A few months ago I was asked to give the devotional at our homeschool support group. Here it is:
This is the time of year when homeschool moms or future homeschool moms are looking in various directions. Some are looking behind—at all the work that you and your children have accomplished this year. Some are looking forward—to the convention, to finishing the school year. And some are looking down—not sure they want to continue homeschooling, wondering if all this sacrifice and hard work is worth it or are anxious as they begin their first year of homeschooling. But I would like to encourage you all to look beyond your discouragement and anxiety.
God showed me the other day what should be the main focus of my homeschooling. I need to be reminded of it regularly. The other day JK and I were cleaning the church and she started asking me some questions about our teaching elder and about Jesus. I was able to stop to talk about those things. It reminded me of the verses in Deuteronomy 6: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
One of the benefits of homeschooling is that I am with my children at home; we’re together most of the time. When questions concerning the Lord come up, I’m able to talk about them when I sit at home, walk along the road, in the morning and in the evening.
Our children’s most important education isn’t math, spelling or language arts. It’s learning to love the Lord. It’s learning all about Him so they can come to know Him as their personal Savior and if they do, it’s about following Him.
As moms, we should regularly be in the Word. We can’t impress on our children hearts what we don’t know. Before you write out your to-do list, your weekly schedule, your children’s assignments, take time to read the Bible. God gave us in His Word “everything pertaining to life and godliness”. If you are discouraged, then go to the Word. If you are feeling anxious, go to the Word. Encouragement and peace can be found in its pages!
As you are planning your next school year (or your first!), I would like to encourage you not to have your days so full that you miss all the opportunities to teach your children about the Lord. He can get lost in the busy-ness of the day. Our children’s most important education, the teaching of the Lord, is accomplished best not in a formal teaching period each day but when we make God and His Word the natural topic of a conversation which might occur anywhere and anytime during the day.
This time of year you are going to start receiving a lot of homeschool catalogs. Every description of every item says “must have”! They all can’t be “must haves”! Prayerfully consider all the purchases you make as you plan your homeschool year. Show your schedule and “want list” to your husband and ask him if you are doing too much. God doesn’t want your days so full, so planned—even with good things—that you miss out on the real reason for homeschooling: to teach our children to love God with all their heart, all their soul and all their mind. Academics are important but they are not the most important part of the day.
God has promised in His Word that He will give you the strength needed for this journey:
1 Thessalonians 5:24 says “The One Who calls you is Faithful and He will do it”.
Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Isaiah 40:31 says, “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
The world (and even other homeschoolers) will tell you that your children need to read this book or take this class or achieve this score in order to be successful, but listen to what Solomon said about that:
“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the soul: Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter; Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
Trust the Lord to show you the way He wants your children to go. He is faithful!!