Thursday, September 19, 2013

The First Lesson We Homeschooling Moms Need to Learn This Year

It is one of those mornings. It is the fourth week in, and the routine hasn't quite caught up with me yet. When I glance at the kitchen clock, I see that breakfast should have happened a half hour ago. Baking soda.....baking soda....I scrounge in the back of the pantry scanning for the orange box.



I see my eight-year-old in my peripheral vision. He has that look in his eyes. The one that tells me he has more on his mind than the usual, "What's for breakfast?"

First Day of School sans the Cute Signs

I stir waffle batter with one hand and pour milk for my two-year-old while trying to get a head start on the dishes. The clock ticks mercilessly.

Visions of the mama I know who starts school promptly at 8:00 A.M. with the Pledge of Allegiance and probably some Shakespeare flash through my mind. But I have an agreement with myself not to compare.....focus.....focus. Measure waffle batter into the iron, wash a few bowls hurriedly....focus....

"Mom? What do you do at college besides play football?" So much for the homeschooled child with a well-rounded education.

Nature Study in the Back Yard

While taking the butter and syrup out of the fridge, I attempt to explain that football is, in fact, a part of college education to which relatively few attain. He doesn't look disappointed as much as surprised. He wants to know why else anyone would go to college. The look of disappointment flashes when I mention math as part of the equation.

I'm momentarily distracted by a burning smell and remember the last waffle I put in. I evaluate the blackened quotient and decide it might still entice my two-year-old, so I put it on the serving platter.

Fire Safety Requirement? Check!

"Mom?" He's not finished. The look is still there. "What is high school?" Another monologue that I will definitely record as part of my 900 hours this year, thank you very much.

I pull a waffle out with a less blackened perimeter and hand a stack of plates to my eleven-year-old and a pile of forks to my five-year-old. Breakfast, home ec class is almost over.

"Are you going to homeschool us in high school?" Visions flash again. This time it's the childless dental hygienist who has more education than I have affirming, "I could never homeschool." If my mouth hadn't been full of instruments and toothpaste, I might have blurted what came to my mind, "But you make a living putting your hands in people's mouths?"

See....I don't homeschool either. Only kidding....sort of.

Focus....focus....he's looking at me expectantly. "As long as God and circumstances allow, yes, I will homeschool you in high school." I finalize the conversation and the breakfast prep and start herding everyone to the table.

Then, he's at my elbow again. "But Mom?" I look down while balancing a serving dish and the warmed syrup. "You know that's the same thing, don't you? God and circumstances. Circumstances can't happen unless He lets them."

I feel chastened. This I know, but I have just spent the better part of the morning lamenting my late start and the fact that the cereal was gone.


circumstances that cause us to start school late...

circumstances that cause tears to well in the late night hours....

circumstances that cause the biggest tantrums to occur when Daddy is off at work...

circumstances that seem unfair and surreal...

circumstances that leave me stranded without a car on the first week of co-op and.....

circumstances that make me question why I'm even here trying to play teacher and cook and mommy all at once.

Those things I've been complaining about and comparing about.....those circumstances are "the same thing".....the same thing as.....God.

I finally smile down at him and look fully into his grayish-green eyes this time. "Yep, as long as God allows, I will homeschool you."

Home. School. One and the same.

He grins back and grabs his football. Within two minutes, his deep reasoning turns to an irrational tackle too close to the living room lamp.

I stack the dishes and pull out the school books. And I catch just a glimpse of His smile as I glance down at the cover. Yes, they are the same. All that happens, He allows. For the first time today, I truly focus.


  1. love this and love the first day of school picture. We start on Monday. Wondering if I should try the cute sign or just let it be. :) glad to know I will not be the only mother running behind and that God is always in control.

    1. Yes, you are never the only one! May God bless your homeschool this year.

  2. Thanks. I have "circumstances" every day. . .I love this fresh perspective. Oh, the things our children teach us.

    Take care,

    1. Oh yes, don't we all, Stacie! I have found that so often I'm the one getting more schooling than my little ones. So true.

  3. Beautifully written! I couldn't agree more. This is my hope too this year, more focus on the important things and just letting things "happen". :)

    1. It's so hard not to try to "control" things, isn't it, Kyndra? I pray that God will bless your homeschool this year as well.

  4. This was really relevant and similar to what God has shown me thru my children today. Come unto HIM as a little child. Awesome, isn't it?

    1. Yes! Motherhood is just like front row seats in the classroom of this important truth, don't you think?

  5. Soooo... God causes bad? Evil? Disappointments? Heartache?

    I disgree. The bible calls some things "time and unforeseen circumstance" not attributable to either God or Satan. Sure, evil is attributable to Satan (death, murder, child abuse..) and God is responsible for all good things. But bad days? A broken down vehicle? An employer forgetting to file payroll in time? Those are just things that happen.

    1. This post was meant to be an encouragement to homeschooling moms, not a theological treatise. However, to say things "just happen" sounds to me like chance. I believe that God orchestrates only good, but by the very presence of good it's opposite is created. Everything that happens to us (the "circumstances" referred to in the post), must pass through the filter of God's allowance. A classic Biblical example is Job. Thanks for reading and for your comment!

    2. Love this post... What a good reminder!! So glad for"Gods Filter" that all our circumstances have to pass through before they hit us! He knows just what we can handle! (even when it FEELS like a bit more...) :-)

    3. Yes, we can trust Him despite our feelings!