Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Finding My Homeschooling Heart


As all of the "back-to-school" hoopla started amping up the past few weeks, I had a growing sense of discouragement and lack of direction. I would sit and think about homeschooling and almost immediately my energy would begin to plummet and a sense of dread would creep in. Then I would feel so horribly guilty for feeling that way and would wonder, "What is wrong with me?"

After all that terrible guilt, fear raised its ugly head and I began the online hunt to find someone to just "tell me what to do". My clamoring mind said "Quick, just buy something! Quick, do what she does! Quick, get your act together!"

After a few weeks of this rollercoaster, I figured out that somewhere along the way I have simply lost my heart for educating my children. I have kept a "safe distance" from really enjoying homeschooling again because I fear that this lovely lifestyle will come to a screeching halt (as it did 3 years ago), and I will need to put them back in school. I realized that deep down that I thought this: Why invest so deeply and richly in an ideal if it is all going to end?

I told a dear friend about this awful heart dilemma...that I knew God had called me to trust Him to homeschool again this past year, but that I was holding it all at arm's length and not giving my children my whole heart. And in the way that only a true and good and godly friend can, she said, "So you aren't really trusting God then." And I realized, that no, I am not. But I want to.

So I have spent the past week talking to Him about my heart and my fears and leaning into Him and asking and seeking and begging for His will and His ways to be done in me. And He is answering! He isn't leading me to some magic bullet curriculum, but back to my heart's original vision in homeschooling. A Charlotte-Mason inspired, relaxed homeschool with lots of great books, time outdoors, long discussions, real life math, art and music appreciation, imaginative play, and interest-led projects.

I didn't need a new curriculum, I just needed my heart back.

I felt my joy and energy return and know that He is working all things for good in our lives and that I really can trust Him no matter what the educational future holds for any of us. We walk these lifestyle paths by faith...one trusting step at a time.

photo credit

10 comments:

Rachel at Stitched in Color said...

Amen!

Adriane said...

Thank you for this post. It is very timely for me and an encouragement this evening.

Paige said...

Hey sweet chick-
I once held my friends at arms length because it hurt too much to get close to them and then move away again. A very wise person said, "Paige, that is like buying a bag of M&M's and never opening them and eating them because then they will be gone. Why would anyone do that? It is a waste." I have never forgotten that--while not allowing friends to get close is not the same as homeschooling with the right heart, it does have its similarities.

I will be praying for you!

paige

contented sparrow said...

oh, my! aimee, you just put into words what i've been feeling without being able to put it into words!

we should be officially starting school back here in a couple of weeks and I haven't even cracked open any books, any of the unfinished things from last year. i've been putting it off....feeling that same sense of dread inside...fearful that I'M going to fail as their teacher. doubting what we've been doing, looking at how other people do things and second-guessing my Charlotte Mason-inspired, tons of outdoor time, awesome books, art project-doing, relaxed curriculum! :)

i feel so relieved right now. i see i haven't been trusting God. i can't wait to talk to Him about it!

thank you, thank you!
journeying with you!
megan

Aimee said...

dear Paige, i love love your analogy...so true...I substituted m&m's for Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt and it spoke to me even deeper :) :)

megan, i feel so totally encouraged by your comment...seriously...it's always so refreshing to know that we deal with the same struggles and worn-out faith and need each other to speak to it and encourage. fear of failing our children and doubt rob us of SO MUCH...it is a daily battle in my mind right now and I am consciously trying to "take every thought captive to obedience in Christ" and speak the truth to myself about HIS faithfulness to me and my children regardless of my performance as a "teacher". One day at time and one step at a time is where I am right now :)

Kimbrah said...

Aimee- I am a friend of one of your sister's and she sent me the link to your post to encourage me because I have been going through a similar struggle. I particularly loved the last line- "We walk these lifestyle paths by faith...one trusting step at a time." It seems like that is what my whole life is about! :) God is teaching me faith and dependence on Him and sometimes it is such a hard thing to embrace! Thank you for the encouragement as we start our home schooling day (Charlotte Mason, too, yay!) today and try to make it through this awful heatwave we are experiencing right now! :)

Kimbrah (momma to 4 going on 5 little boys)

Andrea said...

Dearest Aimee,
Trusting God is just that: trusting Him.
You may fail. You may not be a good teacher. Your children may not turn out how you planned. Yet you trust. And keep trusting. And that's what it's about, friend. I love you and I am so glad you've found your homeschooling heart! Now dig in and enjoy!!

Lisa said...

A timely post for me too Aimee! I've felt all summer that I just need to turn to good books to teach my children and to not fret over what we haven't completed. Life offers so many important lessons and I can see my children growing and learning before my eyes. If I can just keep the computers and cable off, they will learn. As a mom to six, it's hard to make the balancing act work and to make sure everyone's cup is full each day. So if the cup doesn't reach the brim, does that mean I've failed? I don't think so - we don't always need a full cup to be satisfied and sometimes we can fill our own cups and teach our children to do so for themselves too!

STEPHANIE. said...

this is awesome! I just spent a ton of time looking at a charlotte mason website for I have not heard of the method until reading your blog post and really enjoyed it! I look forward to hearing how your school year goes. :)

Family of Movers said...

Great post! I too had to find my homeschooling heart! It wasn't easy either since I had the kids all registered for public school the day before school started, I started to homeschool. Quite a journey!