What picture comes to your mind when you hear about a cow named Daisy? Do you see a soft-eyed jersey with a sweet, calm nature? That's what my son and I were hoping for when we adopted a baby twin calf from our neighbor one spring for a homeschooling project. Although she was not a jersey, she did have the sweetest face with big eyelashes that looked like the petals on a daisy. Thus she was named, and a new adventure in raising a baby calf began for my son.

My misconception of the nurturing abilities of small boys was blown away as my son faithfully cared for his new little friend. Dutifully, he mixed bottles of calf milk replacer for her to drink. Outings with friends were postponed to keep Daisy on a regular feeding schedule, and school assignments were done in the barn, so she wouldn't feel alone. Like a mother hen with her chicks, my son proved to be the ideal parent of this little life.

However, Daisy didn't stay little. With all her expert care, she began to grow stronger. At 300 pounds, I knew Daisy needed to be taught how to lead, so we could take her out to the pasture to eat grass. Accomplishing this task proved to be successful at first, but then at 500 pounds, Daisy started to push her weight around. Many times I watched my frustrated young son dragging and being half drug by Daisy as he took her from the barn to the pasture. When Daisy's weight reached 900 pounds, we had a real problem. Daily, she would jump the pasture fences to be near our house. No matter if flowers or gardens were in her way, Daisy went wherever she wanted. The time had come to sell Daisy, so she could discover her own nurturing abilities. However, one problem stood in the way — the love of my young son for this once little, but now huge cow. How do you sell your "child" and watch her leave?

Sending your children off into the world isn't easy for homeschoolers either. As we teach our children, we forget that someday they will need to leave our home. Keeping the right perspective and preparing yourself and your child for that day takes a determined effort. God's example of cutting the strings best demonstrates how we can face that day when our children need to leave. He sacrificed His only begotton Son when Christ came to this sinful Earth (John 3:16), so we could receive forgiveness. Praise Him "that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all" (Romans 8:32a).

Father, thank You for the blessing of homeschooling my children. Help me to remember they belong to You, and someday, they will serve You on their own. Give me wisdom to know when that time has come. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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HEATHER J 12/08/2009 09:05:16

As a homeschooler who has one who has left the nest, I\'d like to offer a different perspective. I have felt that the time spent with my son at home has better prepared me to \"let go\". There is none of the \"if only we had spent more time together\' feeling to deal with. I had the time to really know him at each stage of development. As he graduated from college and now lives in a different state attending grad school, I rejoice that God has equipped him for this future. In closing I\'d like to say that I really took to heart one of the things Dr. James Dobson said years ago. Though I can\'t quote it word for word it went something like this: Your job as a parent is to work yourself out of a job. Success is when they don\'t need you anymore.

MICHELLE O 12/08/2010 22:20:00

I want to homeschool but just don\'t feel I have what it takes. I tried homeshooling and I failed miserably. I can\'t get over this depression and I feel I go even deeper because I don\'t have what it takes to be with my children to homeschool them. I am also worried about subjects that I can\'t help them in. What if I don\'t understand their math that day? What do I do? Where do we get help? These things plague me and I think keep me from taking the plunge.

Lisa W 12/10/2010 08:51:02

I am responding to Michelle O\'s comment about the difficulties with homeschooling her children. I have homeschooled my children for the 6th year now, and I can say we are a very close family. I have two struggling learners--1 with ADHD/Bipolar, and 1 with ADD, and homeschooling has definitely helped with their learning problems. It has made me much more \"in tune\" with meeting their emotional needs also. It is difficult to keep everyone on track at times, (1 also homeschool my 2 other children as well--a total of 4) but I keep hearing horror stories about public school, and have made the comment that I would not place my children there again. I have had to change my teaching style to fit their learning styles, and it has been difficult at times, but I am determined. I also utilize the teacher\'s manuals in my teaching for almost every subject, as I am not a \"math whiz\"--the teachers manuals really help. I am an RN, but don;t have a formal degree in teaching--still, I don\'t need one. You could utilize a tutor, or join a homeschool co-op to assist with the tough subjects you have difficulty with. That is what we have done in the past. Thankfully, my husband assists my kids with their math, and I can pretty much do everything else. I \"took the plunge\" 6 years ago and went from nurse to homeschooling mom, and I don\'t regret it--my children were in such need of a good education, tailored to fit their way of learning. Don\'t feel like you are a failure---I know I struggle with that at times, but I keep perservering. I know God called us to homeschool, and he will continue to provide for us to do that--I just have to have faith and plunder forward. Pray about this, and research homeschool co-ops and support groups in your area to see what you may can get help with. You may also utilize family members (if any are willing and available) to assist with the tough subjects. If you feel God calling you to homeschool, he will equip you with what it takes to do it--just keep the faith!!!! It is sometimes a day-by-day quest, but it is well worth it.... Hope this helps...Lisa W

