“And he said to all: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
~ St. Luke 9:23 (DR)
As we settle into yet another year of homeschooling, I’ve been thinking about the whole art of homeschooling. Blessedly, it is becoming more common and less “weird”. Much work has been done by folks when I was still a small child to ensure that I can homeschool my kids without interference from the government.
I am one big cheerleader for homeschooling. If you ask me about it, I’ll talk your ear off (although I’ll try not to). I try not to hype it up, it doesn’t need it; it hypes itself. There is one aspect that I don’t talk a lot about for a variety of reasons. Most of the time is because I don’t want to hear “well, maybe you shouldn’t homeschool then.” And yes, someone had the audacity to tell me that once.
Homeschooling is hard. It’s really, really hard. In fact, it can be considered a cross most days. Think about it. Curriculum is your choice. How you teach is your choice. When you teach is your choice. All that choice is overwhelming at times. It gets dreary, it gets tedious, it gets tiring. You have to report to someone (in most states) on some level. There’s always something to be done (grading/evaluating/planning/pre-reading/etc). There are no breaks – if you’re sick, you can’t call in a sub who will take everything for a day or two. Planning for the school year happens around meals and bedtime. Let’s not even think about homeschooling and keeping the house running. Teaching kids isn’t easy, and troubleshooting is on you. Extra fun if you have a special needs learner. You’re mom, teacher, housekeeper, chef, driver, and more.
It’s a cross, for sure. But crosses aren’t something to be feared or run away from. The Bible verse at the top of this post – note how it says daily. Every single day. Pick up that cross and follow Him. I find that my crosses are the heaviest when I’m not focused on Him.
Our crosses are what sanctify us. Our crosses give us an opportunity to give everything to God, rely fully on Him, and be shown our vices and imperfections so we can begin to work them out of our lives and grow in virtue. God knows I can’t do it alone, so I beg Him daily to come and be with us, to make up what I lack.
Homeschooling is hard, it’s a cross; but it’s also a way to sanctity.