Summer is Here
Summer is well under way and as we enjoy lazy days and fun outings, planning is always at the back of this homeschool mama’s mind. I mull over ideas, plans and goals in my head and search for pockets of time to get these things down on paper. It can consume my time because I want to steer my children’s education on a sure course. I take my job as a mother and teacher seriously. As I have been pondering our goals for the upcoming school year, I began to be aware of the importance of making sure that my goals line up with God’s goals for my family.
Goals are Important
It is very helpful to have goals and a plan, but if we are not aligned to God’s will, our plans will not succeed and make an impact for eternity. I am beginning now to pray over my goals and ideas and ask God to change them if they are not His best for our family this year. Goals give us direction and help tame the chaos in our homeschool by giving us a focus. However, God brings divine interruptions to our homeschool from time to time - the sister-in-law who calls and is in labor, the neighbor who needs a favor, the church member who needs help with an event, the flooded basement, the broken appliance requiring several days of deviation from the regular routine. Do we view these interruptions to our plan as God-ordained or annoying.
Invite God into your Plans
I am trying to be realistic this year with my plans and add margin for error into our day so that we can enjoy and savor the God-designed changes to my plans and goals. I want to cultivate an environment where the Holy Spirit is welcome and I can think clearly and hear His voice. I want to daily invite Him into our homeschool. I am learning to let go and let God. Flexiblilty and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit will be key to hold on to the mindset of interruptions being sent my way from God. He has much for this mama to learn from homeschooling. Much of my spiritual growth can be tied to marriage and family conflict in my life. I am learning from life’s lessons how God wants me to walk this journey called life. As you begin to set your sights on the new school year, make sure that you take time to get on your knees and pray for your homeschool. God wants to be a vital part of your goals and plans for your family.
Jennifer Allen is a homeschool graduate, wife to her soulmate David (who also contributes to the blog), homeschooling mom, registered nurse, AWANA teacher, pianist, reader and lifelong learner. She can be found on her little corner of the web at conversaving.com. The person on the street would define “conversaving” as the act of easing the discomfort of someone left out of a conversation by including them in the dialogue. “Conversaving” the blog seeks to do the same thing, by relieving the awkward silence across the Internet of those seeking a real place to engage in constructive conversations about news, family,homeschooling, saving money, etc. Sprinkle in some laughs, tears, personal stories and curriculum reviews and you have the recipe for Conversaving.com!
This spring/summer, I walked through the conventions and spoke with Moms who wanted to know how to really plan homeschool. All of the Moms were at different walks in the journey. Some had preschoolers, some elementary and others had middle/highschool children.
Regardless of where any parent or family is in this journey, there is one place everyone should begin and that is on their knees praying.
Prayer should be the first place we all begin in planning our days and years as homeschoolers. That is part of the beauty of homeschooling.
The world is full of smart people who have been to the best schools, colleges and even have been highly educated at home, but I can’t always help but ask, what is the purpose of an education if it isn’t for the eternal and best purpose of glorifying our heavenly father.
That is the chief end of man, is it not? – to glorify God.
So, for all of the parents out there worrying about knowing how their child(ren) learn(s), what curriculum is best, should they teach a foreign language, what about music, art, etc…. I have a little secret to help you end your angst.
God sees you. He created you for this moment. He created you to be the parent to the child(ren) he blessed you with and He will meet you exactly where you are.
You are not perfect. You will not do everything perfectly this year. Yes, you will miss some things, you won’t always be peaceful and calm and there will be days when you will think you are messing it all up. And honestly, you and I are just alike – we probably will mess up a few things.
There is only one who hasn’t messed up something on this planet and while He isn’t physically here with us now, He sent a helper to intercede and help us find that joy and peace that we need.
And for all of the things that we miss (completely and utterly), He will fill in those gaps.
So, remember, while you are planning your year – PRAY. Place God first. Ask yourself if your plans for your child’s education glorify God. Have you placed too much on your plate? Have you given God His proper place in educating your child. He should be first.
Start with Him.
Teach your children to pray. Teach them to read the Bible. Teach them to go to Him first. The best way to teach them this, is by letting them see you do it.
You can do this, Mom and/or Dad!
