I know in my heart of hearts it has to be more than cattle prodding my children from one subject to another while trying to keep them focused and alert without my having to feel like the witch of the day!

An older woman I mentor with says, as you did in your comment, that the Lord called me to homeschool, and He will fill the gaps.

I would love to REST in that, yet is it the right thing to do? How do I know it's not ME not doing something I should be? I know God can do ANYTHING, but fill in all the details? Is that what faith looks like, or would I be a fool? This issue plagues me every month. If you have any more words of wisdom to offer, I'd be thrilled to hear them. I couldn't imagine doing anything BUT homeschooling, I truly do like it.. I just wish that I was out in the middle of a prairie somewhere far from any other kid to compare mine to and to hear that the last Geography and Spelling Bee champ was a homeschooler.

- Cindy M. -

Response from the Trenches...
I'm reminded of a story a fellow homeschooling mom tells during speaking engagements about a public school student who had received a perfect score on her SAT's and was about to graduate valedictorian, on her way to an ivy league school on a full scholarship. In an interview, she was asked what she thought the most important thing in life was, to which she responded "I don't know. I guess I've never really thought about it."

So, can hers truly be called a success story?

With eternity in mind, we all know what is truly important to strive for, to achieve, to become, and to do while on this earth. It is not in God's will for us all to play the same role in the same way. But you're right that our children have to grow up and function in this world, just as all of us did.

To that end, it's my opinion that our children should, first and foremost, have a solid foundation on the Word of God. We parents are called to have a heart for our children, and to know their hearts. Without Christ, nothing else matters. I would hope that our young people are being taught to read critically, to write fluently, and to do arithmetic capably. Everything else is negotiable. (I realize that my list above can be argued to also be negotiable, but in our American society, I firmly believe that anything less does a disservice not only to our children but also to the Body of Christ, the Church as a whole. Christians should be the most articulate, the best thinkers, the clearest orators. But I digress.) You'd be amazed how much science, history, and geography a child will pick up just by reading widely and well. There's no real need to teach other subjects specifically, unless you want to and/or your children are interested. And sometimes, playing a math game is a far more productive use of the math period than 30 minutes spent on a worksheet, not to mention more fun!

Certainly, we all do have to "answer to the state" in some way for the academic education of our children, not to mention our families, friends, and spouses! Acknowledging that Christ matters more than anything does not mean that everything else matters not at all. Education does matter. To many of us, it matters a great deal. But we always need to remember what, ultimately, we are educating our children for. I have two academically gifted children, and I am daily (hourly!) confronted with the fact that it does not matter how smart they are or how easily they can achieve things if they have not learned humility, not to mention "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." As a Type-A mother of two Type-A overachieving children, I do not say any of this lightly! Flexibility and relaxation have been the hardest subjects in my own home education.