Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: God’s Plans

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God Has Big Plans For You!

Have you ever felt like God wanted you to step out and do something? Have you felt His hand clearly resting on you and directing your thoughts in ways that you would have never imagined for yourself? Were you a little scared at the thought of it all?

God wants us to do big things for Him.

Isn’t that amazing? The God of the Universe, Who could accomplish His will in whatever way He chose, chooses to use poor, sinful people who in themselves have little to offer Him. He chooses to work in His children who are willing to look at Him with open hearts and hands saying “use me in whatever way you see fit.” Wow. What a privilege and honor to be able to serve the King of Kings!

Many years ago, God called our family to do some things we absolutely never saw coming. He asked my husband to quit his job to run a mission agency called Worldwide Tentmakers. The call was so clear, that even taking the step of faith to quit seemed easy. Within a month after that, God again clearly called us to take another step. It has been this step that has had the most impact on our lives in the last 7 years.

Teach Them Diligently Began

God called us to try to reach His families and encourage them to disciple their children and to equip them with great resources for parenting and home education and their own Christian walk.  We started Teach Them Diligently Convention that same month. Having no idea what to expect (or honestly exactly what we were doing,) we set out to serve. We laid every element of the event before the throne of God and asked Him to lead and direct our choices. We prayed that He would bring in the families that needed encouragement and revival– and HE did. He brought in so many that first year that I was afraid the fire marshal would come after us for overcrowding of the facility.  He has continued to bless the work of our hands, and this year we are producing four Teach Them Diligently events with the prayer of reaching even more families onsite.

The journey God has led us on has been treacherous at times. I am glad God didn’t give us a full view of what was ahead when we started out, for I fear we would not have had the faith to make the trek. Through each day, each trial, each joy, each victory– God has been right there with us. We have been brought to our knees. We have been humbled. We have been able to see just how great is our God over and over again. I wouldn’t trade it for all the world (although my flesh has thought otherwise from time to time.)

How about you?

Has God called you to step out in faith and do something higher and greater for Him? Perhaps that call involves home education and laying a strong and sure foundation in the faith for the next generation. Perhaps He has given you a vision for service in your church or community. Perhaps He has given you words to write or speak. Are you moving forward in that call?

In the days and months ahead, I look forward to getting to know you all more as we explore how to deepen our relationship with Him through the great privilege of communing with Him in prayer and serving Him wholeheartedly in our homes and around the globe. It is my sincere hope and prayer that God will bring us all together next spring at one of the Teach Them Diligently events, so we can share our stories of His faithfulness and encourage one another through the amazing fellowship found when a whole bunch of homeschool mamas get together.

In the meantime, really ask God if He wants YOU to take a big step for Him. Trust Him enough to take that step of faith. Can you imagine what He would do with a mobilized force of believers who are willing to take big steps of service?  WOW! How I pray we see that day!

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

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Attending a Teach Them Diligently Convention in 2019 is guaranteed to help your homeschool– and bless your family! We hope you will make that a priority!

 

 

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Object Lessons from Life

“It is more important for your child to be who he should be than know what he should know. “

Knowledge is important, but character trumps that. If you teach your child to manage time well, work hard, and love learning (and if you teach him HOW to learn), he can conquer any learning curve ahead in the future. If, however, you teach him knowledge without character or the skills above, he will be hard-pressed to continue learning new skills as an adult.

 

We use object lessons from daily life to mold our children’s character, foster a love for God, and inspire a love for learning. Every little circumstance and observance is a chance to learn about life, God, and ourselves.

Object Lessons from Life:

  • Someone trips over a stone:  a sin we consider very small can cause great damage and downfall.
  • Salt and pepper on a bland dish at dinner: the Lord wants us to season our words with grace to make them easier for others to swallow.
  • Choosing healthy foods over sugary snacks: be discerning about the choices we make. Do we think ahead ahead to the results of our decisions, and are we making wise choices?
  • Boiling spaghetti noodles: the Lord sometimes takes those he loves through a trying time of “hot water” so our hearts become tender and of benefit to those around us.
  • Gift giving: a gift comes as an unexpected surprise reminding us that God loves us — not because of our behavior or it is deserved, but because of his goodness and great love for us.
  • Honey on a cracker: reminds us God’s word is sweeter than honey to our souls and sustains our spiritual bodies.
  • A project that must be done in steps: reminds us God is a God of order.  When we follow his commands, we can see the beauty at the end of the process.
  • An army of ants in the yard:  a chance to stop and observe God’s creation to learn from them as they work diligently, work together, care for one another, and store up food. God uses them as an example of a great worth ethic.
  • Cleaning the smudges off the window: God wants to wash us clean with the water of the Word.
  • Adding food coloring to pancakes (or cupcakes or cookie dough): a lesson about how what we take into our minds changes us. We need to carefully guard what we allow into our hearts and minds.
  • A bird’s song on a cool, wet spring morning: a  reminder to be thankful and sing praise to God for our blessings. The bird was outside, wet and cold, but still sings for another day and a bright sun to warm him.

There are so many more object lessons from life we can use as teaching opportunities. Everywhere you look, you see examples of God’s love, his greatness, and his principles for life. You just need to be mindful as you look around you.

Ask the Lord to help you look for those object lessons of life.

Ask for eyes to see the lesson and the words to share it with your child. It only takes a few extra seconds to do it.  When done consistently, you teach your child to be one who expects to see God show up in mundane moments of life. These moment-by-moment conversations develop their desire to share the same lessons with others.

