Sitting at a Parent Practicum last week, I couldn’t help but remember the early days of homeschooling.
More than seven years ago, I attended my first Practicum and had no idea what I was doing. My head swirled with questions as I wondered why I was here, who were these people, and was this Classical Conversations really a thing?
I sat through the morning session feeling completely overwhelmed and slightly terrified. Then a sweet lady invited me to join her for lunch. It was a warm June day and Dawn invited me to sit down on her blanket under a tree. It was such a relief to have a friendly face and ask a million questions of someone who had actually done this before.
I found a peace that day. Throughout the sessions, conversations, and prayers, the Lord assured me I was on the right path. That day started a journey that changed me completely. It required me to love the Lord and depend on Him like never before. It required our family to trust, work, study, stretch, cry, grow, and ultimately love Christ more deeply.
As I admired the faces at our local Practicum, I was reminded of that look I had not so long ago. Seeing parents and kids spread out on blankets under trees, it made my heart warm. I love that we get to fellowship simply and beautifully and learn together this way. My hope was to be that friend like Dawn was to me.
Seven years later, I am in a new season. No longer am I asking what this is; now Practicum is my chance to remind myself exactly why I am doing this. It is the season where I revisit the heart of homeschooling. When I first began homeschooling, it was out of desperation—a longing to find that love of learning again.
Later it became to lavish hearts and minds with the very best content and find a feast of ideas for the middle school years. Now in the high school years, I ask myself again, “Why am I doing this? What is the heart of my homeschool?”
As our Practicum speaker reminded us, we have to be very clear about why we are doing this. She warned that if we are not crystal clear, then when the hard times come, we will be easily swayed or pulled off track by whatever comes across our path.
My heart of homeschooling is about raising a son who loves the Lord, who can think and discuss anything, who knows how to learn anything. The sweet spot in our home school is to raise a man who is equipped in the Lord, and is ready to pursue more of God’s call for him. My greatest hope is that he becomes so rooted in a love for the Lord that it can’t help but pour out in all he says and does.
My encouragement as we embark on the summer season is to take time to revisit the heart of your homeschooling. Why are you doing this? Pray, reflect, journal, seek the Lord on your path. If you seek Him, He will answer. Write your reasons down and keep them in a place where you can be reminded of His great vision for your family.
Lastly, I encourage you to attend Practicum this summer. If you are a newbie, seek out a veteran mom and spend some time learning from her. If you are a seasoned mom, be that friendly face in the crowd. Be the one that can help pour into others—they desperately need your words, your wisdom, and your love. Seek the heart of your homeschooling this summer to guide you all year long.