Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Night Before

I never wanted to be a teacher. Well, except for one delusional semester in college when I simply couldn't decide on a major and thought I'd try it out.

It only took one class. It wasn't for me.

But, in the irony of ironies, tomorrow morning when I wake up, I'm a teacher.

Not just a teacher. But, the teacher.

Tomorrow, I begin homeschooling Jack and Max.

I'm not writing about this journey we're about to embark upon to share the reasons why I've chosen to homeschool this year. Why not? Because I'm probably doing it for the same reasons thousands of other Moms (and Dads) are doing it. A simple google search on "Why I Homeschool" or "Benefits of Homeschooling" will reveal more blog posts and articles than one could possibly read in a lifetime.

Perhaps there will come a time when I'll feel compelled to write that post. It isn't tonight.

Tonight, I am a mess of emotions. I feel grossly underqualified. I'm excited. I'm scared. I'm so utterly thrilled to finally be starting. I'm unsure of my ability to take on the daily task of educating these children that I love so much. But, I'm totally confident in their abilities.

The schedule. Fitting it all in. Taking care of the baby.

I keep asking myself. Am I crazy?

And, yet - God's relentless prodding to have me homeschool my boys this year, against my very strong will, mind you, has provided me with the surest sense of security - even amidst my doubts.

Because I know, without question, that I'm obeying His calling.

As I began to process how on earth I could possibly homeschool my boys with any success at all, I confided my insecurities and apprehensions to my sister and a very few dear friends - some whom I know in person, and some whom I've met online through blogging and such. I told them I thought I was crazy. I told them I thought God was crazy for asking this of scatterbrained, disorganized, non-list making me. I told them that I subscribed to most of the stereotypes about homeschool families and that I just didn't see how I (we) fit in with "that" crowd.

These friends? Well, they shot back with bold encouragement, honesty, grace, and understanding. And, they became my cheerleaders. They have prayed with and for me over these last 8 weeks, and as I've tried to find my way in something so entirely unfamiliar and daunting to me, I continue to feel so supported and loved by them.

One of my closest and most trusted friends gave me two pieces of advice that have been my focus as I've planned and prepared to teach my boys:

Love them.
And, pray for patience.

I can do that. I can do that.

I have no idea what to expect. I have no clue what I'm doing. I'm using a tried-and-true curriculum and I have planned out our first 10 days of lessons.

We have a homeschool room. It's waiting for little hands to make it come alive. The boys haven't seen it yet and I can't wait to surprise them tomorrow morning. And, I can't wait to show it to you once my boys have decorated it with their markers and crayons and glue and construction paper.

So, tomorrow, I wake up a teacher.

I think I shall eat an apple for breakfast.


  1. Sarah, I feel like your talking about me... except I was a teacher for 3 years, but was so against home schooling. And I also had my set of home school stereotypes which I was SURE I didn't fit into. And yet, here I am home schooling! (we're using a tutorial and it doesn't officially start till next Tues) We've been doing some math in the mean time, but the real beg is next week. I am excited to walk this journey with you.

  2. I loved this post. I'll be praying for you tomorrow. I think what you're doing is fantastic - following God's lead and trusting his plan for your family. It is very brave, and so encouraging. Thanks for sharing this journey - and I look forward to hearing all about it over these next few months!

    And I know you'll be a wonderful teacher. Know it.

  3. You'll be great! I am so impressed by people who do this, and I know you can!

  4. This is a post that could have come from my fingers a few years ago - almost word for word!!

    "Where God guides, He provides" is what I hold on to when the going gets tough!

    I'm so excited for you, but Sarah, honestly, you've been a teacher since day 1 of Jack's life!!!! You've already taught your boys so many things and school, well, this is the easy part! :-D

    Praying for you today and eager to hear how it went!

  5. I totally understand. I said for years I wanted to home school, but as our start date approached I was terrified. I really really prayed about it. Did I really know what I was getting myself into? I mean we have some great preschools I could just pick one if this was not what God wanted but here we are and I hope I am doing it right. I will pray for you today as you start school and through out the year.

  6. Hope the morning goes well for you! I'll be praying.

  7. WOW, I must admit I'm really surprised, but when God speaks we are only called to listen and obey. I've walked in those shoes you are walking in many times and He will be there every single step of the way if you let him.

    YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!! So glad you have a support system and I know they will hold your hand and be there for you throughout this year to cheer you on.


    Praying for an absolutely wonderful school year.

  9. You can do it, and you will succeed! Your tremendous love for your boys shines through in each of your posts, and that makes you qualified!

    Like Leigh Ann said, you've already been teaching these little men from the day they were born. you have been and will continue to be GREAT!

    Have fun!

  10. You are going to be great!! I know this for a fact because when God calls you to do something He will equip you to do it!
    Your boys are blessed to have you teach them and you are going to have a great year!

  11. you will do great, their little smiles will be your gifts and encouragement this morning. You love them more than anyone else in the world, then I ask: Who then could be more qualified to teach them? :-)....oh, and I am praying for you. Love you.

  12. well, sarah, as a teacher but NOT a homeschooling mom, let me encourage you that being a teacher is not as impossible as it seems. i, unofficially, homeschooled for preschool simply b/c i didn't see the point in sending them to preschool - b/c i knew that i was capable of teaching them what they needed to learn. the key is not being a teacher - they key is knowing that you CAN teach them (regardless of whatever title you happen to give yourself). think about it... you probably had plenty of "teachers" who didn't teach you a darn thing. that being the case, it would make sense that it can work the other way, too! you can do it! ask around for suggestions - i'm sure plenty of moms who've done this will be willing to help. and, my husband and i have come up w/ a really simple method for teaching our kids how to read. it's worked 4 times now - i'd be glad to share :)

    enjoy your first day of school!

