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But Homeschooling is “Just for Other People!”

Rachael Carman | May 10, 2024

If you have ever thought that homeschooling is just for other people, read on.

If you have ever said that you are not organized enough, you don’t have enough patience, or you wouldn’t know where to start to homeschool, read on.

And if you have ever wanted to experience the power of the risen Savior daily, read on.

An Unlikely Homeschooling Candidate

I believe that I could successfully argue that I was the world’s most unlikely candidate ever to become a homeschool mom. In retrospect, I can now see how graciously and patiently the Lord was preparing me to take this huge step of faith. But I never would have guessed it at the time. 

I had not even heard of homeschooling when we moved to Ohio in 1990. And I remember when I first met our new neighbors, and she mentioned that they were homeschooling. I thought that she was crazy, especially since the local school bus stopped right in front of her house. My son was only an infant, and I was already looking forward to getting my life back. At that time, the little yellow school bus looked like the solution to my problems.

I believe that God has a great sense of humor. He did not providentially place me in a neighborhood with just one homeschooling family. No, there were three. I couldn’t believe it; what were they thinking? Didn’t they know what they were missing out on? I mean, what about lunch with friends? A romantic rendezvous with their husbands? Unencumbered errands? House decorating projects? I thought they just didn’t get it. 

Homeschoolers Placed in Our Path

Early on, as I began to get to know Lesa, Carolyn, and Kathy, I was sure they were homeschool moms because they had incredible patience, were extraordinarily intelligent, and were naturally organized—notice I said early on. God, in His infinite wisdom, allowed me to live alongside these women for three years. We started getting together for Bible study and prayer on Thursday nights, and I learned the truth: they were moms just like me. They loved their husbands and their children, but more than anything, they loved their God and wanted to seek His will in all things.

I believe now that it was the first time I was able to see people living out their faith on a daily basis. These women had not avoided being peculiar; they had embraced it and even celebrated it. They loved their kids and believed they were responsible for discipling them in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord. But even in the midst of all of this, homeschooling was still something that was for other people, not me; I was still looking forward to the little yellow school bus.

Then we moved to Charlotte. And guess what? God put more homeschoolers in our path. I know now that He was preparing a network for me, a type of safety net before I stepped out in faith. He was working, even though I was not interested in the project. We did not consider homeschooling. No, we bought our house based on the local public school report. We knew we could not afford to put them all into private schools, so we put all our money into a house right around the corner from the best elementary in the district.

Other Options to Consider

Through a series of events and 13 days in the “best elementary in the district,” we found ourselves at home, having pulled our son out of the system and discussing our options. Homeschooling was not on my radar screen. I had never seriously considered it. In fact, I was trying to think of creative ways to finance private school tuition, like taking a second mortgage on the house. I did not think that homeschooling was the answer. 

As my husband and I discussed our options, he asked, “What about homeschooling?” You might be able to guess my first reaction. He says that my head actually spun around on my shoulders; it wasn’t pretty. I spouted off all of the reasons I did not want to homeschool, all of the things I was looking forward to doing, all the places I was looking forward to going, and all of the “alone” time I was looking forward to spending.

He patiently listened. “I’ve just been thinking,” he answered after I had paused for a breath, “We have been praying all summer for Charles’ teacher, and I think we have been praying for you.

I will never forget that moment. It was overwhelming, and yet it was encouraging. It was shocking, comforting, intriguing, exhilarating, exhausting, and a great vote of confidence on my husband’s part. I will also add that I believe my husband showed great courage and boldness, given my initial reaction to his idea to homeschool.

You see, I had thought that homeschooling was something that only really organized people do, only really patient people do. I thought that the only people who homeschooled had always wanted to homeschool. I thought that homeschooling was something that only other people did, people who didn’t have any other plans. Since I had plans, was only average organizationally, and generally failed the patience test, I was sure that homeschooling wasn’t for me. I couldn’t do it, and I didn’t want to either. Praise God for his grace and mercy! He performed open heart surgery on me. I did not realize how clogged my spiritual arteries were. They were clogged with my own selfish ambition and desires. I had not allowed Him to live in and through me because I was too busy filling myself with me.

What Made Us Continue?

We have now graduated our seventh child from our homeschool. It does not seem possible, and the statement my husband made all those years ago shaped our daily lives along the way. Now you know how I got into this, but perhaps you are wondering why we continued. Was the heart surgery successful? I am happy to report that the procedure was successful, although I still have daily checkups and have had some minor incidents along the way.

But why do I homeschool? In short, I homeschool because I can’t – He can. I homeschool because “in my weakness, He is strong.”

1 Corinthians 4:10

We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.

I homeschool because “He can do immeasurably beyond what I can ask or think.”

Ephesians 3:20

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

I homeschool because it gives me a front-row seat to the miracles and faithfulness of a mighty God.

You see, being a homeschool mom is not about being organized. It is not about being patient. And it is certainly not about being highly intelligent. In fact, the only qualification is motherhood – no other experience is necessary. In other words, if you are a mother, you are qualified. Once that qualification is met, the only other requirement is a desire to be used by the Lord. The Bible teaches that He works the most mightily in the weak but willing. So if you are a mother and think you can’t homeschool, you are right where you need to be for God to come and do a mighty work.