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Question: After about 5 years (on and off) of thinking about homeschooling we have finally discerned that it is God's will for us. My children are registered to return to our parish school in the fall. The oldest will enter 4th grade, another in 2nd grade and one in Kindergarten. I was planning on sending them to school one more year so I can better prepare myself to teach them, so the baby will be older when we begin and so my son can receive sacraments with his class. However, I'm so excited about your program that next year seems so far away. On the other hand I don't know if it would be prudent to start this fall. Thank you for your time.

Dear Mom,

I can recall my own impatience to 'begin' the journey of homeschooling as I read your sweet letter. I was excited and ready to start schooling my children yet there was a certain uneasiness in my spirit that caused me to hesitate. However once the journey began I wondered why I had waited the few months that I had. It was certainly the Lord's will for me and for the children and once I fully accepted the authority (of the Holy Spirit) to begin I was relieved.

I can recall thinking of lots of 'details' that needed to be cleared up in order to prepare fully for the journey. It reminded me of the time in my life when I took my state board exams in order to receive my nursing license. I studied and studied for weeks in order to prepare. I thought of all the questions that might come up and studied those in particular. I studied with friends and I reviewed past sample exams hoping to find some bit of information that would be of help. When the night before the exam arrived I was very nervous. I just knew that I needed more time. That morning as we were ushered into the room to start the exams I suddenly was filled with relief. After all, I was either ready or not.

Beginning to homeschool is certainly a choice that requires a lot of thought. You have been praying and working to discern the Lord's will for 5 years. That is a long time. Ask yourself why you want to wait to begin. How will waiting one more year help you? Ask yourself if you may be feeling just a little bit of ambivalence towards homeschooling. After all it represents quite a change in your life. Are you concerned about the reactions that others will have to your choice? If after thought you really feel that waiting one more year is the right choice then I would do so. However if you feel that beginning the new school year with homeschooling is where you want to be then begin.

I sense that you have not been unhappy with the present school situation that your little boy is in. Perhaps you are dealing with just a little bit of sadness as he will not be returning to the school that he has enjoyed. Maybe you are worried that he will rebel to the idea and you are trying to ease the separation that he will feel when he is away from his school friends? These are all legitimate concerns and worthy of time and prayer.

Remember that the Lord wants us to follow His will. He will let us know that we are not on the right path. Our Lord is not confusing. He works intimately in our lives to move us in the direction that is best for us. Sometimes when I am faced with a challenge like the one that faces you, I just make a choice. If it is wrong then I trust that the Lord will show me my error. In order for a person to be guided in the right direction he must be docile and willing to listen to the Lord's direction. We must talk with the Lord in order to achieve this level of trust.

I admire you very much. It is obvious that you have a heart for your children. I think that when one has been anointed to care for children then the Lord will guide them accordingly. Please continue in prayer.

Let us pray together a Memorare. This beautiful prayer is one of my favorites. It unites me to my Blessed Mother. I feel that she understands my human need to have all the answers and she calms my fears allowing me to think clearly. Remember that taking the first step in an anticipated journey is usually the hardest step to take. Once we are moving forward we begin to make progress.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

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