I knew that God had called us to a life-long lifestyle, which included, among other things, homeschooling. Therefore, the doubts and desire to quit had to be coming from the enemy of my soul. When the doubts came, I found it absolutely imperative to "do battle" in my mind. It was time for me to pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations, bring my thoughts into captivity and make the meditations of my heart acceptable to God. I had to remind myself just why we were homeschooling to begin with, that God had called us to it and He would enable us to finish the race He had set before us.
God is so good! He gave us a heart for our home and children. He brought others across our path to encourage and teach us wonderful principles and truths from His word. He took our sometimes feeble attempts at obedience and blessed them beyond measure! He gave us confidence in Him and a measure of success both in parenting and in homeschooling.
Well, things calmed down and evened out through the rest of the grade school and junior high years. Then came another period of questions and comments when our boys reached high school age. By then, most people we knew were pretty well used to us and were seeing the fruit of the earlier years. We didn't get nearly as many questions as we had earlier. For the most part, I made it through pretty well too, as I had been a Christian longer and had seen the faithfulness of the Lord in our family for many years. I began to think we were pretty much through with questions and comments (and doubts and fears) about our parenting and schooling.
I was wrong.
Our sons grew up and graduated from our homeschool. They are now 23 and 21 years of age, single, living and working at home. We work on the house and yard together, we go to church together, and we are in business together. We have cookouts or go out to eat together. In fact we do most things together. We're all happy and very busy together. I find that we've entered another stage of life where folks we don't know very well, or don't see very often simply don't understand us and just can't seem to refrain from questioning or commenting.
Some questions are voiced openly, others implied by the turn of the conversation. The main concerns seem to center around the same types of things as before, but with an older emphasis. People just can't believe or understand that two bright young men have chosen not go to college (how will they ever earn a living?). It seems inconceivable to them that they have chosen to devote time to work before finding God's choice of a wife through courtship/betrothal (after all, don't they like girls—are they normal—how will they find the right one if they don't shop around?). It's nearly impossible for these folks to believe that our sons actually enjoy being with us and that they are not always lying around the house watching movies, listening to rock music, hanging out with friends or being otherwise rude, rebellious and difficult.
I must admit that sometimes we still have some questions or fears of our own. We occasionally wonder if not going to college will be a detriment to our sons somewhere along the line. We haven't had any personal experience with courtship/betrothal, and at times we have doubts or fears about how and when (or IF) it will all work out. All of us have always had an extreme desire for a home-business and the family-friendly, Dad-involved lifestyle it affords—but will it really work out?
Now, as in years past, is a time we need to remind ourselves that God is the One who gave us the light and the convictions we have. He has commanded us to live out the life He has called us to. He has faithfully, gently and persistently led and abundantly blessed us all along the way so far. It is time again to pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations, bring thoughts into captivity and make the meditations of our hearts acceptable to God. Again85and again!
Thankfully, we have the Bible and our own past, full of the faithfulness of God, to look to for comfort and answers. We know and can rest in the truth that He will enable us to victoriously finish the race He has set before us!
Until next time, God bless, and happy homeschooling!
Kari Lewis and her husband, Frank, have been married for 27 years. They started homeschooling their two sons in 1990 and taught them at home until each graduated from homeschool high school. In 2002, the four of them founded Home School Enrichment, Inc.
This article was originally published in the Jul/Aug '04 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. For more information, please visit http://HomeSchoolEnrichment.com.