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Keeping Focus
June 1, 2009
Looking for a "Cure-All?"

When I ventured into my first homeschool support group meeting way back when, I was astonished by two things. First, the sheer number of families involved, and second, the fact that they seemed so “normal.” They looked just like me. Hmmmm. Perhaps I could do this after all.

I had a chance to talk with a few parents before the meeting started, and one of them advised me to take it one year at a time. Presumably to keep me from being overwhelmed and going into overload!

This particular meeting featured a panel of high school students and homeschool graduates. We could ask them anything about their homeschool experience. After listening to these articulate, honest, straight-forward – and often funny - young people, I knew right then and there that we would be homeschooling all the way through high school. (Which we did.)

Did I feel prepared? Absolutely not. I hadn't even started homeschooling yet! I was just beginning to research what was available and how to do it. I didn't even know that high school curriculum existed for homeschoolers. All I knew was that I wanted that same fruit in the lives of my children. The Bible warns us not to set ourselves up as judges, but Matthew 7:16 does say that we can evaluate a ministry or movement by the fruit is bears.

About half way through the meeting one of the panelists, a college student, asked to make a comment apart from any question being asked. He had been listening to his fellow panelists describe the advantages, benefits, and value of homeschooling. “I just want you to know,” he cautioned us, “that homeschooling is not a 'cure-all.' Don't get me wrong. I think it's great, and I will probably homeschool my own children. But it's also work.”

He went on to say that if a family is already having problems, homeschooling in itself will not solve those problems. But it will provide the time and setting for examining the underlying issues and rebuilding lost connections that are so often a part of the problem. It can be an opportunity to restore fellowship with one another and return to God's plan for the family.

Such maturity. Such honesty. Such wisdom from a relatively young adult.

He hit the nail on the head. Homeschooling is not the answer to all our problems. Nor is it the way to ensure that our children grow up into successful, mature men and women of God. Jesus Christ is the Answer; Jesus Christ is the Way.

But homeschooling can allow us to create an environment that is positive, loving, safe, challenging, disciplined, and nurturing. Creating anything requires work, determination, and attentiveness. And it requires purposefulness.

To bear the fruit we envision, we must be constantly connected to the One Who is the Way. We need to be making a conscious effort to stay in touch with Him (the Bible calls this abiding in the Vine), and yielding to the Holy Spirit as we plan for the next year. Otherwise, as the quote of the month explains, all we have is wishful thinking.

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