ANEESHA J 12/08/2011 05:39:33

This message is for Michelle O. Just know I will be praying for you. I believe that God is able to provide for all that you and your family need to be successful. I have times of feeling insecure about homeschooling and the thoughts can easily turn to worry, doubt, and depression. I think about Peter, concerning the calling of homeschooling. When Peter walked on water, and he kept his focus on Jesus he walked. However, when he focused on the water he started to drown. When I look at myself and my inabilities and at time lack of resources it is easy to get discouraged. I am learning to go to give it to God, and have faith the He will provide for us. Hang in there Michelle!!!!

EMILY H 12/08/2011 06:23:53

The bone I would pick is the phrase \"Sending your children off into the world.\" That isn\'t really what happens. I did not raise children to \"send them off.\" What happens is that they find a place in the world. They grow into the next phase, just as always. Michelle O, why do you want to homeschool? So you can know your kids? So you can give them a superior education? So you can look like supper-mom? So you can lead them to Jesus? So you can keep them from being lead away from Jesus? Just for fun? You have an excuse to give your friends as to why you do not have a \"real\" job? So you won\'t feel so depressed? I can guarantee you that if you get a truly motivating reason, you will be able to homeschool. But God probably won\'t grant you success until you come clean and become convinced the this is how you serve.

LAURA P 12/08/2011 07:08:47

Michelle O, I feel your pain. I have about a 7th grade education myself and when God called me to homeschool, I was terrified. I have had to really lean on Him throughout the last 4 years, and I have been on my knees crying to my Father regularly. He is so good and so faithful to equip us for our calling. I have a Math tutor for both of my children, and I learn everyday right along side them. I also use all the teachers manuals in every subject. It has been so awesome to have this opportunity. I will be praying for you. If God has called you to this, and I think he has, He will give you everything you need for success.

LINDA C 12/08/2011 08:17:15

Dear Michelle, There is not one Mother on earth that has not wondered the things you are wondering. I pray for you a peace(shalom) that only comes from the creator of all Heavens and of Earth. Depression and fear are not of God but of your adversary the devil. If you and your children pursue God diligently than ,God promises to pursue you. Trust in God and not in self. You were not put here to raise God\'s children for yourself, but to raise God\'s children for God.Trust, The farther and He will direct your steps and grow your relationship as a student of God and a teacher to His children. Shalom and Blessings

KATHY S 12/08/2011 10:21:45

Dear Michelle, Please be encouraged to homeschool. I have just started after many years of my child attending Public School. I am a Mom with only a GED, math is a challnge for me too. Yesterday, when I just couldn\'t figure out a Math problem, I feel God directed me at the Library to references and I overcame the problem, taught it to my son and actually felt good. I am going to God for any and all help I need in this endeavor. I\'m new to this, and as a single Mom on a lower income, I have no choice but to be completley dependant on God. Public school in our area was a nightmare for my special needs son. He was abused physically and mentally for a year by other children. He was sick constantly from being bullied. I tried everything. I had meeting after meeting with heads of the School district, never getting resolve. I did everything in my power to get help for my son at the school. In the end, they really didn\'t care. I can quote the Special Education director when I asked her about Home Bound schooling Program through the School District, and Homeschooling, she replied \"But I\'ll have to answer for that\". Not what was best for my son, but, who would be responsible for my child being removed from the school. My child who has been in \"therapy\" for all the abuse he recieved from other children at the school, is so much happier and thanks me everyday for \"homeschooling\" him. There is no greater reward than seeing your child happy and at peace. My son grows with our Lord everyday. Be encouraged, if I can do this through God, you can too!

