Moments of Grace: Parenting the Homeschooled Child


Moments of Grace:  Parenting the Homeschooled Child

Homeschooling does not come naturally to me. In fact, I think of myself as the Reluctant Homeschooler. I had vision of my life as a mom, and this WAS NOT IT. I was going to drop my two children off at the local public school, take a jog down Hinson and have lunch with my friends at Trios after having spent an hour or two volunteering somewhere. But God had a different plan for me. And I sometimes wonder if He is chuckling a bit at my ridiculous ideas!

Homeschooling is SO HARD. “Normal” people spend a HUGE amount of time without their children every day. And while spending every waking moment with my children….and sometimes my sleeping moments as well since the two year old will NOT stay out of our bed…. IS a great thing (really, I DO mean this. I LOVE that I get the best part of my children’s day) there are things we deal with in an almost nonstop way that others only see glimmers of in the afternoon/evenings & weekends.

Like this morning, as my four year old was crying (for the tenth time) that her big sisters had wronged her in some horrible way while they were playing Barbies. I called all three in and discovered that the 6 yo had stolen back a Barbie that the 4 yo had stolen originally. I looked at my six year old (who is closer to seven than six) and told her that this was a great opportunity to show grace to her sister. Yes, Ryen did NOT deserve to have the doll because she was wrong when she stole it in the first place but we can show her love by letting her have it. We can show love by giving her what she clearly does not deserve. She looked at me with a mix of exasperation and skepticism.

I sighed. “It sucks, doesn’t it?”

She looked a little surprised.

“Showing grace to someone who doesn’t deserve it sucks, doesn’t it? It is hard. It hurts and everything in us wants to scream NO! But we do it because we love.”

She nodded.

“Do you think it was easy for Jesus to go to the cross? To show grace to us? To BE grace for us?”

“Nooooooo.” Quiet, head shaking.

“And it hurt. It hurt really bad. Not just where they put the nails but it hurt His heart because we were so bad and so undeserving. He even asked God to not make Him do it. But in the end, He DID IT. He did it because He IS love. And when we love others, we show them grace because we love and because Jesus is IN us. And He IS LOVE.”

Those thoughts just set on us all for a moment. My eight year old looked up at Ryen and said “Ryen, I am sorry I have been so mean to you all morning. Do you forgive me?”

The six year old gave her the much fought over doll (which the two year old promptly stole – but that is a whole other issue). The four year old dried her tears and hugged her sisters and off they went to play ….

This is a moment I would NOT have had if my older girls had been at school. The four year old would have had the Barbies to herself all day. The big girls would have had friends and connection elsewhere, making a rift with their little sister not seem so important. God had another plan, and it is a good one. I am so grateful that He ALWAYS shows us grace, even when we think we know better. This is a whole lot better than a jog and lunch with my friends!


Natasha JonesNatasha is a homeschooling mom of 6 awesome kids and has been married to Keith for 11 years. She blogs at Keeping Up with the Joneses.


  1. He always knows best, doesn’t He? 🙂

  2. I never thought I was called to homeschool either. My husband dragged me into it kicking and screaming. Now, 8 children and 23 years later, I cannot imagine living it out any other way. Loved this post on grace, and the peek into real, normal life. Thank you!

  3. Carrie Taylor says:

    Thanks for this post. 🙂 love it!

  4. I know what you mean by homeschooling being hard………but wonderful. I got so tired of hearing friends or family with kids off to school all day, complain how they had SO much to do….couldn’t keep the house clean,etc. But they had no one at the house for hours while my house ALWAYS has lots of people. I sure wouldn’t trade it though, WHAT a blessing it is to homeschool and have all of those precious times with our little ones……and big ones. 🙂 Thanks for the post.

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