It’s time to start school again. I’m not as excited as I have been in years past, although I’ve been talking it up to the girls and putting on my happy face. To be honest, I’m tired. I have put prayer and thought into making changes so our homeschool will match what I feel God has placed on my heart. I have spent the summer reading the Bible in 90 Days plan and 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential by Zan Tyler. I have also watched a lot of The Biggest Loser on Netflix (with its infamous challenges). And, in His goodness, God gave me an understanding about this homeschooling life. It’s not original, but it definitely fits.
Homeschooling is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.
Just like the other “races” I’m running, I want to finish this race—and finish it well. I want to homeschool my children with grace and love so they see God’s love and grace reflected in my life. I want to run with perseverance (Hebrews 12:1) and, at the end, have my Father tell me, “Well done.”
To do this, I have set some new goals for our homeschool:
- I will choose my battles. I will let go of my need for absolute control so that we can have a peaceful home and enjoy one another. I will fight for those things that are truly important, those that have eternal implications, but I will let the rest go, including the need to fulfill every expectation others have for us.
- I will choose relationship over academics. This doesn’t mean that I will not push my children to learn and excel. It does mean that I will take time to investigate and address the causes of resistance and frustration so that my relationship with my children isn’t destroyed in the process. If I see my children through to graduation but they can’t wait to get out of the house and away from me, I have failed.
- I will choose training over punishment. I have spent years putting my kids in time out and taking away privileges. (I still believe those consequences have their time and place.) In our home, I have seen very little change after these “episodes.” Spending time to train my children using Scriptures that address the heart issues we’re dealing with has led to greater changes in our home—and our hearts. (I have not been exempt from the conviction that comes from reading the Bible as it relates to these issues.)
As I look at these goals and imagine the difference they can make in my home and my family, I feel what I was missing before: hope. Now, I’m getting excited!
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NKJV)
What are your goals for the new school year?