Much of what I share in my reply I got from years of encouragement given to me by my dear friend Bonni Greiner.
Here is my reply:
I feel like there are many times over the last 12 years of homeschooling that I could have written your exact post.....so rest assured your questions are normal, what you feel is normal, and I promise your kids will turn out:)
With that said, I have prayed each year and each year looked very different. There were years that I had 2 middle school girls that we just adopted and then there were the years that I had 3 babies in 4 years while schooling the older 4 children. I have graduated 3 of them. They survived. I survived. We have used "box" curriculum, unit studies, cyber school and co-ops. Every year was different. Every child was different. This year I have a junior in high school, a 6th grader, a 4th grader, and a 2nd grader.
I felt God calling me this year to really focus on serving and so our curriculum looks very different. I use BJU math and Houghton Mifflin Reading for the younger 2. I use calvert math and a character based literature program for my 6th grader. I am using the coolest history from Homeschool in the Woods called Time Travelers History. We are reading and drawing the book of Proverbs this year. We are looking for opportunities to serve and doing a ton of reading about those less fortunate than us. This is the year I want their world to expand beyond our front door. I want their hearts to start opening up to the things that break God's heart.
It is ok to experiment and find out what works for your family. It is ok to use part of a curriculum and to supplement. It is ok to trash a curriculum a month after you start it. If it doesn't work the first month what makes us think it will work the rest of the year???? We need to get beyond the idea that we bought so we have to use it all and just use what works. We need to discern what is working and move on if its not.
We feel A LOT of pressure to "keep up" with everyone around us. Satan loves to taunt us by having us focus on others success and our own failures. One thing that has helped me tremendously has been to make a list of what I want my child to learn and when I am tempted to feel panic I go back to that list. It looks something like this:
1. Love God
2. Serve Him
3. Love others
4. Serve them
5. Know His Word
6. Be able to balance checkbook, handle money, and not go into debt
7. Know basic life skills....cooking, cleaning, etc.''
This isn't the whole list but you get the idea. Very little to do with actual curriculum. Beth Moore just said in her simulcast this weekend "If you have a heart to do God's will He is not going to hide it from you". He won't hide it from our kids. He gifted them and has specific work for them. The best thing we can do is remind them of this daily and pray the heavens down over them.
I am not saying that academics is not important. It is. Especially if it has something to do with what God calls them to. I have just learned over the years of having self doubt and bawling my eyes out regularly that I am just not big enough to mess God up:)
Wow.....that was a long comment. Probably more than you bargained for:) I hope I helped and didn't confuse the topic even more for you! Hang on because it is a wild ride but it is a fast ride. You might not feel that way most days but the next thing you know you wake up and that child is grown. Be blessed. I will pray for you:)
Sometimes we just need to encourage someone else to be reminded ourselves....funny how that works.
Have a blessed night!