Enhanced – read by the author
Mom to Mom with Durenda Wilson
Finding Joy in Our Homeschool
“Lord, am I missing something?”

remember praying this prayer several times over the many years of raising and homeschooling our eight kids. It seemed as though there were a lot of other moms who were able to handle being involved in far more activities outside of the home than I ever could.

The first time this happened I had six kids, nine and under. A dear friend of mine with four young kids of her own started a homeschool co-op at our church. I was excited about it and wanted to be supportive, so I happily signed our family up. It wasn’t long before I knew this was not going to be a good fit for our family.

It never occurred to me that the only ones who might benefit from the experience were our two oldest kids. The rest spent the whole time in the nursery. By the time we got everyone out of the house in the morning and back home in the afternoon, the little ones were completely out of sorts and I knew in my gut that we needed to stick to our routine at home in this particular season.

I was hesitant to tell my friend we were quitting the co-op, but my children needed me to do what was necessary to do—what was best for them. Thankfully, when I did tell her, she looked at me and said,

“You do whatever your family needs!”

I was relieved.

However, this would not be the last time I had to say no to good things that simply were not the best things for our family.

Several times in the following years I would see other moms doing ministry or a number of activities outside the home and I would again pray, “Lord, am I missing something? Am I lazy or insecure? Am I unyielding or unwilling to step outside my comfort zone?” I really did not want to miss anything that God had for me or our family, but when I thought about adding something to our lives, it felt really stressful.

“What if instead we simply ask God what He has for our families and walk in faithful obedience to that?”

What I heard over and over again in response to my prayers was, “Keep your hand to the plow.”

Those simple words brought a flood of peace that I couldn’t explain except that it was confirmation that I was already right where I needed to be.

As homeschooling moms, it can be incredibly tempting to say yes to too many things simply because we are comparing ourselves to other moms. Activities outside our homes can be very beneficial, but only if they are the ones that God is actually leading us to.

1 Thessalonians 4:11–12 says, “…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”

Sometimes we find ourselves dependent on activities, or keeping up with what other homeschooling families are doing, in an attempt to waylay our fears that we aren’t “doing enough.” What if instead we simply ask God what He has for our families and walk in faithful obedience to that?

I remember at one point I asked myself, “If there was no one to tell me how to homeschool, and I had no preconceived ideas of what it was supposed to look like, what would I want to do with my kids?” That question became the catalyst for honing in on what God had laid on my heart as their mom. It was one way to combat the temptation to compare our family to others. Another way was to remain faithful to how I already knew God was leading while asking Him to simply bring to us anything new that He wanted for us. I learned that He was completely able to drop those things into my lap without me having to constantly question our journey, compare our family to others, or continually be distracted by other options.

“We allow ourselves to more fully experience the joys of homeschooling and life with our kids when we are not comparing our journey to someone else’s.”
When our oldest was twelve, our school-age kids were able to participate in a homeschool program once a week that gave them opportunities to take a variety of classes. This gave them exposure to a variety of experiences I could never have pulled off at home! We were part of that program for twelve years and it was a huge blessing to our family. God knew what we needed and when we needed it.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It’s absolutely true for any area of life, but when it comes to homeschooling, it particularly rings true.

We exercise wisdom when we seek His direction in our homeschooling and family lives.

We allow ourselves to more fully experience the joys of homeschooling and life with our kids when we are not comparing our journey to someone else’s. This doesn’t mean we cannot learn from or be inspired by others, but we need to be prayerful and careful not to cross that line and begin comparing ourselves to others in an unhealthy way.

God has made each of our families unique. He designed us with specific purposes in mind. He knows our kids’ future. He cares more about that future than we do. He also knows exactly what experiences will best prepare our kids for what He has for them.

What a wonderful thing to be able to trust in an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present God!
Durenda typography
headshot of Durenda Wilson

urenda Wilson is a home-schooling mom of eight (born 1991 through 2004), seven of whom have graduated. She has been married for 32 years to Darryl, and they have 9 grandkids. Durenda has written The Unhurried Homeschooler, Unhurried Grace for a Mom’s Heart, and The Four Hour School Day. She is the owner/writer/host of her blog and podcast, Durenda Wilson, and mentors moms at www.durendawilson.com. She also enjoys speaking at events where she can encourage homeschool moms to think outside the box and homeschool in a way that is a great fit for their families!