Am I Ruining My Child?

I remember that day well. I was tired. Sleeping through the night was something I could only dream of. That is, if I could sleep long enough to dream it. I was working with one of my children on math. We had come to a topic that was particularly challenging, and this was Day 5 of covering the SAME lesson.children at school reading graphics fairyI know. That is the “beauty” of homeschooling. We have the blessing to zip through a lesson if our child grasps it quickly and the luxury of camping on a more difficult lesson until it is learned. But this was Day 5 of camping. I was ready to roll up my tent and move on. How many more ways are there to teach this concept? I kept thinking, “Why don’t you get it, yet?” I kept praying for patience and grace to teach the lesson again.

It’s times like this when the thoughts begin to creep in.

“You aren’t skilled enough to teach this.”

“A real teacher woud identify a learning issue if there is one.”

You’re ruining your child.”

Oh. The coldness of that one. Those words go straight to the heart of a mama and begin to crush it.

My husband and I keep a folder for times like this. It’s a simple manila folder we keep in our file cabinet. And it is labeled “Why We Homeschool.” Inside we put printouts of encouraging things we read on line. There are magazine articles chronicling how successful homeschool graduates are. I’ve even put in torn pieces of paper with Bible verses on it. Anything that encourages me and helps me to remember the reasons we began homeschooling in the first place. The folder is always available to open during times when I am wavering; when things get hard.

You’ll hear me refer to this little folder from time to time. I like to call it my Egypt Folder.

You know. When the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, and God performed miraculous deeds of plague, locusts, etc., to get a powerful ruler such as Pharaoh to free his  work force. That was not a forgettable thing. But the Israelites forgot.

They were slaves. God took hold of the earth and did things that went against the natural order of the things He set in place. How could they forget that? How could they not remember that God wanted them to be a free people?

You know, God did the same thing with our family. He made it evident to us that we should be training and educating our children at home. And if He did that, I need to trust that He will bring the manna when I am hungry and the water when I am thirsty. He will bring the strength to teach that math lesson again, with patience.

And he knows that this is the best thing for my child. He would not call me to do this and not provide the strength I would need to carry it out. He would not call me to do this if there was something better for my child.

No. I am not ruining him.

Yes, sometimes it’s hard; sometimes I feel like it would be better off to be a slave in Egypt. But I look at my folder and see the reasons why we homeschool and remember. I get correct perspective.

And I open up that math book once again.