of dollars! It appeared somewhat believable because someone tacked a scripture to the end of it. Even though this spam has been around for quite some time, people like my godly, well meaning friend are still being duped. I pointed her in the right direction regarding researching spam email, and her response was, "It might have worked this time. It doesn't hurt to try!" I think I would disagree. It hurts because it's a waste of time, it clutters up our mailboxes with junk, and in the end, we play the fool.

Time is precious. We cannot afford to waste time in this ever so busy endeavor of homeschooling our children. Just as we cannot afford to waste time, we cannot afford to waste money and space on curriculum that doesn't work. But time and again we choose to believe the "perfect for your child" deception just in case it's really true this time.

Instead of feeling like you're groping around in the dark or, even worse, grabbing whatever sounds good at the time, let me give you some wise counsel I have gained when it comes to looking for just the right material for your child:

Prayer

I cannot over-emphasize the need for prayer in all areas of our life. Especially in relation to raising up our children. One of my children was so energetic; he was like a bottle of soda that had been shaken up and ready to explode! I earnestly prayed for a creative way to help him safely release that energy on a daily basis. The Lord answered by placing homeschooled competetive jump-ropers to take him under their wing and teach him incredible things I never thought possible with a jump rope! Something he could practice everyday without me having to run hither and yon. One of my older sons disliked reading unless the book had lots of pictures. I knew he was missing out on so many great classics. I prayed specifically. The Lord answered specifically and led me to a series of books from our homeschool library that hooked him into a love of reading so deep, it is painful for him to pull away to do anything else! There have been times when I have prayed specifically for the Lord to open the doors of opportunity to allow my children to become more proficient in or be able to use the special giftings the Lord has given them musically, artistically, or verbally. He has been faithful to provide as I have been faithful to pray. Pray before you go to that used book sale or that convention or that website.  Pray specifically and earnestly and remain open to His direction as you search. He will give you focus and you will find peace as your mind is guarded from that "fool-proof" deception.