by Jessica Frierson and Emily Schrum, August 2022

As summer draws to a close, many of us homeschool moms (and dads) are prepping for a new school year. As we peruse the Internet, gather our curriculum, and glean from the ideas of others, we must guard against allowing ourselves to unknowingly be drawn into a trap. As the sparks of inspiration fire up in our minds, they can be quickly reduced to a smolder by the feelings of inadequacy that so easily creep in. 

How can we successfully fight this battle and avoid the snare of discouragement? What steps can we take to not be enslaved by the expectations of others…or even worse, the expectations we place on ourselves? One of the most beautiful aspects of homeschooling—freedom—is easily tossed aside in our vain attempts to recreate the perfection we falsely believe others have achieved. 

The words of a sweet friend offer some excellent advice. Emily has a winsome way with words that hit me right in the heart every time her posts come across my newsfeed. Her words are raw; they are real. They cut right to the point. Today, I want to share some of those words of wisdom with you.

 

Don’t get caught up in the perfectly-captured Pinterest homeschool post. 

 

Some days don’t turn out “picture perfect.” Rarely. Like one in a million.

 

 

But most days look like this. 

 

People tell me all the time, “I could never homeschool. I’m not made for that.”

 

They’re right. We’re not made for the facade of what homeschooling looks like. But we ARE made to rise into whatever calling the Lord beckons each of us to.

 

I wish I was someone who did everything with excellence as described by social media. But I believe with my whole entire heart that my humble, imperfect, messy surrender, and sacrifice is enough.

 

So, my days won’t look like 20 classical subjects completed with composer studies and poetry included. They won’t always look calm and under control.

 

Most days, my “yes” looks like getting done what HAS to get done while two out of the three binge on tv and eat Lord knows how many snacks. 

 

I give my best. It’s not enough for everyone. But it’s enough for me, for my family, for the calling that God has called me to.

 

Don’t be enslaved by illusions of how it’s supposed to look. Walk in freedom that your “yes” is enough, whatever that looks like for you.

 

I’m cheering you on. However your homeschool, or mothering, looks today, I am cheering you on.

 

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

 

So to all of you worrying if you will be ”good enough” and if you will be able to “do it right,” to those of you pinning another cute Pinterest tip that 99.99% of us will NEVER nail, to each and every one of us that are slowly slipping back into the shackles we had unlocked when we decided to homeschool: be warned! 

These attempts we make to “measure up” are like the sirens of Greek mythology. The sirens were subtle but dangerous creatures whose enchanting music lured sailors to shipwreck on the rocky coasts. We place ourselves in danger of shipwrecking our own homeschool and our families when we listen to the alluring calls on social media, try to catch up with the seemingly perfect veteran homeschooler we met at our new co-op last week, or attempt to meet the goals placed by the doubting family member we’re trying to prove ourselves to. Listening to these voices puts us directly in position for the yoke of slavery to drop back onto our shoulders. 

But we do not have to succumb to these burdens. The call to homeschool is coupled with the call to freedom. This is the call we must listen to and set our course to follow. So set your heart to stand firm and embrace the call to freedom. 

 

Emily Schrum is a homeschooling mama to three precious children. She and her husband view home education as a high calling from God and one of their greatest missions in life. Emily has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Christian Counseling. Right now however, she is content to stay at home, raising children and chickens all to the Glory of God.

Jessica Frierson is a homeschool graduate and has been homeschooling her ten children since 2000. She serves as the secretary for NCHE, writes for GREENHOUSE, and is the lead blogger for the NCHE blog.