Growing Relationships
Through Parenting & Education
How do we develop boldnress as homeschool parents?
by Connie Albers
I remember the first conversation I had with Tom about homeschooling. I was standing in the doorway of his office when he asked me if I would homeschool our son. My reply was a resounding, “No.” Without any hesitation he said, “Will you pray about it?” I agreed. After a week or so of prayer and consideration, I told Tom yes, but only for a year.

It’s been thirty years since we entered the homeschool realm. We were bold and resolute in our commitment to move forward. Our boldness came from a place of wanting something better for our family than the current option. It wasn’t an impulsive decision. It stemmed from a fierce determination to chart a new path for our family.

When God calls us to the unknown, the boldness we gain is nothing short of a strong confidence to speak or do something openly without fear because we know God is leading. Sure, there will be days we wonder and doubt. That is natural. In the thirty years that I’ve been shaping the homeschool movement, I’ve never met a parent who didn’t have moments of doubt. But, when you believe what you are doing is the right thing for your family and the Lord is leading you, doubt is quickly replaced with an unshakable boldness to carry on.

Decision-making became easier once I knew the direction God had for us. I wasn’t wrestling with if I should homeschool. Now, all I needed to do was decide how I would proceed. I didn’t realize it at the time, but decisiveness is a characteristic of boldness. It is the ability to forge ahead confidently while venturing into uncharted territory without showing fear. When we are clear about our decision we can firmly stand up and be resolute in our commitment—solid and decisive, so in charge of our lives.

Only a few times throughout your journey will you fully grasp the impact of the endeavor. Robert Frost didn’t tell us the fork in the road is easier seen in hindsight. But sitting here with my computer, I realize I could have missed so much if I had given up on the hard days. And how the decision to change course would affect not only my relationship with each child but the legacy of our family.

I don’t mean to overstate what can happen, but looking back, I can see what the Lord was doing in the vulnerable moments. The terrifying risk of love and concern Tom and I took to say yes to this journey. We heard all the distracting noises of insecurity and the loud voices of naysayers who didn’t understand the source of our boldness. It wasn’t our age that led to such boldness; age had little to do with our homeschool decision. Our boldness came from the Lord. And when He calls you to do something, like homeschooling, He equips you for the calling.

Getting to see God’s provision as clearly as when we embark on a journey without knowing the outcome is a gift. It’s risky, adventurous, and even scary. You face uncertainty while knowing the future of your child’s education is what’s at stake.

When I set out to write Parenting Beyond the Rules, I began looking back on my parenting journey, including homeschooling my five children. During this time of reflection, I could see the boldness God gave me to complete this calling. It’s the same boldness he provides to you, too.

Boldness has a powerful effect on your parenting and homeschool life. It brings inner confidence to take the next step.

“Our boldness came from a place of wanting something better for our family than the current option. It wasn’t an impulsive decision. It stemmed from a fierce determination to chart a new path for our family.”
The characteristics of boldness…
• Strengthens your trust in the Lord’s provision.
When He calls, He equips.

• Implies daring and brave.
The more you lean into the Lord, the bolder you become.

• Nurtures your reliance on the Lord.
The Lord loves His children and wants what is best for them.

• Inspires hope.
We gain hope in knowing we aren’t alone.

• Reawakens adventure.
When we allow the Lord to direct our days, a heightened sense of adventure takes root.

• Creates a positive attitude.
Once we embrace boldness, our feelings move in a healthy direction.

• Cultivates conviction.
There is nothing like being sure of something that causes an attitude of boldness to grow stronger.

Boldness Takes Humility
Developing boldness takes humility as you step out of your comfort zone. When God called us to homeschool, I experienced a level of fearlessness that I couldn’t explain, other than that it came from the Lord. I didn’t have a teaching degree, so it didn’t stem from my experience. Though I did teach in the corporate world, that wasn’t the same as teaching math, English, science, history, and other subjects from K-12. Teaching children was uncharted territory for me.

While giving my best was necessary, I had to work through the feelings of inadequacy that crept into my mind.

