Seeing Grace in Schooling at Home

Hi Lighthouse church family! My name is Juni Song and I have the joy of sharing with you a particular way God has been showing me His grace during this season.

I am a stay-at home mother of three sweet young ladies. Ellie is in 10th grade, Katie in 7th and Lucy is in 2nd grade. They all attend public school and that is all that our family has ever known. At the end of the Summer, like many other families, we had to make decisions about schooling during the pandemic. It was intimidating to weigh in and determine our convictions practically, but after much consideration and prayer we chose the distance learning model for all three girls. While it was such a relief to be able to come to a decision, having to think through what distance learning would look like felt daunting. Having seen what the end of spring looked like for my kids, I felt jaded towards their learning. “How do we get through the lack of motivation and having to be engaged through a computer screen throughout the day? How do we manage the dry teaching? How do we manage the technical difficulties?” It felt like discouragement was taking over my heart. I even wondered whether a gap year would be acceptable for each of them. I didn’t know what could help me, or what could help them. I went to the Lord with my prayers. “Lord, help me to see what you have for us in this… Help me to be in a place I can help them… Help me to be encouraging… Help me to see your hands at work so that my heart can be encouraged”.

God’s present help came in the form of a seminar.  “Schooling at home” was a timely teaching and a fruitful time to glean into the lives of Jane Kim, Jane Oh and Sunny Kwok. God was using their stories to show Himself. I signed up with the hope of being able to have just one take away– but instead the Lord refreshed my eyes to see what He was doing. From their stories of hardship during homeschooling to the ways they have gained wisdom to manage multiple-grade teaching it was all a blessing. Practically, the filler activities, the resources and the use of schedules were very insightful. They also talked about the opportunities to be more personal with each child and be able to encourage each child with the gifts God has made them to have. Lastly, to have the long haul mentality rather than just trying to get through the year. After the seminar, I started thinking of the possibilities of what school could look like in our home. I saw myself meeting this time with more creativity and growing more hopeful because I had heard these moms witness to God’s faithfulness through these years of homeschooling. It was so reassuring!

Fast forward one month after attending the seminar, and our circumstances have not changed much. We are still in quarantine. My children are still enrolled in public school’s distance learning. Though my youngest is being able to embrace aspects of homeschooling, my older ones are still logging into classes online for many hours of the day. On a day to day basis the outwards aspects don’t appear different but in my heart things are different. I don’t usually have an intentional reflection after every seminar I attend at church. But after taking sometime to reflect after this seminar, I can see, in hindsight, that my heart was busy and taken over by worry. Too busy to rest in God’s care. I was resting in the power of my own hands and/or better circumstances instead of the life-giving rest that Christ offers.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30). Ultimately, whether I homeschool, follow a hybrid or a distance learning model, this is the rest I need to be rooted in. A rest that He promises to provide when I come to Him. This rest is one that relies on Jesus’ power to pay for my sins with his own sacrificial death and give me a new life that delights to live under his care and sovereignty.

I still see myself lingering in the busyness of my heart and often fight the temptation to give in to worry. But remembering the seminar is helpful. Remembering other people’s stories is helpful. Writing Stories of Grace is helpful. Praying with others is helpful. All of these are added unto knowing that my help comes from the Lord – and this is life changing.