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Giving Up For Lent


Giving Up For Lent

It is the season of Lent, and for many Christians, it is a time for focusing on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, in preparation for Easter. There are many great ways to celebrate Lent as a family, including devotions and special activities. But one of the main focuses of Lent is “giving up” something – to deny oneself and make personal sacrifices as an effort toward spiritual renewal. While some people choose to give up things like sweets or television during the period of Lent, it occurs to me that this Lenten idea of “giving up” not only applies to the spiritual realm, but to the realm of homeschooling as well. Along the journey of home education, there are plenty of perceptions, behaviors, attitudes, and “stuff” that I’ve accumulated, intentional or not, that could use a little cleaning out this time of year. So while Lent is a wonderful opportunity to display self-denial and “giving up” on my spiritual journey, it also is a great time to rid myself of some homeschooling baggage that has piled up in my life. So here are some homeschooling things I’m going to try to give up for Lent:

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  • The belief that my children need to be “traditional” learners, and that the measure of their intelligence or capability is how well (or quickly) they demonstrate mainstream academic skills
  • The unbelievable pile of artwork on the refrigerator, desks, and in drawers everywhere. I’m going to cull out all but a few specific ones I want to keep, and take photos of the rest for posterity
  • The need to stick to my schedule like a Nazi for fear my children will miss something crucial
  • The compulsion to emphasize academic work over character development, spiritual development, or life skills
  • The feeling that my children must be involved in myriad extra-curricular activities in order to be “socialized”
  • The envy of those homeschoolers who have a dedicated room for homeschooling, instead of just the kitchen table
  • My sense of perfectionism – that for my children to be well educated, I must do everything to its fullest degree
  • The pride that tells me that I need to be able to homeschool effectively by myself; that I don’t need the support of other homeschoolers, or advice from those who have done it before
  • The compulsion to compare myself to other homeschooling moms as a measure of how well I’m doing
  • The illusion that I’ll be able to use similar methods, materials and approaches with all of my children
  • All of the markers that don’t have caps, the pens that don’t work, and the old papers from 3 years ago that haven’t been filed or thrown out
  • The belief that children need to spend significant time around same age peers in order to know how to interact well with others
  • The nagging sense that somehow acts of service to others or volunteer opportunities are not as valid a learning experience as traditional academic work
  • The need to get validation of my homeschooling prowess from standardized test scores
  • The perception that I am the lone homeschooling parent – even though Dad works, he can contribute to the kids’ education in his own way and time
  • The belief that I must purchase all of the cool, expensive, exciting homeschool materials that I see online or at the homeschool convention
  • The idea that the way someone else homeschools is the way that should work for my family
  • The sense that homeschooling is a race to be won, rather than a journey to be enjoyed


Rebecca Capuano

Rebecca Capuano is the stay-at-home mom of three children (one of whom is in heaven) who also makes attempts at being a homeschooler, writer, photographer, scrapbooker, and truth-seeker. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from East Carolina University, and has worked in a variety of capacities (including group homes, day treatment centers, and public schools) with at-risk children and staff, including developing a therapeutic and educational day treatment center for delinquent youth in Wilmington, North Carolina. She currently resides in Virginia, and has written on a variety of topics for both and Home Educators Association of Virginia. Rebecca believes that family is created by God as the most fundamental institution in society, and she is dedicated to helping families nurture their children to become responsible persons of character and integrity.

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  1. Homeschool Blog

    Wow! You are ambitious. That is a lot of things to work on giving up at once! I wish you the best of luck but warn you that you are probably doing far better than you think. Don’t be overly critical – we homeschooling moms really are our worst nightmares!!

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