My Incredible Journey

The story of God's people, Israel, in the Old Testament draws a striking parallel to my journey as a homeschooling parent. For years, I had been caught in the bondage of believing that public school was the only way to educate my child. Miraculously, we experienced God leading our family out of this "slavery" and through our "Red Sea" when He provided a path to teach our children through a homeschool satellite program. Chased by the Pharaoh of the school system with threats of truancy, we walked though our difficulty on dry land and watched as the waves crashed over those who worked so diligently to keep us from teaching our children at home.

Like Israel, we sang praises to God for His deliverance and began our journey to the Promised Land of four successfully educated children. We, too, complained about the lack of familiar food and water because finances were short. We tasted the bitter waters of Marah when we attempted to teach our children in our own strength. We slowly learned to look to our cloud by day and pillar of fire by night and felt God's protection from the heat of well-meaning, but critical family members and the cold rejection of an uninformed community.

We would have died from the serpent bites of laziness and anger, but looking to the cross saved us as we saw God's forgiveness for each mistake. We saw parents give up, claiming that homeschooling was too hard, and we watched as their families became swallowed up again by the public school like the rebellion at Korah.

We even doubted God's presence on many occasions and set up a golden calf of making our school look exactly like the public school. However, our Moses was Jesus, and each day He faithfully led us back to where we needed to go. He gave us the Ten Commandments of His Word, and we experienced His loving presence as we obeyed His truths.

Looking back on the journey, I see Jesus' loving hands lifted over our family. I praise Him for the incredible journey we experienced in teaching our children at home. Don't give up on your homeschooling journey. The Promised Land is all that God said it would be!

Father, I pray for the many homeschooling families who are on the adventure of teaching their children at home. Bless them this day and provide the same guidance You gave to us. Show them that You are mighty and able to take care of every homeschooling need. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(32 comments)

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ANNMARIE K 11/16/2008 08:48:00

Thanks for the encouraging, faith filled words. My spirit is willing, but my flesh is certainly weak. The concerns, fears and doubts I have regarding my homeschooling my children do rear their ugly heads and render me ineffective at times at doing God's will. I have to constantly take thoughts captive to the truth of what is truly important. I have to remember to ask the Lord to teach my children what He wants them to be taught and trust that my children will be "taught of Him." Please pray for me if you read this, that we would be successful at raising children that love the Lord their God with all of their hearts, minds, soul and strength and love their neighbor as themselves. I'd really appreciate it, thank you. May your homeschools be spirit led and prosperous in the things of God.

ANGELA C 11/26/2008 10:22:50

Thanks for all your encouraging devotionals. My daughter started kindergarten this year and already I have had more than my share of doubts and heatache with the public school system. I am in the middle of a medical treatment thst requires all of my strength, right now, however next year I am strongly leaning twords the wonderful oppritunity to homeschool. I want very much to start the remaining of the school year but I want to be fully available for her. I am in agony everyday I have to send her to public school. I have a thirteen year old that is in 8th grade and has had a positive experience with public school, but I desire to homeschool my five and three year old. How do you juggle pre-schoolers in the mix of it all? I so want to raise my children and the treasures God has blessed my husband and me with but I feel at times I run in circles. Thank You Sincerely, Angie Conn

JANET T 12/01/2008 14:14:22

Angela, It is a bit of a juggling act to coordinate school activities for older children while keeping an eye on the little ones, but it can be done. What worked for me was teaching more time consuming subjects (math, science, grammar) while the younger children took a nap in the afternoon. History, handwriting, reading, spelling, and poetry were taught when my preschoolers were awake. Most of the time I found my younger children wanting to "do school" with their older brother and sister, so I provided coloring and other craft projects to keep them busy. I also had the older children take turns reading and playing with the younger ones while I individually instructed the other. For more ideas, check out these articles in the Homeschool View enewsletter archives -

