Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Saturday, February 10, 2007

TreeHouse SchoolHouse

Train yourselves to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
1Timothy 4:7b-8

Homeschool. The word brings out emotions and thoughts of all different kinds. For some it's a good thing, the best thing, something they wish they "could" do or did do, but for others it's the impossible, it's what crazy people do, for us it's our life. It's how we live day to day. It's how we've lived for the past 9 years.

I have a few friends who are teetering on the edge of homeschooling. Part of me wants to shake them and say "Yes, home school, get your kids out of that public school, bring them home close to you and enjoy them, enjoy them, do you hear me ENJOY THEM!!" Then the other part of me slows down and remembers not to push my thoughts onto my friends, after all I've worked like 32 years to get friends and I don't want to mess it up now!

So with having a lot of homeschool questions thrown at me, and struggling with a bit of homeschool burnout myself, I've stepped back at looked at our homeschool, the whys and the what's about it and I'm brought back to a few truths the Lord gave me several years ago.

The first is why I homeschool. This is what I tell my friends, know why you want to homeschool. Your why is important, it's what has brought me through dead spots in our schooling before and it's what will bring me through now. I believe it's perhaps the most important aspect of homeschooling outside of Christ. I revisited my why this past week and I realized where I was at on our journey was a lot closer to where I wanted to be than where I had perceived we were at. I believe I was called by God to homeschool my children so verses like Hebrews 10:35-36 and Psalm 138:8 encourage me to continue on each day.

The second is a matter of trusting God. "Trust me child", he so often whispers to me. I can often get caught up in the big picture of educating my kids and begin to feel inadequate or a failure; then I am reminded to "not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" Matthew 6:34. If I stick to the task at hand today then tomorrow will work out fine, next year, fine, in 5 years, things will be fine. Trust God with my today, be diligent in my work for Christ, do not shrink back and be destroyed, but believe and be saved (from Hebrews 10:39).

The third thing the Lord has shown me when it comes to homeschooling is don't be afraid of change. If somethings not working, a curriculum, a schedule, an anything then it's OK to change. Just because I thought something would work out doesn't mean it will and that's OK. We've ditched curriculum's, extra-curricular activities, park days, enrichment days, you name it, we've tried it and most likely we've gotten rid it! I had a hard time with this at first because there was a sense of failure attached to "quitting", then it hit me one day, it's not failure and I have to do what's best for my homeschool! My children are uniquely made by God and so our weeks reflect that uniqueness.

With high school 2 years away and our personal decision around here to send our boys "out" to public school, I find myself reflecting on my why in homeschool a lot. When I was a teenager, just 16, I really felt called to homeschool up until high school. When I met hubs he too felt the same way. As those years get closer I begin to doubt that, I begin to look at the world and I want to keep my children home, with me where they are safe. I visit my why often reminding myself what I believe the Lord called me to do and then I'm reminded it is not I who keep them safe, but God, it is not I who will speak truth into their lives when faced with a tough decision, it is the Holy Spirit, it is not I who died to save my children, but Christ. So it it to God that I give my boys, and with them in Christ's hands I can be at peace.

FYI: TreeHouse SchoolHouse is our homeschool name and 1 Timothy 4:7-8 is our school verse and motto.

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