If I could only…
- If I could only create the perfect lesson plan…
- If I could only craft the ideal schedule…
- If I could only choose the right curriculum…
Then, we could have a restful homeschool.
Have you ever heard that conversation in your mind? I certainly have. I love to plan. I can even default to planning more than actually teaching. A deceitful voice in my mind tempts me to believe that the right path, the right plan, will bring us peace.
I remind myself it is not that simple. My plan cannot fix everything. There are too many good paths I could chase. When the possible paths for our homeschools are endless, rest can seem impossible.
But the deceitful voice in my mind is twisting truth. The truth is that rest with my plans is possible.
When it comes to home education, there is a path of peace.
It will not occur naturally, so you must pursue it. You can pursue it. The payoff in the end is worth your work of pursuit. Perhaps you are already pursuing the peaceful path, but you do not know where to find it. Perhaps you have given up altogether and accepted that your homeschool plan just won’t be restful. In the midst of current times, perhaps busyness and unrest is inevitable.
Our culture is not the first season in history to need rest. True, we are busier and live a faster-paced life than ever before. But the need for rest is not new. Even the ancient prophet Jeremiah advised seeking and following the path that leads to a restful soul.
Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls.”
Jeremiah 6:16 (NASB)
How can we find this good path that brings rest for our souls?
Jeremiah gives us four simple instructions, four slow verbs. Homeschool moms are masters at over-complicating the matter. We love our children, and we want to do well.
But are we missing the simplicity that could provide what we aim to create?
What are Jeremiah’s four simple steps to bring rest into our teaching plans?
Stand. See. Ask. Walk.
In order to stand, you must first stop. Are you willing to stop your planning efforts? Just for a moment? Stop researching. Stop re-writing the plan. Stop seeking the perfect planner. Stand by the ways – the possible paths that are endless for your homeschool direction. Just for a moment. Just stand.
To pursue the path of peace for a restful homeschool plan, you must first stand still.
Once you are still, look around. What can you observe in your home, your family, yourself? You could invest time in a lengthy evaluation of character development, learning styles, academic strengths and weaknesses, housework needs. Or you could just make some simple observations. Is your family on a path that brings rest to your home? Are you pursuing too many paths at once?
A restful teacher will look up from the plans to see what is going on around her.
When asking a question, two factors are critical. 1) What is your question? 2) To whom are you directing that question? Jeremiah admonishes us to ask for the ancient path where the good way is. But to whom should we ask for this path? The Ancient of Days. The One who was, who is, and who is to come. God Almighty. Jesus, our Savior and Friend. The One who whispers, “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21)
Since God loves the people in our homeschools, He wants to direct us to the good path.
There is a path that is good and will bring rest to your plans. But there is no need to race down that path. Education is a life-long pursuit, so you have some time. How can we walk along the restful path God reveals? One step at a time. Racing is not restful, but we can focus on just the next step. Should we walk alone? God’s paths are created for community and relationship. We walk together with the people God has given us.
The path of peace only remains restful as we walk along it one step at a time.
If I could only…
Stand – Surrender my efforts to craft the perfect plan.
See – Observe the people around me and the possibilities ahead of us.
Ask – Choose faith to trust that God will give me direction.
Walk – Follow the path one step at a time.
Then repeat…at the beginning of the school year, regular evaluation points throughout the year, each week, every morning…
Then we can follow restful homeschool plans as we pursue God’s perfect path of peace for our families.
Coming next: How to find rest in our priorities of what to actually do.