The beginning of our new school year is fast approaching. Our household is buzzing with excitement over the upcoming year...well, I am anyway. The curriculum has been ordered and is expected to be here today or tomorrow. As every homeschool mom knows, that box coming in the mail with the new books is just about as exciting as Christmas morning. I have spent months pondering the choices of what we will use to teach our children this year. I know the areas that each child needs to improve on and I have a plan to help them each become the best that they can be this year in those areas that they tend to struggle in.
Last night I was blessed to attend the Corinth Homeschool Group's first Mom's Night Out of the year. It was kind of like a little mini-conference, with a speaker who is a mother of 13 children ranging in age from 28 (I think) all the way down to 4 years old. It was such a great night! I went into the evening prepared to hear all the organizing tips that a mother of 13 must know. I thought it was going to be an avalanche of how to schedule, great ideas for teaching, discipline tips, academic suggestions. But God knew that was not what I needed to hear. Instead the entire evening was focused on "the better part". Staying focused on what is really important to your children, planting the seed of God's word. Focusing on your relationship with Christ so that you can be prepared to do this impossible task.
I am so glad that I was reminded of this last night. I tend to let the academic side of things take over in my mind. Of course learning is important. They still have to learn all of the things that I planned to teach them this year. But God reminded me last night that what is really important is discipling my children's heart. Along with that comes modeling Christ in front of them every day. I was really convicted by this verse. Proverbs 16:21 says "The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction." another translation says, "the sweetness of the lips increase in learning." This is an area that I really need to grow in. I cannot tell you how many times during the day I find myself speaking harshly to my children. The thing is, I know without a doubt that I will never be able to change the way I deal with my children on my own. But I also know that with God's help I can change.
By the end of the school year last year I was very discouraged. I was burned out. All I kept thinking was how hard it was to do this job of homeschooling, and what a long road I still had ahead of me. I was weary, and I was not relying on God to give me my strength. I was reminded of this verse last night and it really helped me. Hebrews 12: 1-2, "Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...."
So this year is beginning with a new commitment to keep Jesus first in our home. To choose "the better part" every day. Joshua 24:15 " Choose you this day whom ye will serve...As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." To all of you homeschool mom's reading this, whether this is your first year homeschooling or your twentieth, I hope you are encouraged to continue to run the race that God has set before you. It is so easy to become weary, but God will give you what you need to finish well.