The curriculum order was in. The plan was set. Everything was in place for the new year. I was so excited, as I always am, to start afresh with new books and the new year’s focus. I knew we’d have our ups and our downs, but I was confident that God had guided me to teach my children yet another year. And I was confident he would continue to equip me in every way to teach everything my children needed.
Then science threw me for a loop.
I have always been weak in physics and chemistry. I determined early on in my homeschooling venture that I would not let that scare me, though. It couldn’t be that hard to learn physics and chemistry alongside my children, right? But, just a few weeks into fourth grade science, I knew I was in trouble.
We had a great curriculum, and a great plan. But, whenever my girls asked questions about what we were learning, I couldn’t go beyond what was in black and white in front of me. And, if my teacher’s guide didn’t thoroughly explain every challenging question I was supposed to ask them, I was lost.
The carefully laid plan had fallen apart.
Even worse, I was the one who frequently encouraged other prospective homeschoolers by telling them that as long as they were willing to learn, they could teach their children! How could I ever encourage other moms again if I couldn’t even get through a fourth grade introductory science curriculum? And how could I teach through high school if I couldn’t teach elementary science?
I started praying.
You would have thought I’d have done that from the beginning. But, instead of beginning my year with prayer, I began it with an assumption. I assumed that God had me taken care of simply because we were being obedient to homeschool. Instead of specifically praying over our new year, I just stepped out in pride, confidence . . . and my own strength.
As I prayed, I became increasingly convinced something had to change. But I had no idea where to begin to make changes, and I knew we couldn’t afford a whole new science curriculum. So, I finally sat down to talk it out with my husband. Without hesitation, he looked at me and said, “Why don’t I teach it?”
His question stopped me in my tracks. It was such a simple solution. He’s so strong in science. He gets it. And he’s an excellent teacher. Why hadn’t I thought of it before? (Hmm . . . it couldn’t be that whole pride and assumptions without prayer thing, could it?)
We had to rearrange our school schedule a bit, fitting science into blocks that could fit around his work schedule. But, it worked!
Suddenly, science took on a whole new life. My husband was filling in the gaps, answering questions with ease, and expanding on what was presented in the curriculum to truly get it to sink in for all of us. Science was fun for the first time in a long time. And to top it all off, my husband had found a way to fulfill his desire to become a more active part of our school days.
What best laid plans of yours have fallen apart?
Maybe it’s your schedule. Maybe a subject that you just can’t teach. Maybe a curriculum choice that hasn’t clicked for you. The thing about homeschooling is that one size really doesn’t fit all. In fact, I highly doubt that there’s anyone out there who successfully homeschools exactly like we do.
So, while we can definitely find ideas, encouragement, and help from one another, there’s really only One who can show us exactly how to put the plan back together in a functional way. It might be some miraculous intervention, or it might be something as utterly simple as opening our eyes to a solution that’s been right in front of us all along. All it takes is asking.