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Homeschool Regrets - Did We Do Something Wrong?

Not every child is a genius, or socially adept, or physically strong. When you see the failings in your own teenager, it can be tempting to have regrets and think you must have caused it to happen. Even when you KNOW your child has a physical condition causing learning challenges or social stumbling blocks, there may still be moments of doubt. "Sure my child was born that way, but maybe if I had just ..." It's easy to place blame with parents, even when the parent is you.

regrets



Homeschool Regrets - Did We Do Something Wrong?



Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." John 9:1-3

Learning challenges are called "challenges" for a reason - they can be difficult! However, I can see how these challenges can point to the Glory of God. When a child with difficulties succeeds beyond their wildest dreams, parents immediately recognize it as a miracle. Consider this news story:
Grad who personifies perseverance Despite being told he'd likely never walk or talk, Alex Leavitt will graduate with a degree in history from the University of Puget Sound on Sunday. Seattle Times

How must that parent have felt for all those years? It certainly couldn't have been easy, and I'm sure they often wondered if they were doing the right thing. I have pointed out this story before, and how he has private tutors and used school-provided note takers, much the same way homeschool parents work. Success wasn't due to the school. It was to demonstrate the work of God. I have talked with many friends and clients that have children who struggle, with Dyslexia, Aspergers, and more. Now I'm old enough to see these same parents on the other side - their children are beginning to graduate from college. One child couldn't read at 12, or spell at 17. It was tempting for the mother to ask "Is it my sin, Lord?" These parents didn't give up, but kept working through the disappointments, difficulties, and doubts. Now this same child has graduated with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. The parents are pointing to the Lord. The work of God has been displayed in his life. It wasn't the sins of the parents that prevented him from reading or spelling, it was so that, years later, they could all feel closer to God, and see Him as a personal Lord who loves them and cares for them.

Please note: This post was originally published in July 2010 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Comments 6

Guest - Michele Kennedy on Friday, 21 November 2014 15:26

This is a great post Lee. I too am a mom that struggles. I have smart boys but am always doubting this journey. They will not have incredible scores on the ACT and SAT and I worry daily about what I will do when I see those scores. I know this time homeschooling is priceless and I would not have it any other way. But, when others brag about what wonderful success their kids are experiencing I am the mom that is quiet and wishing the subject would change. It is encouraging to hear others are on this rocky road and this too shall pass. Thank you for all the support and great posts. Every little bit of encouragement is so greatly appreciated.

This is a great post Lee. I too am a mom that struggles. I have smart boys but am always doubting this journey. They will not have incredible scores on the ACT and SAT and I worry daily about what I will do when I see those scores. I know this time homeschooling is priceless and I would not have it any other way. But, when others brag about what wonderful success their kids are experiencing I am the mom that is quiet and wishing the subject would change. It is encouraging to hear others are on this rocky road and this too shall pass. Thank you for all the support and great posts. Every little bit of encouragement is so greatly appreciated.
Guest - Lee (website) on Thursday, 15 July 2010 07:58

Lois,
I'm so glad it was encouraging for you! I want to respond to one phrase you used "Their scores on college entrance exams will not stand out." Check out this article:
20 Great Colleges for Students with Low SAT Scores
http://collegeapps.about.com/od/choosingacollege/tp/great-schools-low-sat-scores.01.htm

Even low SAT scores can stand out to some colleges. Some colleges average SAT is below the national average.

As you say, it's certainly not the most important thing but I did want to encourage you about that small detail.

Blessings,
Lee

Lois, I'm so glad it was encouraging for you! I want to respond to one phrase you used "Their scores on college entrance exams will not stand out." Check out this article: 20 Great Colleges for Students with Low SAT Scores http://collegeapps.about.com/od/choosingacollege/tp/great-schools-low-sat-scores.01.htm Even low SAT scores can stand out to some colleges. Some colleges average SAT is below the national average. As you say, it's certainly not the most important thing but I did want to encourage you about that small detail. Blessings, Lee
Guest - Lois on Thursday, 15 July 2010 06:39

Thanks for this post, Lee, it was very encouraging for me. I am somewhere along the way on this homeschooling journey. My kids are not brilliant, nor are they disabled. I'm sure their scores on college entrance exams will not stand out. As a mom, I'm always concerned that I will be judged, and the homeschooling community will be judged based on how my kids perform. And yet, in the light of eternity, what is important is how they are following the Lord and making wise choices.

