I recently read a blog post that resonated with me. It’s about being content with the curriculum I have, the one I chose for the year, and trusting God with my homeschool.
Of course, I know the value of contentment. After all, in Matthew 6:34, Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow (or next school year), and Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6-7 to apply prayer and thanksgiving (contentment) as we rest in the knowledge that God is in control.
However, after reading the post I realized I don't homeschool in faith.
The Homeschool Curriculum Problem
Year after year, I plan, and plan, and plan with worry, coveting, and a bit of excitement at the prospect of new. Some years I want a boxed curriculum, others a design-my-own, and usually I go for an eclectic mix of both.
No matter what I buy I can never leave it as it is.
- I tweak pre-planned lessons.
- I add unit studies, books, activities, and projects.
- I combine classical, traditional, and Charlotte Mason. Instead of one spelling or math program, I mix multiple programs of the current best to be sooth my fear of falling behind or having gaps.
- Then I try to add all the extras like art, music, P.E., typing, foreign language, Latin, outdoor time, morning time, quiet time, or whatever someone else is doing that I find irresistible.
Naturally, all of this layering only adds up to stress, unnecessary busyness, unrealistic expectations, disappointment, fatigue, and burn out.
When this happens, I need to pause, take a deep breath, and be comforted by Paul’s words:
"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
The Solution to My Curriculum Pressures
It's time to get off the merry-go-round. I have forgotten why I'm homeschooling in the first place. Academics are important to me, but I don't need to follow what everyone else is doing. I want my children to enjoy learning and not groan every time I pull out the latest math manipulatives or spelling program.
- to enjoy my days spent teaching my children and not feel stressed or like I'm not doing enough
- to do what is right for our family and stop comparing my homeschool with other homeschool families
- my children to love reading and the pursuit of knowledge
- my children to wonder at God's creation and seek understanding
- my children to love Jesus with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their mind. (Matthew 22:37)
- to slow down and stop feeling like I am in a race
Therefore, I have picked a boxed curriculum that best aligns with my reasons for homeschooling. I don't want to spend time planning, seeking, gathering, and printing. Instead, I want to spend the years I have left homeschooling my youngest in God's peace, and simply be thankful and enjoy our days. I plan to use the curriculum I have chosen as is, without adding anything more to it.
By trusting that God is in control, I can let go and be content with the knowledgeable people who have taken the time, experience, and research to put together a complete curriculum. Only God can fill in the gaps. In faith, at the end of the day I want to close the planner and walk away, not worrying about tomorrow, but start each day refreshed and confident as I open the planner already laid out for me and simply do the next thing.