Every morning I wondered what new discoveries laid ahead for my children as we homeschooled. Although I had the day's schedule planned, God always seemed to lead with His divine lessons. As my son and I walked to the barn for chores one spring morning, we noticed several cocoons hidden beneath the boards on the door. The cocoons were large, and as we examined one of them more closely, we saw a slight movement. Slowly, the cocoon began to crack open, and we could see something struggling to get out. "Mom, what is it?" cried my son. "Let's cut the rest of the cocoon, so it can get out!"

"No, honey," I replied. "You don't want to do that. If we interfere, the creature inside will be hurt. We have to let it struggle on its own." Postponing my scheduled lessons, we sat and observed the beginning of this new life. Over an hour went by as we watched it emerge from its winter home. Still unsure what exactly was inside, we were totally surprised when the creature burst through the cocoon's covering. There, in all its glory, was a huge cecropia moth! We watched as the moth vibrated its velvety red and brown wings in the sun. The five-inch wingspan was impressive, and the whole scene was a breathtaking sight that my young son would never forget.

I know my son learned a valuable science lesson that day, but I learned a valuable lesson, too. As I watched the struggling moth, I understood how my past actions of motherly love had interfered with our homeschooling. I realized that I needed to be firm and expect my children to do their own schoolwork without asking for help on every question.

Do you ever find yourself trying to help your children more than you should? Your children's education can suffer if you don't learn to balance the dual role you play as teacher and parent. Spelling out every answer will be detrimental to the development of their reasoning and thinking processes. Be careful. Don't destroy the new life God is using you to shape. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).

Lord Jesus, thank You for the privilege of teaching my children. Show me how to educate them with a healthy balance of love and discipline and not remove the struggles that will cause them to grow in knowledge. In Your name, Amen.