ELIZABETH M 11/16/2009 10:52:03

To Annmarie K, please hang in there and I said a prayer for your strength. Our son did well through third grade in public school (pre-school through to Kindergarten when I worked), but dealing with the last teacher and administration was extremely frustrating. We enrolled him in private school for 4th grade, and the political influence, bullying and lack of appropriate response, in addition to inferior teaching of the fundamentals, made our decision an easy one. I suffer extremely painful flares of Rheumatoid Arthritis, and though I haven't had one since we began homeschooling, I can understand the challenges you must be facing. My husband and I feel more confident every week that homeschooling was the right decision. We believe it provides as good, or better curriculum (instead of teaching to the test as we witnessed), and moral lessons as apposed to the "socializing" everyone seems so concerned about. Our son is still involved in community sports leagues, our church school, and has friends to meet with occassionally from past classes, so the socializing for us is a non-issue. Our philosophy is to teach our son that the priorities in life are church, family, school, sports and friends, in that order. Most of that socializing was negative, due to lazy parenting in our opinion. The bus ride alone would bring constant problems, and in his last year in public school, he was threatened with a pocket knife resulting in suspension of this troubled third-grader! Now, though I struggled the first few weeks to find my groove, we are thriving. We used an extra room to make a classroom, decorated together with planet peel and sticks, maps an various art he's done in the past, and book shelves. We let him pick out a reasonable desk, and put it together before starting the year. I use my manuals and online portal at my desk, and keep a cd player for music during appropriate times. He has made great progress in math, which was his biggest challenge at school, because teachers did not have time to answer questions in detail. Or, if he was sick, they didn't have or make the time to help him catch up. I use a whiteboard which has helped to walk him through problems he gets wrong, and I feel we have had a "Helen Keller" break through. I'm now working on my first quarterly report for the school district. I have many ideas on how to improve and refine our efforts, but I am less stressed (so important for maintaining my health and my family's health), and we're all happier. I wish the best for you, and please remember you are not alone in your doubts and fears. I remind myself everyday that doing this is different and may not be easy, and many people around us have doubts, may not understand or are critical, but I'm proud we're willing to do what we feel is right for our son, and to teach him with a strong Christian influence. You are strong for taking the education of your children in to your own hands. ~ Elizabeth Hudson Valley, NY

CHERIE O 11/16/2009 19:55:00

I am encouraged by your analogy. God is so good. I'm struggling right now because I have spent more than four months in the hospital since last September and have been very ill in between hospitalizations. I am a single mom, so, we are very far behind. I don't want to send them back to school, but cannot afford a single curriculum, that would make homeschooling much easier and simple to do. I use a very ecclectic approach and use resources from every where, the library, on line, books I've found at garage sales etc... But it makes it very hard for my kids to work on their own. Any suggestions? Cherie

CATHY C 11/16/2010 01:43:26 is 2:41 a.m. central time on Tuesday morning. I hope that you are sleeping peacefully right now. I will pray for you. God is so faithful. And as I'm learning, seek Him first and all these things will be added unto you. He is near.

Ralph G 11/16/2010 06:17:11

This is a great perspective on the journey my family has taken, actually from a very secularized (in teaching AND behavior) Christian school to homeschooling. I couldn't wait to send my youngest to school so that I could "get back to my life," freelancing, being involved leadership in the denomination women's mission group, and pursuing my singing. I reasoned that my children were okay because they were in a Lutheran school, not a public school, which in my area are poor in many ways. We supported the school's fundraisers, provided teacher appreciation, and helped out as volunteers. However, any organization that is not abiding completely in Christ will eventually fail. We became uneasy with things we saw, but didn't want to make a change. A bad year of my child enduring verbal and mental bullying by older children, and unbelievably, by parent volunteers, indifferent response by administration, poor test scores and pretty regular migraines finally woke me up. There were no affordable private schools that met my newer, more demanding requirements. So homeschooling, which I had NEVER thought would be my option, became my ONLY option. Praise God! Yes, we get behind - but we are progressing better than she did in school. Yes, I have had to give up a lot, but I have gained much more! Yes we have an occasional bad day - but the migraines have almost stopped. Her writing skills are vastly improved. Her math understanding is stronger everyday. Just the other day she said, "I actually like math now!" And - that would be Horizon Math! We have found wonderful resources and support from other parents who aren't ashamed to proclaim their love of God and need for him. I have not had people around me who speak so freely of their relationship with Christ, their believing life, their seeking of His will, their reliance on His Spirit as I have with the homeschooling community. It is a new experience for me and a balm! Praise God!

MARCIA W 11/16/2010 06:28:04

We were led to homeschool after moving to a small town where there was no Christian school. We tried the public school with optimism but encountered issues that we felt could lead our children down the wrong path. My four boys are grown now and I cherish those years that we were able to spend learning and growing together. No one ever told me that my children would be gone so quickly. Even if there are struggles, savor the time you have with your children because they will be grown up before you know it and you'll never regret the time you invested in them.

BETH A 11/16/2010 06:38:14

On behalf of all us new homeschooler's, thank you.... for leading the way.