It’s a new year with beautiful promises to be fulfilled. He will never leave you, nor forsake you….
So, if you really want to know how to plan your school year, start with prayer. And then watch how beautiful your children grow for the glory of God.
photo: © Depositphotos.com/slovegrove
I remember growing up and watching my dad work on the farm digging post holes while putting up fences. I would watch him use the post hole digger and in what seemed a matter of seconds there was a hole for the next post. He would grab a post off the truck and throw it in the hole and start packing the dirt back in the hole making it strong and stable.
One day he asked me to dig a hole. I was doing good just to hold the digger. I tried to be like my daddy and dig the hole in meer seconds, but it did not happen. He would stand there and let me try and smile at me saying “One day son, one day.” I remember thinking that I wanted to be as strong as my daddy.
How Strong Are You Dad?
Now, I have two boys and one little girl that God has blessed me with. When we work together outside I hear my boys saying to each other “I want to be strong like daddy”. But over time I have learned there is another way to look at this.
David, a man after God’s own heart, had everything. People who followed him, fought for him, and died for him. One particular instance David and his men were coming back home and when they returned, everything was gone.
1 Samuel 30:3-6
3 When David and his men arrived at the town, they found it burned down. Their wives, sons, and daughters had been kidnapped.
4 David and the troops with him wept loudly until they had no strength left to weep.
5 David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelite and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had also been kidnapped.
6 David was in a difficult position because the troops talked about stoning him, for they were all very bitter over the loss of their sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.
All that David and his men had were gone. Houses, possessions, animals and family gone. In verse 4 it states that David and his men wept till they had no strength left. Then to make matters worse, not only was everything gone, his men wanted to stone him for taking them off to battle. Have you every been there guys? Have you lost what you call everything? Possessions? Family? Friends? Job? This is where David was.
But if you look at those verses, it starts off talking about physical strength and ends talking about spiritual strength. David’s physical strengths had diminished but his spiritual strength was strong and growing. This is an awesome testimony to his faith! Although everything David had was gone, God had not gone anywhere. God was there before the problems, God was still there during the problems and God carried him through the problems.
Are you modeling this kind of strength to your kids? Are you showing them strength in spiritual faith? David did not go and consult with man on what to do next, he went before God. He asked God on what to do next and he was answered! That is what we as the leaders of our homes need to be doing. We need to be able to call out to God and let him be our counselor, leader, mentor and advisor. So husband, father, dad, man, let us step up and show our strength to our family and give our kids something that they want : Spiritual Strength!
Till next time…
I’m just a Husband of a Homeschooling Mom,
Summer is a great time to start planning the upcoming school year. There are curriculum decisions to finalize, books to buy, and lesson planning.
If you are looking for a simple way to keep track of the upcoming school year, try the Teach Them Diligently planner. At the low price of only $2.99 a month you can create lesson plans, keep track of grades and export transcripts for an unlimited number of students. The planner works on your computer or mobile device so you are able to conveniently track your children’s school on the go or at home.
Get the school year off to a great start with the Teach Them Diligently Planner. Try it for thirty days free to see if it works for your family.
Knowing letters and letter sounds is one of the foundations for learning to read and write. Sometimes kids learn these rather easily, almost teaching themselves. Others struggle to get the basics figured out. One thing is for sure: God has wired us all very differently. Amen?
Today, I am sharing a FREE Color by Letter Alphabet Pack as a fun way to explore and learn the alphabet. My two preschoolers have already enjoyed these immensely and it received 4 thumbs up! Included in the pack are 6 summer-themed coloring pages that come in a variety: upper case, lower case, color and black/white.
Do you have a child just learning her letters? Maybe all she knows is upper case. She can try an upper case page with the color words in color. If you have an older child (like my 5.5 year old son) who loves to color, print off the lower case pages containing color words, written in black and white, so he has to read the words in order to color in the picture.
If you want to save on colored ink, print off the black and white copies, then use a crayon to color match the color words for your child, like you see in the photo above.
As you can see, there is a lot of room with this pack for children on multiple levels…an added bonus if you teach kids around the same age, as I do.
Download this FREE Color by Letter Alphabet Pack HERE!
More Alphabet Ideas: