"...they labor in vain that build it..." Psalm 127:1
I want to talk for just a minute to my Christian homeschooling sisters. If you are not part of this group, this post really doesn't apply to you. No offense.
For those of us who are Christian homeschoolers, the first question should not be "What about socialization?" or "What is my child's learning style?" or "Do I have time to homeschool?" or any of the questions that we have asked, and hopefully answered, here in this blog over the last couple of years.
The first and most important question should be, "Does the Lord want me to homeschool?"
If the answer is no - if this is something that you think might be a good thing for your kids, or you don't want them to be bullied, or you think it might be something that will fit into your lifestyle, but it is not a deep conviction that burns within you like a mandate from God - you may not make it.
In fact, you probably won't make it.
In fact, even if you do make it, if it is not something the Lord wanted you to do, it will have been in your flesh and not even a "good work" in His eyes. Twelve to fifteen to twenty years of your life ending up on the "wood, hay and stubble" heap.
Thanks, but no thanks. Home schooling is too hard to take a chance on spending that much time when the Lord had something else for you.
But if the answer is yes - if you KNOW that you know that homeschooling is God's only choice for your particular family, that certainty will sustain you in the hard times.
...When you feel like an utter failure, and find yourself looking longingly at the school bus as it passes your house.
...When you find gaps in your child's education and don't know how to fill them, or even if you should.
...When criticism from your friends and family reaches critical mass.
...When at the other end of the journey, one of your children takes a tumble out of your homeschool and ends up with his or her feet firmly planted in the world you fought so valiantly to shield them from.
This last one in particular is when it is so important to know that you did the right thing, even if it doesn't look or feel like it. When it is so important to know you did what the Lord asked you to do, and then to leave the results up to Him.
Even if your child stumbles and falls. Or doesn't go to college. Or whatever it is that is your greatest fear. Homeschooling is not a foolproof way to keep your child on the straight and narrow. Oh, it helps. It may delay the onset of bad behavior. But, eventually, it becomes a matter between your child and the Lord.
And He is in control.
The most important part of Christian homeschooling takes place on your knees. Don't neglect it.