Jan P 11/16/2010 07:12:39

Thanks so much! I needed that after battling math until late last night. I need to remember what's most important and why I'm doing this. Today's a new day and we're still headed for the Promised Land! :)

JULIE H 11/16/2010 07:32:21

Julie D. Thank you all so much for your inspiration. I have had a long journey of discovery dealing with a very bright child who it turns out, has dyslexia. We tried everything. Speech from 3-5, 3 yr old, 4 yr old Lutheran pre-school, public school for K and 1st grade, 2nd -present at our Lutheran church school. No one recognized what she had, but we recognized strange patterns of errors in her reading and she would literally melt down every evening doing any reading homework. Teachers are not taught how to recognize or deal with dyslexia. She was tested and officially diagnosed after 2nd grade and we have tried to use accomodations in school, brain training programs, and I'm now tutoring her in The Susan Barton program. She thankfully still loves to learn and I have decided to homeschool her before that is no longer the case. I successfully guided my two older children through the public school system and they are both currently in college (one to be a director of Christian education and outreach, and the other in elementary 1-8 education with a math minor), so I thought the program must be sound. Boy have I learned a lot since researching the benefits of homeschooling. It makes total sense that no other person knows her as wwell as I do, no one else loves her as much as her dad and I, and no one else will invest their heart and soul in her education. I'm excited and nervous at the same time, but am so very thankful for the incredible people who did the work and have established such wonderful curriculum materials to choose from! Your prayers as we begin this new phase of our journey are very welcome.

KRISTA C 11/16/2010 07:34:11

Cannot believe that this was today's devotion!! I was sooo struggling yesterday with my plan to homeschool, My son is 9 and wants nothing to do with schooling and I am having a hard time getting him to aclimate to the routine. I know that God told me to do this... but I am struggling.. thanks for the encouragement!!! I needed it so much today!! I am in my first year of homeschooling... my daughter is 14 and my son 9. KC

SHEILAH S 11/16/2010 09:40:59

THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! This was from the Lord Himself...thank you for being used by Him. I have MS and struggle quite a bit. God is so good and has been getting me through with the two blessings ages 9 and 12. Since I don't get out with other moms very much, I rely on these testimonies quite often. God will bless you for what you do for Him!! SS

PENNY H 11/16/2010 09:49:21

Your daily devotions have been so uplifting to me, and so often times just what I need! Today's was no exception. I do think that I look at this homeschooling experience all too often through the eyes of "Pharaoh" and the resulting emotion is that of "fear". Not good! Because of, I am certain that decisions are not always made that reflect God's best, and His wisdom. I realize that He is the one who works through our children to help them understand things they are learning, and it is He who instructs us in just what to teach, but I am often confused about whose voice I am hearing and how we are to hold to a particular standard that is governed by our world's education system, without compromising what God desires for our children. I am not speaking of adapting secularism to our daily routine in order to adhere to government standards, but rather I am saying that I don't know if I am doing enough. Many homeschooling familes say that this takes care of itself and that they enjoy the freedom to learn outside of the box. I understand this, and yet it still does not accomplish the rigidity that is set forth in the government's expectation of the "Core 40" or the like. Does anyone have any advice about how to adhere to God's standard as well as "obeying the laws of the land", which is also God's standard? Thank you.

LISA T 11/16/2010 10:42:41

Cherio O. I am praying for you! Do you have a local homeschool group that may help you w/ used curriculum, etc? You can also look for free resources that are on the net. It'll still be more leg work than an all-in-one packaged curriculum and more "eclectic." Alpha Omega resources and devotionals are such blessings to the homeschool community! Thank you for helping us homeschool the next generation!

Yolanda V 11/16/2010 11:24:18

I really needed this devotional today. Thank you for the encouragement. This is our first year of homeschooling our 4th grade daughter and 1st grade son. They both have such different needs academically and personally. I have had to discipline myself and learn to listen to and obey the voice of God as opposed to the voice of the world. Stepping out of the box has been a challenge sometimes because we have all been conditioned to believe that institutionalized education knows better than parents' God-given intuition. My husband and I rejoice in the freedom that homeschooling has brought to our family and to our walk with the Lord. Thank you for reminding me that it is okay to go off the beaten path and forge new territory. I am forever grateful that Alpha Omega has been such a blessing to our homeschool.

DARLENA H 11/16/2010 11:40:31

Thank you so much. I really needed this today.

HOLLY P 11/16/2010 20:59:43

That is so beautifully put - thank you for that incredible reminder!