MELISSA K 12/09/2011 16:42:52

This is also for Michelle. I have homeschooled my 3 kids now since the beginning and have had my share of ups and downs as well. If God has called you to h/s then it WILL work out. It is the devil putting doubts in your mind. I agree with one of the other moms...find a support system: a h/s support group, co-ops. They are a God-send. I have always kidded and told others who doubt their ability that if God can allow ME to h/s then anyone can h/s!! I will keep you in my prayers!

DEBBIE A 12/12/2011 09:36:21

Thank you so much for this story on \"Daisy\", and how to \"let go\" when its the right time for your child. It is what I needed to hear today for reassurance. I home schooled my 2 boys 1st thru 12th grade. I often wonder ...where did that time go ? It seems only yesterday that we began the journey together of being a home school family. My oldest is currently a Sr. at a Bible College and my youngest son (only 2 yrs younger than his brother) has completed 2 years of Bible college. MY first semester of them being away at college was a huge growing experience for me, as I learned to \"let go\" - after all, we had prepared them for this very day! What I missed most was their daily conversation - most evident during car rides. Our home was suddenly very quiet. And car rides to do errands were DEAFENING QUIET ! I had many a day of tears, as I wondered how they were doing each day. Thank God for SKYPE ! It has been THE way to say in touch with them, and how they are doing on a weekly basis. (And Facebook - helps us to see and share in the joy of the many activities and friends they have at college!) It has been very fulfilling to hear what the Lord is doing in their lives, and how much they are learning and growing - not only academically - but spiritually as well. We are blessed to have a great relationship with our sons, and are so appreciative of the fact that they continue to eagerly share all the trials and tribulations of their college life with us. Though we have had to \"let go\" - in many many ways we remain very involved in their lives. Luckily we live only a few hours drive from their college and so we visit there 2 to 3 times a year for special events. We have been so blessed by the many wonderful experiences they have had at their college, and the awesome, godly instruction that they are receiving. The Daily devotional on Daisy really touched my heart - as my oldest son will be traveling to Europe at the end of January for a semester of Studying Abroad. He will be working with a Missionary as well as taking courses on-line. It will be the first time for him to travel on a plane, or to ever leave the United States. He is so excited about this new opportunity, as we are for him. But, as parents, we are kind of nervous about his being gone so far away from us. The Lord is showing us that it is \"time\" for him to begin to apply all the wonderful lessons he has been taught. I cant wait to see what the Lord is going to do, in using our son\'s skills and giftedness to serve him ! And I feel so honored that my husband and I have played such an important part in my son becoming the person that he is. I thank God for home schooling - it definitely stretches you, and helps you to rely on Him, because there is NO way to succeed at such an important task without HIM!

SANDY M 12/08/2012 07:50:47

I believe that homeschooling must be a \"calling\" that the Lord has put on your life to be accomplished in His name and by His Spirit. I would fail if I tried to just \"decide\" to do it. He called...we answered....and we are a happy family with the choice.

KATHY S 12/08/2012 10:07:58

AOP Is this Devotional a Repeat? I see my name and comment and I didn\'t write it today today. Wanted to make sure I wasn\'t \"Losing\" it! :)

BETH O 12/08/2012 10:51:04

To Kathy S. There are a year\'s worth of devotionals that cycle around again the next year and the next. So, you aren\'t losing it!

KATHY S 12/08/2012 11:46:46

Thanks! I thought \"It looks like my writing,\" but I didn\'t remember doing it today!!

KIMBERLEY SMITH 12/08/2013 16:26:12

This post is for Michelle O.'s comment, I was told that kids coming from public school need a chance to detox from their previous environment. The therapist told me that it takes 1 month for every year they are in school. God Bless

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