From where I stand in my booth at the homeschool book fair, I spot the young couple as they turn onto my aisle. They’re conspicuous precisely because they’re trying so hard not to be, but I recognize the signs: anxious eyes wide, heads swiveling as they try to take in all the options. Their youngest is snuggled protectively into a baby sling and a three- and five-year-old seem held in close orbit around their parents by some invisible gravitational pull. A brand new homeschooling family. “Newbies” as green as apples.

My husband nudges me. “That was us, about twenty-five years ago.”

Indeed. I remember walking into this same exhibition hall. When I saw all that was available it made my head swim. How could I even know where to start? What did we need? What curriculum was best for my child? And then I began to do the math, and my heart sank. How would we pay for all this? Could I even do it? Maybe we’d made a mistake…

I smile as the young couple approaches our exhibit. “Can I help you?” I ask, knowing that they won’t be ready for the materials I sell for at least another five years.

That’s okay. I’m not trying to sell them anything.

I want to give them something…encouragement. Confidence. Peace of mind.

We chat for a while. They tell me about their children, and I ask a few questions to help them discover how they learn best. Oldest daughter is a conscientious visual learner who likes to draw and color–princess dresses, mostly. Son is audio/tactile (aren’t they all at that age?) and loves to catch bugs. They ask about curriculum, and I make a few suggestions that might fit.

The whole exchange takes less than five minutes, and already they’re anxious to resume their quest for the perfect materials. I see the doubt beginning to creep back into their expressions. They so want to do the very best for their children. “May I make just one more suggestion?” I ask.

They nod.

“Just relax and enjoy your children. They learn rather naturally. That’s how God designed us. They’re curious. You’re devoted to them. It’ll work out.

Our forefathers were proof that a good education does not require expensive curriculum, special training, or fancy equipment. Some of them were lucky to own one book and have a roof over their heads, much less a dedicated school room, and they were too busy to sit down and hold scheduled classes. They just ‘did life’ together and taught skills as they came to them, and their children built a great nation.

You’ll do fine. With God’s help, you are enough.”

Our forefathers were proof that a good education does not require expensive curriculum, special… Click To Tweet

They smile, and as they walk away I think maybe their steps seem a little more sure.

 

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