by Sara Maynard
I have recently been faced with the realization that I have two high schoolers. Along with that realization comes a new set of challenges. I no longer have to worry about whether they will be able to read or do math. We have moved beyond that to getting them to stop reading long enough to do math!
We are now at the point in our homeschool experience where we are looking to the future and what will come after high school. I’m trying to figure out how to plug our non-traditional learning style into a traditional transcript and questioning whether we do enough, especially in the areas of math and science. I have been in prayer quite often about this, and would like to share some helpful things the Lord has been revealing to me.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 2:6 NIV, which says, “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
In case you missed that message, let me reword it. Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding do not come from the number of pages you read, problems you work, or experiments you do. Rather, they are a gift from God, given to those who seek His ways and follow Him.
Proverbs 16:9 NIV says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” I find the same idea expressed even more compellingly in Proverbs 20:24, International Children’s Bible, New Century Version: “The Lord decides what a person does. So no one can understand what his life is all about.”
That means that if I am trusting the Lord, and my children are trusting and following Him, He is guiding their paths – the same paths He had planned before they were born (see Ephesians 2:10) – and He alone knows where those paths will lead. My job is to trust Him – and to make sure my children are not being lazy or neglectful when they do not accomplish as much in certain subjects as I think they should.
Last spring our family was blessed with the opportunity to attend a home school convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. We heard teaching from Little Bear Wheeler, Jim Weiss, and Susan Wise Bauer. These three people, along with many others, have helped shape our curriculum throughout our years of homeschooling. One thing Susan Wise Bauer said has really stuck with me since our return home:
“If your child can graduate from your home school with one subject for which he or she has a true love and passion, you have done your job!”
She explained that God has given a particular “bent” or set of talents to every individual. These gifts commonly lead to a passion for certain interests or a desire to study certain subjects. As a result, sometimes a child does not accomplish as much as Mom would like in other subjects. However, when we are faithful to provide our children with a solid foundation in the Word of God and a strong personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, then we are well on the way to equipping them to seek out and follow the paths appointed by their Good Shepherd. They will be able to receive God’s wisdom and subsequently master any information they need in order to gain success in their chosen pursuits at any time in their lives.
So, Mom, keep encouraging yourself and your “fellow moms” to enjoy your children, help them love the Lord your God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and to pursue the gifts and talents which He has placed within them. Then trust God to take it from there!