by Rebecca Kocsis

Have you ever walked into a room, only to forget why you were there? You set off in that direction with a clear purpose. You were going to do something important, or if not important, at least it was something that needed to be done. By the time you got there, you had lost sight of what it was you needed to do. Maybe you got distracted. The phone rang or a child needed your attention. The reason can just vanish into thin air. It’s baffling. The best way to remember what we were going to do is to go back to what you were doing before, and hopefully it will come back to you.

I felt like that more than once while homeschooling. I would find myself standing in the middle of my house, looking at my kids and asking, “Why am I doing this?” Our heavenly Father never let that question go unanswered for very long.

For our family, homeschooling was not so much a choice as a calling. It was not very far into the process of researching the possibility of homeschooling our children before God showed me that it wasn’t as much about academics, or peer pressure, or family unity, as it was about discipleship. He wanted us to use homeschooling as a vehicle to evangelize and disciple our children. As a Christian parent, can there be any greater calling? In his grace, He never let me forget it.

Keeping that sense of purpose in mind not only inspired me on good days; it kept me going through some very difficult ones, too. In fact, if I did not know—if I was not firmly convinced that this was God’s calling on my life—I would have quit. Homeschooling is hard! In fact, experience tells me that if parents are not completely convinced that this is what God wants for their family, when the going gets tough, the kids go back to school.

So I would ask you, dear ones, “Why are you doing this?”

Maybe it’s your first year homeschooling and it’s not going quite like you planned. You thought you’d have more time for crafts and baking. You thought your kids would be really excited to do school with Mommy every day. You’re disillusioned. And why didn’t anyone tell you that you would get so tired?

Maybe you are meeting resistance—from your kids, from family, from friends, or even your spouse. You’re weary of having to defend your position. Every time my family would meet some kind of big change, I would inevitably be asked, “So you’re going to put the kids in school, right?” Pregnancy, high school, unemployment; to extended family, these were all good reasons to put the kids back in school. We stuck to our guns. Eventually—10 years later—they stopped asking. But, you know, the proof was in the pudding. Our family was a living, breathing example to them that homeschooling was a good thing.

Maybe you’re a veteran homeschooler and you’ve lost sight of your original goals. You started out with all the good and godly intentions in the world, but now it’s just about books and classes. Park day became more important than prayer. Is it any wonder that the thrill is gone? You’re going through the motions. You’re still homeschooling, but you have no greater goals than graduation.

Why did God call you here? Did He show you, like He did me, that your children’s spiritual lives are at stake? As parents, we will have no greater calling than to raise our children for Christ. When else will you have this kind of opportunity? Never again will you have such a captive audience. Never again will you wield so much influence over individual lives. Seeing that our children are heaven bound will be our life’s great work.

Keep that sense of purpose alive in your heart. Keep it ever before you. Without God’s eternal purpose, homeschooling is merely another academic exercise.