Time & Commitment not Worry & Doubt
Homeschooling is much more than an alternative for public or private school. Homeschooling allows us to have more time with our children and strengthens our commitment to teach and train them in the ways of the Lord.
As wives, mothers, and homeschool teachers, we want to do our best for our children. That can lead to worry about covering every subject, checking off every planned activity, using every obtained workbook or textbook, or reading every book on a reading list.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven."
We may not get to do every neat unit study that sparks an interest, or complete every textbook and workbook, or teach everything there is to know about grammar, or make sure our children know how to spell every word, or read every book on that "classics" list. BUT, if we are trusting in God's Word and walking in His will, the lessons being learned are the ones that matter here and now and eternally.
Let's not worry ... "which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" (Matthew 6:27), but let's trust God's timing and plan for us.
I believe some of the more important lessons of homeschooling are:
- -learning to seek God's will for our homeschool direction, such as putting aside a textbook for that hands-on learner and trusting that with a non-textbook approach your child will learn;
- -trusting Him when circumstances ruin our best laid plans, such as taking days off from studies when a child is sick or other unplanned circumstances arise
- -being patient instead of getting frustrated, such as when teaching a child to read or to memorize math facts;
- -looking to the interest of others before yourself, such as when you give up a job or some other activity to stay home (this could be another lesson in trusting God for those that have to learn to live on one income instead of two);
This list could go on and on. These are lessons that can start building our perseverance and character and hope to get us through much tougher trials in our lives.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end."
Ecclesiastes 11:5 follows that up by saying, "As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything."
Let us, instead of feeling defeated by uncompleted checklists or workbooks left unfinished, let us rejoice in the lessons learned, the growth of our faith, the Lord's omnipresence in our lives as "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
I just finished a chapter called "The Discipline of Time" from Elisabeth Elliot's book, Discipline: The Glad Surrender. She reminds us, "Demands on our time differ, of course, and it is here that the disciple must refer to his Master. What do You want me to do, Lord? There will be time, depend on it, for everything God wants us to do."
Please know that I'm not saying that we should throw out all our textbooks or purposely stop doing academics. How we homeschool is a decision each family has to make for themselves (and thankfully we do have that freedom in North Carolina!).
What I am encouraging is that we not spend our days doubting our decision and ability to teach our children; that we not spend our days worrying about whether we are "doing enough" or "covering it all."
He was the One who called us to homeschool our children, He knew the circumstances our families would face each year, and He equips us to do all that we need to do each and every year!! He can also give each one of us the desire of our heart, whether it is a desire to know Him more fully, to cover more subjects and topics the rest of the year, or to grow closer as a family.
We serve an awesome God! Look up, dear friends, and praise Him! Thank Him for this time in your life to grow as a family and to strengthen your commitment to Him!
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope. - Romans 5:3-4
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. - Psalm 90:12
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. - Psalm 118:24
SUBMITTED BY: Kathy Ridpath (© October 13, 2001)
Scriptures for Homeschooling
The following verses are from the King James Bible.
Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Isaiah 54:13 (KJV)
And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Psalm 78:4 (KJV)
We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
Hebrews 12:9 (KJV)
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
1 Timothy 3:4 (KJV)
One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
Ephesians 6:4 (KJV)
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Proverbs 3:1 (KJV)
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (KJV)
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And though shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house and on thy gates.
Proverbs 1:8 (KJV)
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.
Proverbs 13:20 (KJV)
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Joel 1:3 (KJV)
Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.
Other Verses to Consider:
Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Also, a wonderful book to use during your preparation for home schooling is Educating the Whole Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson. Chapter One--"Home Education and You"--is like a Bible study for home schoolers.
Kathy Ridpath, © 2000