Today I have a guest writer posting on my blog, my friend, Gwen Doggett. Following is her heartfelt article:
Homeschooling in an Imperfect Family
By Gwen Doggett
It’s 9:00 a.m. and I am once again dragging my boys from their bed to get our school day going! In the 17 years I have been homeschooling, I have read far too many blogs and books about perfect families, homeschooling their obedient and happy children. Sure, we have had some great days along the way, but we have also had many very hard, trying, exhausting days. I have all boys and they would always rather be doing something other than school. On the most discouraging days, when we are arguing once more about how long the paper has to be or how many math problems must be completed, I wonder how I will get through the day or the week or the year. I break up more fights than I care to think about and many days I crawl into bed at night grateful we all made it through another day, and we are all alive! More than once, I have questioned a particular curriculum and have changed paths many times along the way. I doubt myself and my decisions. I wonder if I am enough or if I am too much. I cry. I pray. I worry.
No, homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. It requires great commitment, tons of patience, unconditional love, immense amounts of prayer and a willingness to get up and try again when we fail. All these traits are not natural and are only cultivated at the foot of Jesus. He gives us the strength, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, patience, love, and commitment we need. God is the center of all that we do and in His sovereignty is working on my heart and the hearts of my sons through homeschooling. We are far from perfect, but God does not call us to be perfect, just obedient. As we walk in obedience to what God has called us to do, our lives will look different from yours, but that doesn’t mean you are right, or we are wrong.
One of the greatest gifts the Lord has given me through homeschooling is a rich and honest relationship with each of my sons. Two of them are now adults. The foundation of our relationship laid down in the formative years while homeschooling has given way to a mature and wonderful relationship today. Character building is more important than book learning, and homeschooling truly allows time for it. So, would I do it all again? Yes, of course. In spite of the hard days, it is still worthwhile, totally worthwhile. I encourage you then, do not compare your homeschool walk with that of any other family, for it is unique. It took me a long time to learn this!
Galatians 6:4 “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else …”
Romans 1:5 “Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.”
Posted on January 9th, 2014
All Scripture taken from NIV (New International Version)