Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oh I Could Never Do That!

I am still reading Help for the Harried Homeschooler by Christine M. Field. It is an excellent book and I would highly reccomend it whether you're beginning homeschooling or a veteran with many years under your belt.

I was especially struck by her thoughts on that lovely comment we all get sooner or later when we say we homeschool. "Oh I could never do that!"

Here is what she says:

I am often told, "Oh, I could never do that!" when I reveal my status as a homeschooling mom. You've probably heard it too. The implication is that we're either superhuman or insane. If they only knew!

What does it take to be a good homeschooler? How do we know if we've really got what it takes? How do we know if we're serving our children well?

One thing we know it doesn't take, is a tremendous amount of education. In their helpful book Homeschooling: Answers to Questions Parents Most Often Ask, homeschool specialists Deborah McIntire and Robert Winham quote from the Homeschool Legal Defense Association's Homeschool Court Report: "Possessing a teaching credential is not a prerequisite to successful home education, and a parent's level of education is a minimal predictor of his or her success as a home educator."

Fields goes on to say:

When we homeschool, we pledge to be present for our children physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is a huge commitment that requires, more than any special abilities or training, willingness to work, dedication, sacrifice, and a real desire that our children discover the joy of learning.

If God has called you to homeschool, he doesn't care whether you are highly educated. He cares that you are obedient to obey his call. If you obey, he will equip you. Don't worry that you don't have the necessary qualifications to teach your children. You have God's Spirit, who will teach you everything you need to know. "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you," he promises (Psalm 32:8).

God is the only "principal" to whom you are accountable, and if you are in obedience to him, you're doing fine. He guarantees it.

Fields stresses that as parents you need to have a mission statement for homeschooling. With a written mission statement, we can see where we are going and evaluate what needs to change and when:

Write a family mission statement based on your answers to the questions above. (She gives a list of questions to ask yourself and family in her book). Your mission statement helps you define who you are, what you do, why you do it, who you serve, and what resources you are committed to dedicate to your work. Think of it as your family constitution. Use it to help you evaluate decisions and choose options.

Relax and enjoy the privilege of the homeschooling journey. Remember that if God has called you, he will equip you.

It is comforting to know that although we're not superhuman or insane (although I sometimes wonder about that for myself), that if God has called us to homeschool, He will equip us!


  1. How did I miss that you have this blog? I just noticed it on your sidebar on A Different Drum.

    I read this book recently for some much needed inspiration before we start our new school year. Good book!

  2. It is definitely inspiring! I will certainly be reading it again.

    I moved this blog here from HSB as I found their site too difficult for me to manoveur -- although I love the community there. I miss that. It's just too quiet here on blogger :-).

    Thanks for commenting!


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