 

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:7

 

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The A to Z of a Characterhealthy Homeschool

Teach Them Diligently 365 members, listen to:

“The A to Z of a Characterhealthy Homeschool”

If we homeschool simply to achieve high academic marks, we are squandering the opportunity to influence our children for Christ. Character healthy leaders are those children who have learned to elevate virtues above feelings. Check out the video for more information.

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Since the movie, The Bucket List, it seems everyone has a bucket list for something. Merriam-Webster  defines ‘bucket list’ as “a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying.” Do you have a homeschool bucket list?

We might tweak a homeschool bucket list to read:  “a list of things we want to accomplish before our children graduate”.  Our bucket list may be described as goals and may change early. Even if we don’t have a written list, we all have a fluid sense of what we want to accomplish tucked away in the crevices of our brain.

Here are some common homeschool bucket list items:

  • College admission
  • Above average skills in all subjects
  • Skills to make a reasoned argument
  • A love for learning
  • Life skills (budgeting, cooking, driving)
  • Well-rounded adult
  • High college entrance scores
  • Exotic field trips
  • Music, art, drama, or athletic achievements

“Oh no,” you say. “I want more than that for my kiddos. I want them to be good people, serve God, have good character, and be productive.” Do our actions back up our statement?

Quite frequently in my homeschool career, I said I wanted my children to leave our school as adults who serve God. I often said my bucket list (goals) was to raise godly adults.

The deep-down truth? My actions indicated I was really focusing most on the items in the bucket list above. Issues of character development ran a distant second to academic goals.

We need to be honest with ourselves about what we’re actually putting on our bucket list. It’s easy to get caught up chasing academic goals at the expense of our deepest desires for our children.

Support groups, the latest book, the ‘perfect’ homeschool family at the convention, or pressure from family and friends may make us alter our bucket list to only educational goals. It’s hard work to maintain the focus on our real heart’s desire for our children.

How do we match our actions to our heart?

To create a bucket list that includes love of God, service to others, honesty, patience, and all the other qualities we strive for, work through this activity:

  1. Create a homeschool bucket list including only character qualities you want your child to develop. These are not life-long objectives, so re-evaluate and update often.
  2. Make suitable-for-framing copy of your list, frame it, and hang it for all to see. What better way to match actions with ideas than to allow those ideas to be public?
  3. Explain the bucket list to your children. Ask what they would like to add. Ask them what area they need to work on. In other words, allow them to adopt the character bucket list as their own.
  4. As your children get older and move closer to graduation, encourage them to make their own life-long bucket list.

You may find you need to detox from academics for a while — especially if a child is floundering with character issues. If you find yourself slipping back to academic goals as a primary motivator, put the books away and engage in activities that build the qualities on your list. You can catch up on algebra or composition later, but can you catch up on character training?

Every now and then, you may have to review your personal bucket list. Not just to check off all the things you dream of doing but to be sure your list supports your mission regarding character training goals. It’s easy to get off track with what’s important because life is busy. So, re-evaluate and steady your course of action as needed.

My children have all graduated from our homeschool. Have they completed everything on the bucket list? No. Like all of us, they are still growing and maturing in the Lord. The ideas are implanted, and those seeds will grow as they become mature adults.

What’s on your homeschool bucket list? Even if your children are young, begin preparing the list of qualities God has put in your heart for your children. Homeschooling bucket lists are, after all, about far more than academics!

 

Here is a link to another great article on “Preparing Teenagers for Adulthood“.

 

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Aiming Arrows into Adulthood

If you’re a Teach Them Diligently 365 member, check out the workshop, “Aiming Arrows into Adulthood”

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As homeschooling parents, how can we prepare our children for adulthood? And how can we prepare our hearts (through prayer and effective communication) to release our kids, into a new season? There’s life after graduation– with college, careers, romance, weddings, and next-generation purpose. Let’s aim and launch our arrows to hit God’s mark!

Become a member of Teach Them Diligently 365 for access to videos and more!

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This article originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

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Throughout my entire life I have been reminded and have strongly believed that God’s plans were better than our plans– higher, greater, more spectacular. Well, I am seeing a very practical glimpse of that right now.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever consider writing a book on parenting, yet God apparently had other plans. Late this Summer, He set those plans in motion by prompting Master Books to approach me with just such an idea. God had impressed on them the need for a book about discipleship-based parenting from a homeschool mom’s perspective. They even had a tentative title in mind for the book.

As I started praying about and working, seemingly in reverse, to discover why God would choose me for this task  and what He would have me to say, a vision for this project exploded on me. The burden for Christian families that God gave David and I all those years ago was at the forefront of my mind as I studied His Word and sought His will about this new possibility. The faces of so many precious friends we have met at Teach Them Diligently through the years became very clear reminders of the importance of family, the privileged position we parents have been given, and the seemingly incessant war Satan is waging against us all.

Strangely (though honestly not surprising if you know me at all,) the thought of writing a book was not as daunting  to me as the thought of TELLING people I was writing a book. Yet, here I go, gratefully acknowledging this amazing gift God has given me, and offering many thanks to the amazing team at Master Books for following God’s leading and taking a chance on me.

I know very well that I am not up to this task, and for that I am truly grateful. I pray God uses this book mightily to encourage and equip His families, and that because the vessel is so weak, all credit and praise may God to Him alone.

So I hope you’ll be as excited by the this new book, due out in time for our Spring 2018 conventions, as I was in discovering why I was supposed to write it, and I ask you to pray for me in the days ahead as I still have quite a few words to write to finish the project. (And, of course, I hope to get to see you at TTD2018!!) :)

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About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on TeachThemDiligently365.com.

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