by Susan K. Beatty

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the Summer 2008 issue of The Parent Home Educator, the print magazine that was the predecessor to CHEA’s current digital e-newsletter, The CHEA Connection. As part of CHEA’s 40th Anniversary celebration, we are revisiting some articles that have stood the test of time that we feel would still be beneficial to home educators today.

Inspiration and encouragement can come from the most interesting 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.

In spite of the fact it is summer, you are probably reading this about the time you plan to 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 ends 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 Galations 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.

About Susan

Susan Beatty and her husband Larry began homeschooling their three children in 1982. They graduated all three children from high school at home. Susan is the co-founder of CHEA of California and served on its Board of Directors and in various roles until her retirement in 2017. She is a professional writer/journalist, authoring The California Homeschool Manual, Faces of Courage, and Fragrance of Violets. She holds a BA degree (1971) from Cal State University Los Angeles and a graduate of CLASS seminars.