Thanks for this post, Lee, it was very encouraging for me. I am somewhere along the way on this homeschooling journey. My kids are not brilliant, nor are they disabled. I'm sure their scores on college entrance exams will not stand out. As a mom, I'm always concerned that I will be judged, and the homeschooling community will be judged based on how my kids perform. And yet, in the light of eternity, what is important is how they are following the Lord and making wise choices.
Guest - Alyssa on Saturday, 10 July 2010 13:46

Lee,
I came across your post on a facebook page. I often quote this verse when talking with friends about my son's disability, usually when someone tells me God chose me as his mother because He knew I would be the best mother for my son. It is patently clear that I am not the best possible mother for this child! This is not a Biblical sentiment. Instead, the Bible teaches that our condition in life--be that disabled child or sinful, justified, failing, and at-times-succeeding homeschooling mom--is given to us so that GOD may be glorified.
I am ok with asking myself, "Where did I go wrong?" because I know I have failed my children and because I know there is forgiveness and glory to God even in that acknowledgement.
Sometimes God is glorified when someone is healed (as in the passage) or miraculously succeeds beyond all expectations (as in the stories). Other times he is glorified when a parent comes to the end of herself, acknowledges her sins and failings, and learns to truly accept God's grace and forgiveness and to rely on God, even when successes do not come.

Lee, I came across your post on a facebook page. I often quote this verse when talking with friends about my son's disability, usually when someone tells me God chose me as his mother because He knew I would be the best mother for my son. It is patently clear that I am not the best possible mother for this child! This is not a Biblical sentiment. Instead, the Bible teaches that our condition in life--be that disabled child or sinful, justified, failing, and at-times-succeeding homeschooling mom--is given to us so that GOD may be glorified. I am ok with asking myself, "Where did I go wrong?" because I know I have failed my children and because I know there is forgiveness and glory to God even in that acknowledgement. Sometimes God is glorified when someone is healed (as in the passage) or miraculously succeeds beyond all expectations (as in the stories). Other times he is glorified when a parent comes to the end of herself, acknowledges her sins and failings, and learns to truly accept God's grace and forgiveness and to rely on God, even when successes do not come.
Guest - Lee (website) on Saturday, 10 July 2010 12:20

That particular person doesn't have a blog, but she's a very good friend of mine and I see her almost every week :-) I'll tell her to start a blog, and I'll tell her you said so!

Debbie did give me some quotes when I wrote the article about College for Struggling Learners here: http://www.thehomescholar.com/college-for-struggling-learners.php

Blessings,
Lee

That particular person doesn't have a blog, but she's a very good friend of mine and I see her almost every week :-) I'll tell her to start a blog, and I'll tell her you said so! Debbie did give me some quotes when I wrote the article about College for Struggling Learners here: http://www.thehomescholar.com/college-for-struggling-learners.php Blessings, Lee
Guest - Dianne (website) on Saturday, 10 July 2010 09:59

What an encouraging post, Lee. I struggle so much with this. My children do not have disabilities, so I don't fit in that category. But it always seems that every other non-disabled, homeschooled child is so advanced and doing so much and mine aren't.

Does the person whose child couldn't read at 12 or spell at 17 have a blog? I would love to read it if that's the case.

Thanks!

What an encouraging post, Lee. I struggle so much with this. My children do not have disabilities, so I don't fit in that category. But it always seems that every other non-disabled, homeschooled child is so advanced and doing so much and mine aren't. Does the person whose child couldn't read at 12 or spell at 17 have a blog? I would love to read it if that's the case. Thanks!
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