Friday, August 12, 2011

If You Keep Your Eyes on Jesus You Can Walk On Water and Homeschool

“Come.”  That little word was spoken by Jesus to Peter when Peter walked on water.  Jesus has said to all of us, “Come”, as we begin and/or continue our homeschooling journey. God has called you to the noble task of homeschooling, so He will equip you, just like He equipped Peter.  You just need to have faith.  

Faith is a little word but it has a huge amount of power and strength.  Faith is what allowed Peter to walk on water!  So Jesus said "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.   Matthew 14:29  The same faith that Peter had to do an unimaginable task, is the same faith we need as we start and/or continue our journey this year.  And for many of us, homeschooling our children, is an unimaginable task! 

For several of you, this is your first year of homeschooling, however, in my opinion, you have been homeschooling your children since birth.  Your child is just starting another stage in his development and now the government has lorded over you a requirement to teach your child because your child is now 5 or 6 years old.  I laugh out loud when I think of the government requiring me to teach my child!  That sounds so ridiculous! 

When you taught your child how to eat solid foods, did you have the government pressuring you to do so?  No!  You knew your child was ready to eat solid foods so you introduced them to him.  You did not withhold food from your child because you were waiting to hear from the government as to when to feed him.  You knew what your child needed.   

When you taught your children how to walk, did you consult the government handbook on childhood walking?  Of course not, how absurd does that sound? You know your child better than anyone else, more so than the government, the public schools, private schools, grandmas and grandpas, friends and neighbors.   You have been homeschooling all along.  YOU ARE EQUIPPED TO DO THIS!  You are the ultimate teacher for your child, because you are “Mom”.  Now, here comes the hard part.  Charting a new course.

Many of you are anxious for this coming school year.  I remember very well my first year of “official” homeschooling.  All of the curriculum was in order and I had an ideal of my child just sitting at my kitchen table waiting eagerly and patiently for my instruction for us to ‘do school’.  What a rude awakening I had!  There was absolutely nothing patient about my child and the only thing he was eager to do was to get up from my table to go run around outside and climb a tree.  (Eight years later, he's still like that today!)  

I was definitely disillusioned about my new homeschooling journey.   I began to second-guess myself and my abilities and of course, my “qualifications”.  

I did not understand why my child did not respond the way I had envisioned.  After the years of reading books about homeschooling, and homeschooling my children through preschool, I truly felt prepared.  Oh, how wrong I was!  But after a few more years of growing in the Lord and having faith in knowing that homeschooling was God’s best for my child, I pressed on.  I bought different curriculum, read a lot more homeschooling books, learned more about my teaching style and my children’s learning styles, etc.  I was determined to homeschool in spite of its difficulties, yet I still felt like I was sinking, or should I say, drowning!  

My first born child was sooo difficult to teach (and he still is to this day because that is just how God has made him!)  I realized I had a choice.  I could put him in traditional school and have someone else teach him, knowing full well that he would not receive the biblical instruction that I wanted to pour into him, or I could read more homeschooling books and hope everything works out for the best.  OR I could have faith in Jesus, the Living Word, the Ultimate How-to Homeschool Book.  And that is what I did.  I used God’s Holy Word as my ‘Life Preserver’ to pull me back up to the top of the water that I was drowning in.  I clung to the Word of God and I believed It and tried to obey It with all my heart, even in the midst of my homeschooling storm.

When I look back to my times of defeat, I saw the ‘here and now’, the temporary times of my child not getting math or his inability to read, (which now I recognize as his disinterest, rather than a ‘so called’ disability).  I took my eyes off of Jesus just like Peter did when he started to sink.  “But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!”  Matthew 14:30   

Fear caused Peter to sink.   Fear caused me to doubt my decision to homeschool.  So I asked myself, what causes a homeschool mom to fear?  And here were many of my thoughts, 

“My son is not ‘getting it’.”  

“I don’t feel like I am doing enough.”  

“Will this curriculum cover everything he needs to know?”  

“What if there are gaps in my child’s education?”  

“Will he get into college?”  

“Am I going to ruin my child by doing this?  

All of it is fear and All of it is from the Enemy.  Satan will speak those words into your minds daily, if you allow him. 

What I did not see at the time were the spiritual fruits that were developing in my child, and those giftings far outweighed when he would ‘get math’ or become a proficient reader.  "And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"  Matthew 14:31  There  was  no reason  for  me to  become  fearful  of  my child’s education.  God knew what He was doing when he called me and said, “Come”.

Many people have given Peter a hard time for taking his eyes off of Jesus in this passage.  But how many other disciples had enough faith to throw their leg over the side of the boat and walk on water?  A big fat zero!  

You have thrown your leg over the side of the boat, you are walking on water to Jesus, only your walk happens to have your kids in tow, and you are taking them to Jesus with you!  What a beautiful and precious sight! 

If you keep your eyes on Jesus, you can homeschool!

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