Are You Scared?

When the children were six I had them memorize ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost.  That Christmas they proudly recited it to my mum and brother, who had tears in their eyes.  My dad had just died and this was our first Christmas without him.  This is my most favourite poem of all, and is so poignant for me.

Home-schooling our children is a choice.  By definition when one path is chosen, another is not.  On the one side this means that the negative consequences of the ‘road not taken’ are avoided, and the positive ones of the chosen road are enjoyed.  On the other side, the beauties of that first road are also missed whilst the bramble of the second are experienced in full force.

One can not travel both roads.  Home schooling is ‘the road less travelled’.  And that scares me.  I am passionate about home schooling.  My passion knows few limits.  I work incredibly hard and I play incredibly hard (with my children).  And I lean on God as if my life depends on it.  Yet there is always a nagging feeling that I am experimenting with my children’s future.  This ‘road less travelled’ offers no promises, no definitive career path for these children I love so much.  Yet there is an excitement that comes from following our hearts, from discovering the treasures to be found along the way.  And this helps me to carry on, even when I feel so unsure myself.

I am often asked what we will do about exams, will the children go to university?  But I have no answers.  You see, for us this road does not follow familiar and comfortable scenery.  I simply don’t know what will be around the next bend, under the next bush, across the next stream.  In response to this question I always hesitate and this is ultimately taken as a sign I have no goals, no dreams for my children’s future.  These people are right.  How can I dream about a horizon I have not yet seen?  Do I even have the right to dream dreams for these wonderfully unique little beings.  I have no answers.

So I push forward, enjoying the small wonders of each day; the special relationships which grow all the closer with every passing hour; the clambering over hurdles we don’t know how to handle- yet we do so holding each other’s hands.  Together.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and we-

We took the one less travelled by 

And  that has made all the difference


    1. I wanted to write a post to look back on, when the children are older and issues of exams and so forth are more imminent. It’s always interesting to see what, if anything, has changed!
      How are you all doing in Israel? I think of you lots and still miss you on a Sunday!!

  1. Even as a person who taught in the school system for over 30 years and who knows some of the expectations of the education system for children by the end of their secondary school, I second-guess myself all the time. I am schooling these g’kids of mine according to their particular learning abilities (one has schizophrenia, one is a perfectionist and full of anxiety, one had a stroke at the age of 4 and has components of OCD, and one is a very high maintenance child). I know in the regular school system, they would all either “fall through the cracks”, be labelled learning disabled and not challenged to work to their abilities, or be at the principal’s office daily. Yet, here at home they are thriving, learning, being challenged, doing mainstream work, but they have no “official” tests to prove where they stand academically. The education department gets detailed ( 3-5 pages) reports from me on each child twice a year. However, even though I am a licenced teacher, I am not “qualified” to give official tests that “count” because I am homeschooling. I understand your fears about the future for the children. I just TRY to leave it in God’s hands since He knows that I am doing what I can to prepare them for future education/work. We were always told, while I was working as a teacher (for pay!!), that we were to education the children to know how to learn since the content of what they are learning often changes.
    Myra from Canada

    1. If I’m honest I don’t think I will ever feel a full confidence about what I do. In many ways I’m glad because I think it keeps me on my toes, striving always to do my best and encouraging the children to do theirs.

  2. My dear friend… I already feel I can call you that… see what the blogging world does? It brings strangers with a common goal and a mutual love for and total, desperate dependence on the same God, together… I hear your heart and I feel the same… and when I feel these feelings of fear start to entangle… I remember that God is IN CONTROL. I remember and read Romans 8 v 28 and I know that if I have peace in my heart… that is HIS doing. I remember that the love I have for my son is NOTHING compared to the love He has for my child. I remind myself that HE has said that He KNOWS the plans and purposes for my son and that He has plans to give him a hope and a future! And that if you commit your precious babies to Him every day… even when your walk is completely different to the walk of others… HE WILL ALWAYS bless and make a way and open doors that only HE can! He promises wisdom… He promises common sense… And let me tell you… that what you are offering your children today is TREASURE! They are learning, they are having fun, they know the comfort and boundaries and unconditional love and acceptance of FAMILY… and that Claire, they would not have in a public school 8 hours away from home every day. They are allowed to be children… not sent out into a world where they are faced with battles that no child should have to face.
    Well done to you and your husband for taking that road… even Jesus talks of the narrow road… where there aren’t many travellers. Revel in the scenery of the road less travelled… the busy road is over-rated… Standing WITH you! x

    1. You know, I think as the children grow older, I realise one way is not all right and another is not all wrong. However, I do believe there is one way which is more right for each family and home schooling is that choice for us. I believe with every bone in my body we’ve taken the right path. But I cling to God knowing I can not do it alone.
      Gary read your reply and made the comment that he thought we’d probably get on very well if we met!

      1. I would have to agree with Gary! And I agree on the Home School too. I often find people react almost defensively… especially in autism circles, when they hear that we have chosen to Home School. I think they feel perhaps that we ‘judge’ them for their decision to put their child in a special needs class or mainstream school. And nothing is further from the truth. Home School is right for us. Most certainly. I am more sure of that than anything else. Here’s hoping to a ‘one day’ meeting!

  3. Love is stronger than fear. Let love be your guide. 🙂 Gee, that sounds too hippie even for my taste!

    I’d say: come and run with the wolf pack that knows no fear. 🙂

    You’re doing a great job, by the way, so don’t let anyone else undermine what you’ve achieved with your children.

    1. Oh, Hwee. I’ve just read this for the second time and I’m still laughing! Hippy is just not a word I would have associated with you!! Ha, what do I know? Maybe you’ve got piercings, long dreadlocks and live in a tent!
      The possibilities are endless!!
      Thanks for putting a smile on my face!

    1. Thanks Ticia! Sometimes I think it’s a healthy fear, in that it doesn’t cripple me, I don’t dwell on it and it keeps me on my toes ensuring I do the best job I can for my children!

  4. The greatest test is life itself. Will our children pass that test? Will they grow up to be happy, confident, loving, Christians? I think so.

  5. I loved your post. Thank you.
    We, too, are on the road less travelled. We, too, don’t know exactly where it will lead us, but we’re on it b/c God asked us to be. With Him leading us, it may be a less travelled, but we have faith it will lead us to where He wants us to be.
    Your post said, “This ‘road less travelled’ offers no promises, no definitive career path for these children I love so much.”
    But really…nothing in this life gives us any promises or definitive career paths. College educations give us better chances at living out our dreams, but even they (the degree) does not give us the guarantee of a dream job, or even of any job. So with no promises in life, but only the promises of God….let us continue our beautiful and scenic “road less travelled.” Enjoy your continued travels, as will we 🙂

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