Expert Advice: Encouraging or Discouraging?

This is a short excerpt from Homeschooling for the Rest of Us (Bethany House, 2010).  This topic was on my mind today and I thought perhaps it would bring encouragement to some of you.  Sonya  🙂

Homeschoolers tell me about the pressure they sometimes feel from the homeschooling experts. Instead of feeling encouraged through various books, conferences, seminars, or other programs, many homeschoolers feel intimidated. A number of these experts travel from conference to conference with their polite children (who have perfected their math skills by helping sell products from the family business). It’s difficult not to envy these families. Trust me, I know because I have! On the other hand, I’ve been on the other side of all of this. At times moms comment to me, “I would never be able to take care of the household, teach my children, cook, do all the other things I need to do, and write books like you do!” The fact is I can’t do all these things either. When I’m finishing a big project like a book, other things have to wait—including a clean house and fresh-cooked meals.

God has given us all individual gifts. Some people are good at things like organization, public speaking, or writing, and have used these gifts to help other homeschooling families. But God has given homeschooling moms and dads many gifts to minister to others in needed ways: hospitality, cooking skills, musical talent, sports abilities; the list goes on and on. So rather than being intimidated by the experts, look in the mirror and recognize the many wonderful talents God has bestowed on that person looking back at you. Use your gifts to bless others.

If you’re still feeling pressure because experts or others tell you to “do it this way” or “if you’d only follow my plan, your life will be perfect, your children will obey, and they will love learning” or any other “just do it my way” kinds of statements, my advice is simple: Find different experts!


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