Making Important, Impactful Decisions Regarding Your Children

Author:  Melanie Robbins

We made a big decision a few months ago, one which will have a significant impact on our family.  I will not be homeschooling my son Nathan next year.  Talk about one of the most important decisions we’ve had to make as parents!

Parenting requires an incredible amount of wisdom.  We are constantly making decisions regarding our children – some are minor and some are major.  Some can have long-lasting effects.  I am so thankful I am not alone in my parenting.  Besides my husband, I have my heavenly Father, who loves my children even more than I do.  I’m thankful that he is omniscient {all-knowing}, omnipresent, and omnipotent {all-powerful}.  I’m thankful, too, that He can and will do all that He promises in His word.  I cling to those promises!  One of my favorites is His promise to give wisdom to those who ask.  {James 1:5}

For the past three years, I have homeschooled both of my children.  It was a decision made after much prayer and discussion with my husband.  When we made it, we had peace, believing it was what would be best for them and our family.   Homeschooling has been such a tremendous blessing!  The kids and I have enjoyed and benefitted from it greatly. It has afforded us much freedom and flexibility.   I have learned a lot about them and myself as a result.  We have all grown a tremendous amount in our faith and relationship with God.   It has not been without its challenges and difficulties, however.  Teaching two different grades each year to two different learners who have unique learning styles has been  overwhelming.  It has been more than a full-time job and trying to keep up with it as well as my other responsibilities/roles – wife, homemaker, family member, church member, friend, etc.  has, at times, been daunting.  Whatever I do, I like to do it with excellence and I felt like with all that I had on my plate I wasn’t able to do anything well.  That feeling and the constant feeling of being overwhelmed brought out things in me that I didn’t know were there.  I struggled with anger and impatience – characteristics that I hadn’t seen manifested in me before.

In the midst of all of this, I was also beginning to realize that I wasn’t equipped to provide my son with all that he needed.  He has been given a gift – he is bright and has a thriving intellectual curiosity which I couldn’t satiate.  It was hard as his teacher to not be able to answer his numerous questions {we did use Google ;)} and to challenge him in ways I knew he should be challenged.

Socially, too, I couldn’t provide the environment he needed. He hasn’t cared for team sports and has always been more of a homebody, preferring to spend time with 1 or 2 friends which he has known for many years.  My husband and I were starting to feel that we needed to help him to become more comfortable socially and help him to develop needed social skills by having him be exposed to different types of social environments.  With homeschooling we had not been able to consistently provide him with those types of situations.

While all of this was going on, I was praying about schooling and not feeling peaceful about continuing to homeschool Nathan next year.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling good about the other option – sending him to the public middle school in town.  Going from homeschooling to a large, public school given his personality etc., did not seem like it would be best for him.  More importantly, developing his heart, character, and faith are what is most important to me and I knew that by sending him there that during the hours of school those things would not be actively and intentionally developed.   I knew, too, that my husband hadn’t wanted to pay for schooling and/or have our children not go to school in town.   I felt this tremendous burden.  I wasn’t sure what to do. I knew God knew me, my son, and the situation and what would be best, though.  I continued to pray and give it over to God, praying for wisdom and guidance.  In sharing with my mother-in-law how I was feeling about Nathan etc. she offered to possibly help pay for private schooling for him.  My mother then also offered to contribute.  When I mentioned that to my husband and once again shared my heart about all that I felt, I saw God work!  My husband’s mind changed.  He became open to the idea of paying for schooling and to him going to school out of town!  Wow!  Something I never felt would happen, happened!  God clearly opened doors and answered my prayers.  I cannot describe the peace and burden lifted when my husband and I made the final decision to have Nathan go to a Christian school next year.

Every child is different. Every parent, family and situation is different.  Although I know all the benefits of homeschooling {which are many} and why it seemed like the best option, I wrestled, prayed and sought what was best for my son and our family and believe God clearly gave us the wisdom and guidance we needed.   Next year Nathan will be going to a Christian school and I will be homeschooling our daughter.