Overcoming those emotions requires accepting that you don’t have all the answers; you learn as you go. You are a work in process. Being humble enough to admit such a truth is the beginning of developing boldness.

View of person's legs walking
Boldness Requires Trust
I’ve read a lot of books and articles about parenting and homeschooling over the years. They are designed to give the reader hope and help, which we need. I’ve read everything from how to fix your kid in a week, to launching them well, to getting your kids to listen. It all sounds good, but you can’t fix a kid in a week, there is no guarantee that you’ll launch your kid well, and you definitely can’t make your child listen. That doesn’t mean we don’t teach and train them in the way they should go. It means we must be faithful every day and trust Him with the outcome.

I thought if I tried all the methods we would sail through the teen years with minimal strife. But it didn’t take long for me to realize there isn’t a specific list that guarantees such results. Navigating the teen years took more than mere effort and how-tos. I had to learn to completely trust God to work in the hearts of my children through the ups and downs of growing up, and you will too. To fully trust God demands boldness because there is risk. You will battle what-if questions. You will be afraid you are missing something. There will always be someone telling you how to parent. My encouragement to you is guard your ears. Be careful who you allow to whisper in your ears.

Boldness Builds Courage
Have you felt so strongly about something that you had courage you couldn’t explain?

When you know the direction you will travel, the strength of conviction takes hold, and fear gets kicked to the side.

When we face what’s before us without fearfully questioning, “What if it doesn’t work?”—that’s extraordinary courage. Courage is the result of having the confidence in the Lord that you have all you need within you to make wise decisions for your child’s education and future.

Boldness Builds Confidence
People often think of boldness as something other people have. While other homeschool parents might be more confident than you, you’ll soon discover your confidence grows the longer you persevere.

One of the many blessings God gave me was the confidence that I could teach my children well. That didn’t mean I got it all right. My kids will tell you I didn’t! They don’t all love to read for hours upon hours or have glowing memories of every school day. Some days were a flop! But even then, God was at work in our family.

Boldness is having the confidence to press on during difficult seasons. That type of trust comes from a deep place within, a place reserved for the work of the Lord. As much as I would like to give you simple steps and easy formulas to follow, trusting the Lord to lead is the most effective thing you can do.

While you may be bold in your efforts to homeschool, your children might not display the same characteristics of decisiveness, confidence, or firm resolve you have. What can we do to help our children develop boldness? Find out in our next issue!

Woman looking out into the sunset
Take the next bold step
Don’t ever stop being willing to take bold steps in your homeschool journey. When one bold step bears fruit or unexpectedly ends, start asking the Lord what He has next for you and your children.

At every season of my journey, I began to pray and ask God, “What do I teach each child next, Lord?” I knew the Lord called me to homeschool and believed He would give me guidance at every step. Looking back, I see He did just that. There were times we weren’t as bold or confident as I wanted us to be. Fear gripped my heart on more than one occasion. But every time the Lord reminded me to be brave. I developed a strong confidence that comes from knowing I am doing what is best for our children.

I believe God blesses our homeschool journey when we wake up with a willingness to be faithful and give our best effort. Something beautiful can happen in your family when you take the risk by boldly forging a new path. You can be that decisive, resolute parent who relies on the Lord and stands firm in the knowledge that He will lead you.

Connie Albers Author

onnie Albers is a mother of five and veteran homeschool mom who has used her public relations background to help shape the homeschooling movement for twenty-seven years. She has spent much of her adult life as a homeschool mom and mompreneur with an outreach and ministry to parents through her speaking, writing, and various leadership roles. More recently Connie’s newest book, Parenting Beyond the Rules by NavPress, outlines positive approaches to parenting today’s teenagers. Her enthusiasm for helping others navigate social media led to her taking a post at Social Media Marketing World. Connie’s mission is to equip moms to live their life with confidence and joy.

Connie and her husband, Tom, have been married thirty-four years and have homeschooled their five children, all of whom continued their studies and graduated from the University of Central Florida, from the beginning.