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God Doesn't Always Call the Most Equipped

  • Mary Biever Contributing Writer
  • Published Mar 01, 2012
God Doesn't Always Call the Most Equipped

"YOU may homeschool, but I couldn't," a mom a year tells me.  Today was this year's day.

"That's what I said.  If I hadn't been called by God, I wouldn't homeschool."

The mother on the other side of this conversation stared skeptically. 

I am reminded of Moses, when God called him with a burning bush.  Moses argued; he didn't speak well in public.  God was persistent, and finally Moses relented.

How closely that rings to my experiences.  I was called to homeschool eleven years ago, when my daughter was three.  But I argued...

"I can't homeschool because I can't teach a child to read.  I didn't study education. 

"You still want me to homeschool?  I read these books and the authors must be patient, and I'm not.  They don't have strong-minded children.  They control their tempers and never yell.  Every time they get irritated, probably the whole family bursts into a hymn, sung a capella in four part harmony, with two doing it in sign language or dances on hilltops like the Von Trapps.  We're not like that.

"You still want me to homeschool?  My daughter's preschool teachers gave her the wild colt award because of her high spirits.  Don't you know how alike we are and how often we butt heads?

"You still want me to homeschool?  I still don't know how to teach reading.  We'll make a deal.  I'll put them in kindergarten until they learn to read and then bring them home.

"God, I don't understand.  She's figuring out how to read.  We found this phonics reader at the library, she learned to read a few pages, and we made our own reading book.  She's drawn pictures on the pages as she's learned to read them.  I don't know how it happened.  I was going to send her to school until she got reading and then bring her home.  We've enrolled her in the perfect kindergarten.  What if we keep her in school this year?

"God, yes, I know you're calling me to homeschool HER, but what about my son?  Now, he needs special speech therapy - four days a week and a day a week with a music therapist, maybe for seven years.  I've got to work in case insurance doesn't cover the therapy.  How can I work, help him learn to talk, and school her?  Her kindergarten class must have been a Godsend.

"OK God.  What now?  She went to her first day of kindergarten, carrying the reader we made together.  When she came home, she said no one else could read and if they couldn't read, she wouldn't either.  She told me she would never read from the book we made again.

"God, I would homeschool, but will my children have friends?  I don't know homeschool families anywhere.  My family thinks I'm nuts.  It's day 2 of kindergarten, and she came home sadder.  What do we do now?

"God, it's after day 3 of kindergarten.  She came home and asked to homeschool.  How do I answer?  I signed a contract to work 2 afternoons a week for 3 months in case we need the money for our son's therapy.  How will this work?

I cowered in the winepress of my kitchen, just as Gideon cowered when God called him.  How would we make the impossible happen?  I didn't realize that we couldn't make the impossible happen, but He could.

Finally, I said yes to the call God placed in my heart, with which I wrestled for two years.  That first year was a challenge.  I didn't know where to buy schoolbooks, so I bought a kindergarten curriculum book from Sam's, and we went to the library weekly.

My son worked through his schedule of 4 speech therapy sessions and 1 music therapy session weekly.  Two mornings weekly, I sat in a public school hallway with our daughter, while our son was in preschool early intervention therapy.  Two other mornings, I sat with her in a waiting room of a rehab center while he was in therapy.  We read books while we waited.  I participated in his music therapy while she sat and waited.  When I worked afternoons, a neighbor (who happened to have been a special ed. teacher) babysat our kids and gave them preschool/kindergarten activities. 

I prayed every morning a prayer of desperation to carry us.  In spare time, I sought ways to incorporate language therapy into our daily lives.

Six weeks after we began to homeschool, I met another homeschool family.  Three months later, we found a small local network.  Maybe we weren't the only ones in the Midwest. 

Somehow, by the grace of God, we survived that first year.  The seven years of therapy was mastered in two. Our methods and philosophies have changed in the past ten years.  We've done unit studies, Charlotte Mason, studied Latin, followed what my second grader should know, worked history chronologically, and more.  Some things worked, and others didn't.  Along the way, we've had great experiences and made wonderful friends.

While our hows and our whats of homeschooling have evolved, the why hasn't. God called us to this path and we will follow wherever He calls us.  As I grow older, I hope I argue with Him less. And listen more.

He called us to a lesser traveled path, and that has made all the difference.

Originally posted May 15, 2008. Copyright 2008.  All rights reserved.  May be forwarded in its entirety.

Mary Biever, a homeschool mother of two, serves as the secretary for Southwestern Indiana Home Educators.

Read her blog in Blog Towne: