Parenting is a tough job and homeschooling is like parenting on steroids. You have these llittle beings in your care that you love more than life itself. You strive to guide them, to teach them, to encourage them, to inspire them. You want to help them build strong foundations that will carry them through the storms of life. And sometimes you just need them to stop fighting over who is touching whom fifteen minutes into a four hour drive.
I don’t have this parenting thing figured out. Not by a long shot. It seems like it should be about time. After all, my eldest ist 18, left for farrier school and is transitioning to adulthood. All I know is that it takes a lot of prayer and a whole lot of faith. Mostly, I feel like I’m parenting in the dark. When there is conflict, I still don’t always know exactly what constitutes “normal” and what is cause for concern. It’s complicated by having lost a child. Some things I see in my children I trace back to that night. And the accuser entering my thoughts is always ready to blame my own grief and years of struggling to be present at all.
But I know what I want my parenting to look like. I want it to be “just enough.” Not in a lazy, get out of the hard parts of parenting way. To me, “just enough” is harder.
I want to give them just enough freedom to fail, but enough support that getting back up is easy.
I want to push them just hard enough that they surprise themselves at what they can do, but not so much that their victories are no longer theirs.
I want to answer enough of their questions for them to learn how the world works, but leave enough unanswered questions to allow them to ponder and to wonder.
I want to give them just enough direction that they don’t feel lost, but not so much that they never learn to find their own way.
I want to give them just enough responsibility to develop their character, but enough grace that they can just be kids.
I want to give them enough instruction in our faith for them to build a firm foundation and just enough liberty to meet Christ on their own so that their faith is theirs and not just an expression of how they were raised.
And as I strive each day to be enough so that I can give them enough, I fail. Daily. So I cling to a simple prayer . . . that love really does cover a multitude of sins. Both mine and theirs. Then each day can start new with just enough strength to get through.
This is part of the Blogging Through the Alphabet Challenge, where I am sharing some homeschool encouragement, from A to Z! Check out what I’ve written so far!