I remember in my early days of homeschooling, I was not very good at it, but I strived to “be the best”! I poured over homeschool websites, watched YouTube videos of moms who I thought “had it all worked out” and made it look so easy. I was constantly changing my homeschool routine with the intent to provide the homeschool of my dreams, but I failed to realize that my children had needs and desires also. I also failed to realize that what might have “worked” in the private school my daughter (who at the time was 7 years old) was not going to work at home. In my early days of homeschooling, I was also caring for a 15-month-old and a newborn… AND I was still working full-time. My life and my schedule were ridiculous! Let me just caveat here…I did NOT want to be working; it was a non-negotiable at the time, so please don’t judge.

As the years went on, I learned to pick and choose what worked for my littles and the early learning subjects, based on their learning styles. Though I have consistently used Seton Home Study School Curriculum since I started homeschooling in 2009, each year I have added some type of supplement to help each child through “those subjects” that may need a little more attention. All the while, though, I STILL failed to realize that something very important was missing from our homeschool routine, our homeschool lifestyle. I needed to learn how to be like a grain of wheat!

Now, you might say, “What on Earth do you mean, ‘be like a grain of wheat’?” Well, what I mean by that statement is that I needed to die to myself in order for my children to grow and flourish. Let me elaborate; in Scripture, we read:

Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.

John 12:24

So, what does this mean to me and my homeschool? Simply put, it means unless we die to ourselves (our desires, our wants, our way of thinking), we (and those around us, such as the children we homeschool) cannot grow. My sons, in their infinite simplicity, decided to bring home the seeds from a wheat plant they had grown in their Catechism class. All three of them asked me if they could plant their seeds on the porch to see how well they would grow. I agreed to their request, and they happily got busy tilling up the dry dirt in the “dead” flowerpots I had on the porch. These boys were serious! They cleaned out the dead plants that were in the pots, tilled the dirt, added new dirt, carefully planted their seeds, and watered the new seedlings with the hopes of producing a large return. Guess what happened? They LEARNED something that day. THAT was a learning experience! THAT was their science class for the day. Each day afterward, they checked on the progress of their wheat plants and monitored if they needed water, and made sure to move them from damaging winds and rain when the storms blew in. Do you know what else happened? I learned that those wheat seedlings were reminders to me and my children, that we need to be given room to sprout, to grow, and to flourish.

All that being said, I still stick to the same curriculum because it is very high quality, and it offers a plethora of information and learning than any other curriculum we have tried. In addition, though, I have learned to give grace and space to my children to let them explore the subjects they like most and grow in those areas. For one child, it is art…for another child it is music…for another child it is religion…for another child, it is simply having the freedom to pick which subjects they want to learn today. This does not mean they are learning less; in fact, they are learning even more than I ever thought possible.

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