By Julianna Dotten
The day inevitably arrives when you feel like flushing your schedule down the toilet and starting all over. You’ve already been at it for two months now, and everything isn’t looking as rosy as it did on the planner. What should you do?
Ultimately, homeschooling will only be a success when God is behind it. Rachael Carman, homeschooling mother and blogger at His Sunflower, gives some ideas of specifics to pray for your homeschool year:
- Guidance: “Show me your ways, Oh Lord, and teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Ps 25:4 – 5, NIV).
- Vision: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10).
- Discernment: “It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and all discernment” (Phil. 1:9).
- Strength: “The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Is. 40: 28 – 29).
- Patience: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9).
- Grace: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
- Perseverance: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58).
Abby Parnell on Homeschooling Help recommends finding an organizing system that works for you and then writing down the tasks you need to complete. Need some ideas? Check out this free organizer tool from Only Passionate Curiosity. And then plan – every single day! Even if you’re not a schedule person, writing down and prioritizing tasks cuts back on thinking “I wonder what I should do next” and frees you up to actually teach.
If your children are getting older, why not try letting them make their own schedules and academic goals? Not only does it help them take responsibility for their work, it’s also a great way for them to learn what life is like in the real world.
I remember when my mom first showed me her new discovery: Matt Perman’s book, What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way you Get Things Done. I was a senior in high school, and for the next few weeks, my mom and I played book-thief in our eagerness to devour the book. I’ve always been an organized person, but What’s Best Next lent a new excitement to scheduling my school work and responsibilities. Check out his chapter on Unconventional Personal Productivity Practices here.
4. Take a step back!
If you’re feeling like you want to quit, take heart! Heidi St. John, a veteran homeschooling mother and speaker, knows exactly what that’s like. She relates on her blog, The Busy Mom, “I’m homeschooling our children because I know what a precious, privileged opportunity it is. If you want to quit homeschooling, take a step back. … If you’ve been called, don’t quit. Please don’t quit. The finish line isn’t that far off. You can do it, and it will be worth it.”
5. Tried a field trip lately?
Colorado is filled with exciting new places waiting for you to discover! From the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster to the historic Littleton Museum , I still vividly remember the exciting field trips my family took as a part of our homeschool experience.
Need some ideas? HomeschoolBuyersCo-op has an expansive list of Colorado field trips.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t give up! I know my own parents faced discouragement at times in their homeschooling journey, but today I’m indebted to their perseverance.
“Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58).
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