We started the school year last week. I'm more encouraged now than I was a few weeks ago when I was feeling like a failure of a homeschooling mother. We're down to a bare-bones curriculum - faith, reading, writing and arithmetic during the day, and my husband does history with the girls in the evening. It's pretty dry right now as I'm working with the girls when the baby naps or when we're in the car, but just getting the basics done is encouraging enough for now. I am not a very good homeschooling mother. The Lord gave me gifts and natural inclinations in other areas - mostly related to making things prettier (you could say I'm good in superficial matters?). Don't get me wrong, the daytime hours around here are wonderful. I think my children have a very pleasant childhood. But the wonderful is generally experienced outside the schooling framework. I think that is a shame, but I don't seem to be able to do well what other mothers accomplish with their children's education. Let me be clear - it isn't about comparing. I'm beyond that at this stage in my life. The wonder and beauty of another's homeschooling atmosphere is nothing short of pure inspiration to me.
It can be a challenge, sometimes, to accept that we are not good at everything. Even more so when our shortcomings affect our children. But embracing our natural gifts while still working to improve in areas difficult for us is extremely freeing, as I'm learning. It frees us to be able to do well what God wants for us, not what we think we should be good at. It really isn't about us anyway. Our gifts aren't really ours. Anything good we do is from above.