by Susan Beatty

little boys running down the roadInspiration and encouragement can come from the most interesting of places—even a Dr. Seuss book.

Recently, I overheard someone sharing some lines from Oh, the Places You’ll Go, the final book written by Dr. Seuss. I had never heard of this particular Dr. Seuss book but was encouraged by the lines I heard.

That same evening my niece received the book as a high school graduation gift from her older-mother-of-kids sister. At first my niece was a little taken aback at such a gift—a kid’s book for high school graduation? As soon as I saw the book’s title, I swooped down on it and began reading a few of its lines to the entire dinner table.

Many of the lines in this book apply to our adult endeavors, including homeschooling.

You are probably reading this about the time you resume schooling after a summer break. The book starts out:

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.

We begin our new school year with such great enthusiasm and confidence. But……..

Out there things can happen
And frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And “there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants . . . that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.”

I wish I could quote the entire fun book to you, but towards the end it says:

So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
And remember that Life’s
A Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!

Having God’s word is even better than Dr. Seuss. In II Timothy 1:7, we have the familiar words, “For God has not given us spirit of fear, but of power and of a sound mind.” And Galatians 6:9 reminds us, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Start the year with enthusiasm and confidence, but be prepared for the “things that scare you right out of your pants.” It won’t hurt to read Dr. Seuss; it will probably be fun and even encouraging. Read it to your kids.

But most of all, be prepared by hiding God’s word in your heart and holding God’s hand in prayer. He won’t let go. And, yes, you will succeed.

May God take this small offering and multiply it in your life.

Copyright 2005. Used by permission of the author. Originally publish in the California Parent Educator.

Susan K. Beatty is the co-founder and general manager of CHEA of California. She and her husband Larry began homeschooling in 1982, teaching all three children through high school and graduating the last child in 1998. The Beattys spend their time in Anaheim (although Susan spends a lot of her time at the CHEA office in Norwalk).