This week I spoke to the homeschool group in Northfield. I was originally asked to speak on preparing homeschool students for college. (I've given seminars on this topic.) However, when I found that most of the children in the group were in lower elementary grades, I had to do some quick adjustments.
My new topic: Big Picture Homeschooling. I encouraged and challenged the parents to take some time and think about what they wanted their child to look like when he or she left their homes. Too often as parents we get overwhelmed with the everyday practical issues of life: laundry, dishes, vacuuming and dusting, paying the bills, etc. I think it's essential to spend time with the Lord and ask Him about the skills, values, and goals that He wants for our children. Knowing the end-product, we can make wiser decisions along the way.
Another point I made to these hard-working moms was that they were going to make mistakes, but that's all a part of the journey. There's a lot of pressure in the homeschool community to do everything right... to have children who are brilliant, polite, and spit-shined. In a perfect world, we always have energy, never get cranky, and have enough money to hire a maid to wash the mountain of laundry. After 7 children and 23+ years of parenting I'm becoming more aware of my less-than-stellar parenting. I can choose to get all worked up over so many regrets; or I can choose to call on God's mercy and grace.
Life is too short to spend time anxious about our past mistakes or stressed over the fear of making fresh ones. So let's get over ourselves.