I’d be well on my way to being a millionaire If I had a dollar for every time in the last 4 weeks someone said to me “I bet you’re glad you homeschool!” Well. Umm…yeah. But it didn’t take a massive flu outbreak or a string of school shootings for me to feel that way. In fact, if I’m being honest, I don’t homeschool for my kids’ safety. Or at least not in the traditional way that you might be assuming.
First, I have to acknowledge my heartbreak over the many lives- specifically children- lost over the last several weeks. As I sit down to type this I mourn along with the parents suffering amid these tragic situations. My sincerest sympathy and prayers to those families who’ve lost children in recent, tragic events.
But, back to the topic that SO many have been interested in discussing with me lately- I don’t homeschool for my kids’ safety. Or, at least not their physical safety. One could argue that I do homeschool for the safety of my children’s hearts. And their innocence. You could even go so far as to say it’s for the safety of their education. But it has never been about protecting my children from outside physical harm.
A few weeks ago I read about high number of flu cases in our area. Not long after reading the stats I found myself in Costco and saw 4 different people wearing masks. And then the person in front of us in line threw up (okay, technically that’s an assumption. But she ran to the bathroom mid-transaction, leaving me standing there wondering if I could put all my items back and leave. Because, obviously they’d touched the same conveyor belt- ick!)
Leaving the store I was ready to quarantine my kids for life. Or at least until spring. I honestly thought through the VERY real scenarios of what it would look like to basically quit living and stay germ-free. As homeschoolers, it was actually a viable possibility. But then I heard the words, “DO NOT FEAR.”
Similarly, after the school shooting in Kentucky and then again in Florida, I had to force myself to let my children out of my sight. To drop them at sports practices or school activities took everything inside me. I hugged them a little tighter and again heard the words “DO NOT FEAR.”
I admit, it’s so stinkin’ hard. Like impossibly hard sometimes. Especially when it involves my children. But I have to rest in God’s promise that He’s got them. In fact, He loves them- even more than I do. And He’s for them. I know I’ve written this before, but I have to say it again: it’s not a coincidence the Bible contains the phrase “do not be afraid” 365 times!
When I’m tempted to let anxiety get the best of me, I love to repeat one of my favorite verses: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God goes with you always; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6. Both of my kids have been able to say that verse from memory since they started talking. And in these last several weeks we’ve worn that verse out.
To quickly summarize: no, I don’t homeschool to keep my children safe. I know that’s an easy assumption. But, the reality is that I serve a big God that has BIG plans for my kiddos. As their mother, I pray that those plans includes them living full lives- until at least the age of 95! But I also pray that not one minute of those lives is filled with fear. And certainly not fear that I’ve instilled. So I’ll keep teaching them God’s promise. Whether in the dark after I turn out the lights, or walking into a flu-infested school with potential shooters lurking around the corner- I’ll whisper the words “do not be afraid” into their little hearts…and maybe one day it will sink into mine too!
On a lighter note, do you want to know one of the reasons I DO homeschool?
It’s this. The opportunity to travel spontaneously when the weather is gorgeous in February. To wake my children up on a Friday morning and insist that they put on their bathing suits because- “surprise, we’re heading to the beach!” Schoolwork can wait, but these littles won’t be little for long.
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