Monday, January 20, 2014

Homeschooling Essentials: VISION {Part 1}

STAYING FOCUSED

I'm in the store with all three of my kids hanging off my grocery cart. They were fairly well behaved. That day, anyway. When a random empty nester proclaims; "bet you can't wait till they're old enough to start school!" A line that I've become quite familiar with and I'm sure many of you have too. 

It's her reaction to my response, "I homeschool," that I wasn't prepared for. "Well, that's your first mistake," she said while rolling her eyes. I tried so hard not to laugh as I continued my shopping. I'm almost certain others could see a smirk on my face because the more I thought about it, the more I couldn't stop laughing on the inside. I mean, really. If any of us were to ever respond to someone who sends their child to public school, "well, that's your first mistake," we would never hear the end of it. Ever.

I didn't respond. I couldn't. Not because I was upset or anything, it's just I seriously thought it was humorous and had no clue what to say after that. But honestly, I felt bad for her. She began talking with another woman sharing about how her boys fought all the time and are now in college, still having issues.

We all have our reasons for why we homeschool. Or send our children to private school. Or public.

For those of us who homeschool it's likely because of strong conviction to do so. When we first begin, we are all terribly excited and in full gear. But if we lose sight of the reason beyond what we are doing, when the bumps in the road come, the thought of quitting can be all too familiar territory.





I don't think I really need to go into the nitty gritty details of the hardships that arise in homeschooling. I'm sure you've encountered one a time or two. What helps me through the difficulties is to stay FOCUSED on why I chose this path in the first place.


5 Ways to Stay FOCUSED When the Going Gets Tough

1) Ask Yourself, "Why Did I Chose to Homeschool?" 
Rehearsing the Scriptures and convictions that led you to this decision is refreshing and strengthens the spirit. Remember, we are living a life of faith in this body of flesh. If we felt strongly to begin homeschooling then we need to stand firm. Know that your foundation is sure. Look up scriptures about teaching and training your children and get them into your heart.

2) Think of the Fond Memories You've Shared Thus Far
It's not all bad. On the days you just want to just throw in the towel remind yourself that not all days are like this one. It's easy to remember the negative experiences when we are drained beyond exhaustion. But if we go back and look at all the wonderful experiences we've shared with our kids either that day, week or year, our hearts can be filled with joy and satisfaction. Homeschool yearbooks are an excellent way to remember the milestones but don't forget the "little" things as well. Snuggling with your children on the couch while sharing a read aloud or watching as they read a book the whole way through for the first time, are memories you'll cherish forever!

3) Know What your End Goal Is
 Yes, we want our children to receive a proper education. And higher education may be a part of that. But too many students are forced to think that a college degree is the end all. I know that once I received a Bachelors degree that certainly was not enough in society's eyes. They wanted me to go further, pursue a masters, then a doctorate. Then what? A life of debt. No thanks. When we look at the real reason we are home educating our children it most likely because we want them at home. To learn, at home. To be raised up to become a godly man or woman. To become a loving husband or wife. To be a blessing in their home, among other Christians, in their workplace and throughout the world. When we remind ourselves of these goals, we then are very careful about who  we allow to pour into the lives of our children.

4) Plan your Days According to Your Vision
When we have our goals set before us concerning who we want our children to become we need to speak that into their lives. We also need to provide ample opportunity to develop into the strong Christians we desire them to become. Some days it's easy to just "get through" some worksheets and activities and mark them off as complete. We need to remind ourselves though of our priorities. If the Lord is the reason we homeschool, time is not wasted if spent worshiping, praying or learning about him. If a need is to be met, allow the children to learn how to serve others first with a good attitudes and happy heart.

5) Don't Compare Yourself
Whatever your teaching style, you are still you. You are (probably) not a public school teacher (even if you were in the past), and you are not Michelle Duggar (so stop comparing yourself to her!) You are YOU! Find out through prayer and supplication what God has for you as a homeschool parent. You will find so much freedom in knowing what works for you rather than trying to fit into some pre-made homeschool mom (or dad) image that is rolling around in your head. Enjoy your kids, enjoy teaching and let God work in and 
through you while doing it!


HOMESCHOOLING ESSENTIALS: VISION PT 2


Thanks for stopping by!
Please visit these wonderful sites for more 
Homeschooling Essentials Encouragement!

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials
 

3 comments:

Lori said...

Excellent advice! Trying not to compare myself has to be my hardest struggles! You are so right about being prepared for those comments. I posted once about how if we just spent a day observing people at the store we would see that public schoolers lack social skills! I get so tired of one mistake by a homeschooler reflecting on the entire teaching system while public school can graduate one adult after another that has no respect for authority, or just anyone else in general and we act as if that is the fault of the parenting alone. That lady obviously missed the point SHE was trying to make. Anyway, yes, we need to stay focused and those are some great ways to keep us that way. Thanks for sharing!

Leah Courtney said...

A good reminder to stay focused!

Schoolinginthe Sun said...

Excellent! I have to continuously remind myself what we are doing all of this for.