On what are your homeschooling motives based?
When we began homeschooling in 1981, it was a faith decision.
We weren't running from something but, rather, to something.
All of the pioneers I know had that same mindset. We felt we could do a better job, and we believed the Lord would help us along the way. (And He did, by the way.)
But today I see so many young moms who are fleeing from something, and fear is driving their every thought: fear of public schools, fear of liberal education, fear of violence or bullying or racism or anti-Christian sentiment, etc.
It doesn't matter what you're afraid of. If you're making fear-based decisions, there are always more fears lurking around the next corner, and fear-based choices almost always produce bitter fruit.
In life, every choice we make is either faith-driven or fear-driven.
I read an Elisabeth Eliott quote the other day to the effect that fear is what we experience when we think everything depends on us instead of God.
Fear-based homeschooling (and fear-based parenting, for that matter) means every facet of our children's future rests on our strength, our making the right choice, our finding the perfect curriculum, our arranging for the perfect enrichment classes, etc.
It's suffocating, and few women can bear up under that kind of pressure for more than a few months–perhaps a year or two.
That fearful sense of responsibility sends homeschooling moms scurrying for the latest, greatest, newest, and best curriculum or educational philosophy and on a relentless panic-driven search through Pinterest and YouTube and Facebook in search of inspiration, revelation and validation.
In the end, they discover that their average day can never compare with the best single day of the year that was captured on social media by some overachiever somewhere.
Fear-driven homeschoolers think EVERY day should look like those once-in-a-semester days portrayed on social media.
The Bottom Line
For me, as a speaker, educator, and publisher, I feel like my most important task is speaking peace into anxious hearts and reminding them that there is a God who cares more about their children than they do.
I want to remind them that thousands of us homeschooled successfully long before Pinterest or YouTube or Facebook, and long before the "curriculum du jour" that promises everything but delivers frustration.
I want them to know that the Lord has answers to prayers they haven't even thought to utter yet.
A busy working father of two, Steve Lambert found himself “along for the ride” when his wife Jane first began homeschooling more than 30 years ago. But he quickly saw the benefit to Jane’s unique approach to teaching, and he became an enthusiastic cheerleader as he watched his children’s love of learning blossom. By the mid-nineties, Steve had become a popular author and speaker at homeschool conventions nationwide. He and Jane produced the popular Five in a Row homeschool curriculum products. Today Steve remains involved in a variety of family-related ministries, public speaking, and writing while enjoying the wonderful role of grandfather.