"For without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5b).

As I watched my daughter practice the piano, I knew I had made another mistake as a homeschooling parent. Assuming my limited experience with a few childhood piano lessons was enough to guide me, I began to teach my daughter how to play. However, the more we continued in my daughter's new interest, the more I realized my inadequacies as a proper piano instructor. Motivated by pride and a lack of finances to hire a qualified teacher, I continued teaching until my young daughter stopped playing and asked, "Mom, do you really know what I'm supposed to be doing?"

Surprised that she saw the problem more clearly than me, I humbly replied, "No, honey. I think we're going to need extra help to learn how to play the piano correctly."

The seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish high priest, had a similar experience in Acts 19:11-17. As Jewish exorcists, they foolishly thought they could cast out demons by simply copying the work of the apostle Paul. Without experiencing the transforming power of Christ in their own lives, they attempted to rebuke a demon living in a man saying, "We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth" (vs. 13b). Mocking their attempt to cast it out, the evil spirit replied, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye" (vs.15b)? Overpowering the Jewish exorcists, the man with the evil spirit beat them up and chased them out of the house.

If you're experiencing defeat in your teaching, chances are you may be in over your head. As a homeschooling parent, don't make the foolish assumption that you alone must teach everything to your children. Instead of hoping for the best or faking it as you teach in your own strength, ask your heavenly Father where to find the help you need. "Ask, and ye shall receive, that your [homeschooling] joy may be full" (John 16:24b).

Father, forgive me for thinking I can homeschool in my own strength. Show me when and where to get the help I need to raise my children in Your perfect will. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.