Caroline G 11/17/2010 04:38:39

Dear Penny H., in my state, the highest percentile they must score on SAT's is the 25th. To me that standard is unbelievably low. That shows how inept the public school system is and their expectations. God's way of education surely is superior to Satan's way. The philosophy I've adopted is process of learning is much more important than content. Instill the love of learning and your kids God-given individual purpose for their lives will unfold. I am learning to pray Proverbs 3:5 & 6 "Trust in the Lord with ALL thine heart, and lean NOT on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in ALL thy ways, and He WILL direct your paths. Trust, trust and more trust. God Bless you sister homeschooler

PENNY H 11/17/2010 09:29:38

Thank you to Caroline G. for your response to my question. I appreciate the friendly reminder of Proverbs 3:5&6. I'm learning to apply that, but still I struggle. Thanks again

Felicia H 11/18/2010 00:41:03

Thank you for the words of encouragement! My yougest is the only one I have had the honor of homeschooling. I do wisj I could've with my older two. But now that God has brought me here, my ex husband is my opposition. Him not wanting to sign the necessary papers seems like it is pushing me to send her back to public. I just ask prayers because I know God does not make mistakes or alternate plans. This is a storm as I pray for my ex's heart to soften I am praying mine will soften to him. Thanks again!

CARRIE A 11/16/2011 06:47:47

So good! I am struggling right now with homeschooling our 16` yr old and six year old and have been thinking the public school would be better for them. The difference in ages and the huge difference in their needs has been a struggle. This devotional reminded me to turn it all to our Father and let Him do the teaching and the guidance. Please pray for us if you feel led.

Jody F 11/16/2011 08:13:46

Have great courage, fellow homeschoolers, it does get easier each year you embark on this sometimes overwhelming feat to educate our young children. As I look back, I've been doing this for 12 years now, there is very little that I would change. Each curriculum change was wrought with prayer and well thought out. Let the Lord lead you as you begin each new day. I now homeschool an 11 year old and AOA helps with my 16 year old. I am looking ahead to when I no longer will be a homeschool mom and I know that I will rely on these memories to make my days bright. Tucked in downstairs , doing Bible or Math, on a snowy or rainy day with no need to worry how they are or what they're learning has always been a great comfort to me.

ANDREA D 11/16/2011 08:21:45

I was encouraged by this devotional. We just had our 6th child in October, so we are a bit behind on the schedule I usually like to keep for the school year. My oldest is 9 and I teach him and 3 other of my children. It is challenging to do school with a 2 year old and a newborn, but God has shown me that (like the devotional reffered) there is freedom in home schooling and I don't have to model after the public school. We take breaks often or when I'm nursing I read to them. Naptime I'm finding out is a good time to do one on one teaching. It is extremely challenging and frustrating at times, but if I remember God is in control and that He has a plan for the day to teach my children something then the day goes much smoothly.

ELIZABETH G 11/16/2011 09:26:05

Yes thank you i am going to start homeschooling soon and i know my family is not going to like it. My mother in law is telling my son he needs to go to school and stuff but with all that of the New age movement going into schools more and more and the Loosing of morals and God in school i have chosen this path and like you said it is hard but at the end of the road we will end up in the promise land. thanks for your encouraging words.

KRISTIN C 11/16/2011 09:42:17

AMEN! Very well put!

EMILY H 11/16/2011 09:44:50

That is a fabulous analogy! I began homeschooling in the 1980s and my youngest graduated a few years ago. Homeschooling truly is a life journey. Mine had a stronger resemblance to one of the persecuted prophets. When I began, AO was one of the few curriculum suppliers. Some publishers were quite snobbish and would not sell to the general public. Some of my friends bought used books that had been designed for use in a classroom setting. They had endless busy work at the end of every chapter. As for me, well, the word 'unschooling' had not yet been coined, but today I would call much of what we did focused unschooling that was made necessary by the eclectic nature of resources. The number of vendors at the first "curriculum fair" that I attended could be counted on my fingers. By 2000, I would hear moms at these mega-conventions talk of their struggles and I would feel very detached. In His mercy, the Lord gave me a revelation before I grew embittered at "how easy moms have it now." Homeschooling is now a real option for thousands of families who would not have been able to consider it a quarter-century ago. Better curricula, better technology, and a better symbiosis between them, implemented by nurturing parents will keep the journey of homeschooling headed to a place of great reward.