My reason in writing this is to hopefully be an encouragement to you.  God gave you your children for a reason.  You are the best possible parent for them.  There are many decisions you need to make for your children and family.  Don’t look at what others are doing or not doing in order to find your answers.  Remember that each child, family situation etc. is different.  God loves you and knows what is best.  Look to God for wisdom, guidance and direction and trust that He will give it to you.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”   Prov. 3: 5-6

Next Week’s Author:  Kim Ashbaugh

Devoted wife to my hard-working, handsome, all-around great husband, Tyler. Loving mother to my two precious children, Nathan (loves legos, reading, learning and playing with friends) and Rachel (loves almost all she tries, particularly dance and music). Passionate about many things including my faith, family, parenting, and being all that God desires for us. Lover of wisdom.
Passionate Purposeful Parenting

Comments

  1. jennifer patchin says:

    I know all the prayer and time that you put into this decision. I know that God is leading your family and he has given you his peace. I appreciate the encouragement to all parents that we are given our specific children and God has a specific plan for each one. That we need to seek Him and His will in all circumstances and he will direct our paths.

    • Thank you for walking alongside me and supporting me with love and prayer through the process! :) I have so loved/enjoyed co-teaching with you and will miss it next year! Seeking Him and His will in all things — that is a believer’s heart/desire! :)

  2. Yes, this: Don’t look at what others are doing or not doing in order to find your answers. Remember that each child, family situation etc. is different. God loves you and knows what is best. Look to God for wisdom, guidance and direction and trust that He will give it to you.”

    My husband and I have always said that we will do what the Lord leads us to do. That is, of course, where He wants us to be – seeking Him and His will. As long as that is homeschooling – with each individual child – then we will do our very best to provide that. Thank you for sharing your struggles plus His provision and path for your family!

    • Thank you for the encouragement, Tricia! Those decisions are not always easy, even knowing what God is leading you to do, is it? I’m so thankful that He is there with us through all of it and that we can trust Him and lean on Him for strength and courage! Appreciate your heart and example and the encouragement you give to many homeschoolers!

  3. Susan Ottmer says:

    Melanie, I can so relate! Though never a home-schooling mom, I also struggled (as you know) with what was the best option for my daughters for the coming year, weighing home-schooling with traditional school. I have decided to keep her where she is at, mostly for the same reasons that you sited for Nathan. I’m eager to see how he likes his new school and to hear about it! Thanks for sharing your heart!

    • It is such a privilege, pleasure, and honor! There is so much more I could share — I just didn’t want to make the article too long, though. One of the things I didn’t mention was that there can be different seasons. I know God led us to homeschool both children for a few years and now it’s a season for Nathan to go back to school. We will continue to be seeking Him and His will for our children. Things could change again next year! I will most definitely share with you about Nathan’s experience next year. I want to hear how your girls are doing too.

  4. This is so well said, Melanie! As a mom who has had her children in private school, public school, and home schooled, I totally agree that there are different seasons for each! The child’s character, learning style and personality also comes into play making each year a whole new, prayerful decision!

  5. Thank you so much, Jaime! Yes, there are seasons and the child’s character, learning style and personality most definitely come into play — that’s why it’s so important to stay connected to God, seeking Him and His will for each child! :)

  6. Thanks for sharing your heart, Melanie. These are not easy decisions. We prayerfully wait on God every year regarding school decisions for our kids – they are both very different with different needs. We pulled our son OUT of a private Christian school to homeschool for the very same reasons you are putting your son INTO one – further proving that there is no formula . . . except to pray, listen and obey. God bless you.

    • Passionate Purposeful Parenting says:

      Thank you so much for your comment, Laura! You are definitely right that these are not easy decisions! So thankful that God guides and promises to give wisdom/direction to those who ask and seek Him and His will! :) God bless you and your family too!

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