Please welcome my sweet friend Amanda to the porch, where she’s giving you a peek inside her new book and encouraging you to see the joy in whatever season you find yourself. Amanda and I met online through mutual friends and fellow writers, but now we’re real-life friends who live on opposites sides of the country and don’t get to see enough of each other. She spurs me on toward appreciating wildflowers, remembering what God has done, and leaning into the truth.
Hi, new friends! I just released a new book called The Wilds of Homeschooling: A First-Year Guide to Teaching Your Kids (and Maybe Even Liking It). I picked an excerpt to share with you all that I think will encourage you whether you are homeschooling or not. Homeschooling has been the refining fire the Lord has used to shape me, but I think if you take out the word homeschooling and replace it with mothering you might find the Bible truth here still applies.
I will say this of homeschooling, and it’s true of motherhood too: It’s sanctifying.
Cindy Rollins says this best: “A wise person once said not to take too much credit or too much blame for your children. That is comforting. This is often hard for the homeschooling mom, because she has laid down her life. Her reputation and even her abilities are on the line. It is an incredible burden to carry … Part of the sanctification of motherhood is learning to trust God with our children.” (Mere Motherhood, 161)
It doesn’t matter if you are picking up homeschooling for one year or for all the school years, it can feel like it is all resting on you. Whether or not they read, whether or not they love reading, whether or not they can recite their times tables and the Declaration of Independence. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I think part of this is love. I think another part of it is pride.
I remember the stress of my later-reading son. One of my reasons for homeschooling is to allow my children to read when they are ready, but goodness how anxious I was when first grade came and went, and he remembered one whole sight word and was still sounding out “hat” one phoneme at a time. For him, reading happened in the middle of second grade like a rickety roller-coaster creaking its way to the top, until all at once everything locked into place, and he was off. He read his readers. He read chapter books. I’d check on him at night to find he’d fallen asleep on the page of a book. I rejoiced. It felt like the single greatest accomplishment of my life. But even then, I knew. It wasn’t simply my accomplishment; it was his milestone. And it was a partnership: God and me—and a boy who was ready.
If I could only tell you one thing about homeschooling, it would be this: do it with the Lord. Understand that it is a journey, one of sanctification, for you and your children. But one you are not left alone on. God is with you.
Here’s the bad news: In case you were wondering, you are not patient enough to homeschool.
But here’s the good news: Patience isn’t required. It’s acquired. You will grow in it, friend.
Homeschooling at its core isn’t just a commitment to teach your children; it’s a commitment to keep learning yourself.
Homeschooling once felt like a tremendous sacrifice on my part. Hours of my day were dedicated to teaching. I never felt like I was doing enough or doing it right. And all I had was a messy house to show for my hard work. I forgot all the gifts homeschooling could bring in my efforts to try to get it right and complete our assignments. No matter how long you do this for, don’t leave out the joy of homeschooling.
I’d love to know: How has homeschooling (or motherhood) been sanctifying for you?
The Wilds of Homeschooling is available in print or for Kindle on Amazon. Think of it as a pep-talk and the CliffsNotes to homeschooling. If you are feeling thrown in and overwhelmed, I would be so honored to encourage you and help you get started.
Amanda Conquers is a cop’s wife and homeschooling mom to four. When she’s not pulling her toddler off the bookshelf, she loves hiking, wildflower identification, and iced decaf lattes. She lives clinging to Christ and loves sharing the good news that no matter how weak you feel, you only have to be strong enough to lean on the One who already overcame. You can find her writing on Instagram and her blog.