LISA A 11/16/2011 10:17:57

This spoke to me today, because I want to give up. My children are 15 almost 16 and 13. They are behind in math, I feel like we don't do enough. I get tired of academics myself and just teach bible. They know their Savior and they know Yahwh's word. But I get so stuck in the mindset of the world. My son is still trudging through 8th grade math, it seems like it is taking forever. My daughter forgets the concepts of math. So we stay until she gets it. But my anxiety gets the best of me. I know they need to work harder, but sometimes we just want to throw the academics out the door and just learn the Bible. We can sit and talk for 2 hours on just Bible. That part I love. We have gone to a homeschool options program one time a week for 5 years now and my son just has not made friends. He told me yesterday that he thinks teenagers are stupid. LOL. They talk about girls and relationships, he knows some do drugs and drink (not at options), the conversations he has with people have no substance for him that he just would rather not be part of them. (ahh is that the gossip that God warns us about) he doesn't participate in that kind of talk which alot of it usually is. I dont know. He isn't an out door guy due to allergies and hates bugs...but I am concerned with the friend thing. My daughter hangs out with girls at Options but doesn't get close. We have in the past made good friends with people, but 2 moved and 1 went back to public school and the kids got caught up with that lifestyle and moved on from my children. Maybe they dont want to get close to anyone anymore because of that. They have also already been to 5 funerals in their llifetime plus all the animal losses. Oh and our neighbor kids told them that they can play with them but they aren't allowed to invite them to any of their parties because they wont get along with public school kids, that happened about 4 years ago. (made me mad as Sheol) If anyone has any words and prayers for me I would appreciate. Our Father nows our needs this I know, but seeking encouragement from others helps too. He works through all of us.

KATE D 11/16/2011 12:17:48

I am so thankful to have just read this as today has been a more difficult day with homeschooling. I am new to this and only began homeschooling this year. I see the fruit of my oldest being home however, I feel such a great demand with my other two younger children that I at times wonder if what I am doing is right for everyone. My middle is totally lost in the shuffle of the day and by 9month old is a bit more demanding (for obvious reasons). I feel the time is passing me by with her and I haven't spent as much time as I would like. Prayers and any advice would be most appreciated. My middle is almost 4 and my oldest is in the 1st grade.

KATHY S 11/16/2012 06:21:36

Lisa A. We are behind in Math too. I hate Math, so this is no surprise. We excel in History, which I and my son both love. Friends, that is a hard one. I have always told my son that having one or two real friends is better than having a bunch. He has Aspergers, so he doesn't care if he's socializing or not. His 2 friends from Public School are nice kids. One is very popular, so we seldom hear from him and seldom contact him. The other is younger so it is actually better all the way around. His one other friend (My Friends sons) Also had had a girlfriend for 2 years now (If you want to call her that), he's all of 13 yrs old. I dissapprove strongly. I also hear him screaming at and just mouthing off to his Mother, and I'd like to discipline him myself. So my son doesn't associate much wth him now. Sat. we are going there for a get together, we'll see how it goes. I bet 10 to 1 my son will end up not wanting to be around him if he talks about "smooching" with his girlfriend and disrespects his Mother. In our case lack of wanting to socialize is part of my son's disorder, which is now become more of a blessing than a curse. I hope someday he finds a really good friend that has his same interests and is just as well behaved and wonderful as my son. And I hope he is able to have a girlfriend too, but at age 18 or so. Our world has changed, but God has not, I find myself praying so much more as disasters keep hitting us. Maybe if I prayed more prior to the disasters, we wouldn't have so many of them! Anyway, be Blessed and have a great day!

TERESA S 11/16/2012 16:29:01

Because math is the most challenging, and the hardest subject to catch up with, we do it daily, without exception, after reading time. We had to back up on the fractions with my 7th grader, want to be certain she has a strong grasp before going forward,.. My oldest reads well, and is on, or close to being, on schedule with the rest. The youngest is great with math, a little slower with the other subjects, but determined to do as much as possible by herself. My academic goals are simple- solid math skills, improved reading comprehension and problem solving skills, and improved writing skills. Of course I hope we do well in language arts, geography, and science. I expect by achieving the first 3 goals, eventually, the latter areas will also benefit. I feel overwhelmed when I look at all the information in their books, I have to remind myself \"basics first, and then the rest will follow\"

SUZANNE CARRIER 11/18/2013 14:43:12

Take it from a veteran homeschooler, you are a HOME, not a SCHOOL. There's no such thing as getting "behind". Teach them to love reading and be diligent in their math and they can learn ANYTHING. Instill in them a love for learning and self-discipline. In the early years I taught my children with a library card and the Bible only. The true principle behind all that we do is the love for God and family. God has a deeper purpose than just "doing school". Your parental and sibling relationships will be solid and caring. Your children won't be educated in schools of secular humanism. They will have wonderful life skills and clear minds, not clouded by the god of this world. God is good and faithful. Do what you can each day and don't come under the guilt of not doing enough. The Lord Jesus wants us to have homes of peace, joy, and order. And guess what? the kids will come out with a wonderful education. Remember you are first and foremost their MOTHER. Focus on what that means in the family. A mother who loves, nurtures, corrects, instructs, and guides...but also plays, is joyful, and relaxes a great deal too!

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