This time last year I was freaking out. We had just made our decision to take our kids out of public school and homeschool them for the first time ever. We’d pseudo-homeschooled over the summer and spent an incredible amount of time researching curriculum, philosophies, and you-can-do-it blog posts about the freedom of do-it-yourself education.
Basically I was up to my eyeballs in worry and anxiety. What if I scarred my kids for life? What if I failed miserably? The desire to do what I thought deep down was best for my kids won out though. We’d had some major issues at our kids’ public school the previous year, and I yearned for a way to connect with my kids and draw our family closer together. I enjoyed having a firsthand look at how their minds processed the world during our lessons at home. Sometimes it was like pulling teeth without anesthesia, and I quickly learned what did and didn’t work with each kid (usually more of what didn’t work). We began our first and only semester with a great group of new friends at a not-back-to-school party. I carefully planned out lessons for each child each week. But staying at home with all four kids all day everyday only magnified problems that were already there, and made them feel like mountains. I was thankful to have clarity in what exactly we needed to work on, but the task felt completely overwhelming and I soon found myself sinking into a big hole. In the end, homeschooling didn’t work for our family. We sent our kids back to public school for the spring semester, and this fall we’re starting over at a brand new school. And I’m still a bit anxious.The truth is, we mamas are never in control of the world around us, even when we plan things down to the perfect pair of socks our child will actually wear with that boring pair of uniform shoes. Instead of trusting in our own mama-powers, however great they may be, we must really put our trust in God–and show that example of trust to our children.
So when we’re up bright and early and off to school, I can share that trust by not freaking out in the early morning traffic. By casting my own anxieties to God and showering my kids with love and grace. We love to tune into K-LOVE during our morning commute–it lifts everyone’s mood and I love hearing the kids sing their favorite songs around the house when the radio’s not playing. Seeds are being planted and I can see (or hear) the fruit.
Another special tradition I share with my kids during morning drop-off is placing a little penny in their palm. When I first began doing this, I pointed out the words inscribed across the top of the coin, In God We Trust, and reminded them to trust in God that day. I’ll be putting a stash of pennies in my van as we go back to school this week. And as they clamber from their seats to the door, I’ll hug them and kiss them and place that small little penny in their hand and remind them to keep it in their pocket and trust God today. That’s the most important thing I could ever send them to school with. I think I’ll put a penny in my pocket, too.