The freedom to homeschool our children is a gift. But sometimes I’ve been disappointed with this gift. How about you?
I have been certain that my homeschooled children would:
- Have no difficulty learning
- Be motivated to complete school each day
- Take pride in cleaning and caring for their belongings
- Be ahead of their same-age peers academically
- Have a strong faith
- Not be peer dependent, but Christian leaders
- Would get along
- Agree with me and my husband politically and spiritually
- Not engage in immoral behavior
- Be respectful and first-time obedient, especially in others’ presence
- Always want to be homeschooled
- Not want to date until they were ready to get married
- Be capable of adult responsibilities by age 12
- Not want to go to a secular college far away
To summarize, I expected my children not to behave like “other children” and to make me look good. Go ahead and laugh. You already know that my expectations are ridiculous because we can always see the problem with others’ attitudes. Our own unreasonable expectations are another story.
After more than twelve years of homeschooling and the opportunity to witness the disappointment of many dedicated, godly homeschooling parents, I now know that our children aren’t the problem–our expectations are. Invariably, when new homeschoolers ask me about their children’s lack of motivation, I discover unreasonable expectations at the source of it.
When we lay our homeschool hopes and dreams on God’s altar, we discover that we love the gift God has given us in homeschooling. Little Johnny may not be the most focused student, but he is really, really funny. Teenage Susie may not see things the way you do, but she will not be brainwashed by anyone. The kids may not be making you look good in the world’s eyes, but God thinks they’re making you look a lot more like Jesus. And that’s exactly what I wanted. How about you?
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27