  13. It is harder than I ever thought- not homeschooling the kids so much, but learning things about myself that God wanted to change in me. It drove me to doing my devotions every day, and I had always struggled with that! I have been so stretched, but I love being with them so much and seeing the light bulbs go on in their heads. Teaching my 3rd child to read this year, and I finally have confidence that I can do it, and that I can do it well ;) -

    And nothing beats going to "school" in your pj's sometimes- momma too!! I love our rainy, cuddle in our pj's, read-lots-of-book days :)

  14. With God's help, you can do this, Sarah. Lean on Him every step of the way, and watch Him work in and through you and your boys. Very exciting!

  15. Sar, I'm so proud of you!!! You can do it! Hope that apple gave you super human brain power. :)

  16. Congrats! That awesome that you are doing what you feel God wants for your kids. I'm in my 5th week of my first year of homeschooling. It's alot of things, but it's fun and so worth it. My 3 are close to your 3's ages. I can relate to all those questions you have.
    We can do it!! Happy first day!

  17. This is great, Sarah! I'm sure you'll do great. Enjoy your first day!

  18. That is great ... I am so happy for you.

    When my oldest son was a toddler I thought for sure I would send him off to school, but as the time got closer and closer and God spoke to my heart about keeping him home for school ... well ... that is what we did. And at that time, I could have wrote something similar to what you just wrote.

    But now ... it is five kids and 21 years later ... and I am still homeschooling. The oldest has graduated from (homeschool) high school and has graduated from college, two more are in college, two more are still at home and I am still the teacher. And some days, I still wonder what I am doing. LOL

    What am I doing? Loving my children enough to give them the best education I can and following the path God has chosen for our family.

    You will do great and I cannot wait to hear about it through your blog.

  19. Yikes, Sarah! I know exactly how you feel. This is my first year homeschooling my oldest and I totally feel unqualified. Totally! I'm trained to be a nurse, not a teacher, and I don't work at a hospital anymore so I feel unqualified to say I'm a nurse. ;)

    I will pray for you specifically as the teacher that God has called to teach Jack and Max. I will pray that Satan will not allow people's words to work into your heart and cause you to feel worry, feel unqualified, feel like you're removing your children from the world that God has called us to be a light to. I will pray that God gives you confidence. God gives you joy as you watch your boys learn and as you engage purpose in their homeschooling. I pray that God will grant you grace as you figure this all out. I pray that He will strengthen you with positive and encouraging words from friends and family. I pray that you will continue to let God guide you as you homeschool your boys.

    And pray for me, also, as I'm in the same boat with you. ;) We can do this, Sarah. God will guide us as we teach our little ones. Have a great week!!!!

  20. Wow! I am so impressed that you have lesson plans for the first 10 days! and their school room is set up? Wow! You are way ahead and will do just fine. Plus you've got James 1:5--abundant, generously given wisdom--just for the asking. This will be quite an adventure.

  21. Sorry I've been so behind on reading lately...

    Can't believe the day has finally arrived! This will be such a fun journey. Thanks for taking us with you for the ride. This isn't a decision I've needed to wrestle with yet. Your amazing...and fun...you'll do great!

  22. If it's any consulation, I took a class in teaching class in college that made me say, no way will I ever be a teacher. God has prepared you for this! You are in my prayers! Love you sister!

  23. Sar... I'm just here to marvel at the 22 comments you've received... the people who are cheering you on.

    I think you are wise beyond your years, my friend.

    May your homeschool year be wonderful.

  24. Sarah,

    I never thought I would homeschool either, but I am in my fourth year now with my oldest son (age 8) and just added on our second son (age 5). I also have a 3 year old and a two year old (both boys!) running around. Some days are crazy, some are wonderful, but it keeps me going knowing that God called me to homeschool, just like you. Some things will be easier than you thought and some immeasurably harder than you imagined. May God bless you in this endeavour. Your boys will learn to read and write and do math just fine. And you will retain the influence over their characters and their learning. Enjoy!



  25. I'm a few days behind in my blog reading...been busy with homeschooling.

    This is our first year, too. We can be homeschooling rookies together. Well, sort of, given the grand distance over cyberspace. Ha!

  26. Hi Sarah...I haven't visited in a while since I've been on a bit of a blog break, but I was just catching up on your posts and I LOVED this post!

    I recently became a teacher too. As of the last week in August I am homeschooling my first grader and preschooler and I have a little two year old who plays 'school' along with us. :)

    What you wrote about God prodding you into it despite your (very strong) will is just how I would have described my journey!

    I'd love to hear how it is going for you. For me it's been great and I've learned so much about myself as I've undertaken their schooling...not to say it has been all sunshine and roses, but I have such a peace knowing I am in God's will for our lives right now.

    Anyway, just wanted to say hi and send a word of encouragement your way. We'll be praying for you and your family! :)

  27. I know *exactly* how that feels. At least now you can take comfort in knowing you've completed the introduction "week". We are three weeks in and still haven't!!

    (bad teacher....PREGNANT teacher ;-) Even though I'm sure that pregnant teacher is waaaaay easier than Teacher with a Newborn.)

    Good luck with it! As mothers we are our children's BEST teachers :-)