The Homeschool Tug Of War

Homeschool families understand that homeschooling goes well beyond the books. What we are teaching our children will shape their character and equip them to be the men and ladies God created them to be. There could not be a higher call— or a more rewarding job than that!  But, often we forget that when we’re frustrated that we don’t get through everything in our planner and we feel like the kids are falling behind!

A lesser view of home education may focus on the predefined times spent on learning subjects like math, language arts, science, history, etc., but a Biblical view of homeschooling, which we call Heart Schooling, focuses on the in-between times. Deuteronomy 6 tells us that we are to be teaching “As you walk, as you talk, when you lie down, when you rise…

During all those in-between times, you are teaching your children.

Your reactions. Your conversations. Your answers to their questions— all of those are instrumental in teaching those Homeschool Subjects.

For many homeschoolers, the tendency is to think primarily in terms of academics… English, Math, History, Science, etc., because that’s what we associate with school. Our view of success is in large measure determined by how our children excel in those areas, and that’s where this tug of war really begins.

When we get laser focused on the academics within homeschool and  hung up on what we think people expect from us or our children that we can lose sight of the real “Homeschool Subjects.”

Homeschool subjects are those things that you’re really focusing on when you’re on the mission God called you to— these will fill those in-between times and these are the things that really relate to the calling God placed on your life. Pursuing these homeschool subjects, even when that means stepping away from the books to do it, is always a good call.

Here are 3 of the Homeschool Subjects to help you better understand how impactful you can be in your children’s lives if you are intentional with your time and in your interactions with them.

1. The first and most important Homeschool Subject we want to pass off to them is that they Love God and Love People. I’m sure your heart yearns to see this principle lived out among God’s people more in this world. The Bible is full of specifics about what loving God and loving people looks like. And as a homeschool family, you have a lot of time to engage in helpful conversations… as well as to model that for your children. Heart schooling moms and dads get to live out loving God and loving people for our children each day.

2. Next, let’s look at Character. Character is defined as “mental or moral qualities distinctive to a person.” Hard work, humility, dependability, honesty, courage, contentment, gratitude… all of these and more are things we long to see in our children. But how do we teach these in context of homeschooling? Teach them to do hard things, even when they’re frustrated or angry. Let your kiddos make mistakes and pay the price for them.  Allow them to learn through those situations rather than having mom and dad step in and make everything right for them. You’ll find through the years that even as WE tend to learn a whole lot from our failures, the character it takes to move forward and face the consequences of their mistakes is an incredibly valuable homeschool subject to instill in our children.

3. How about Common Sense?— As a homeschool parent on mission, we get to help our children learn to reason through situations rather than falling prey to propaganda and rhetoric. We get to teach them how to be discerning rather than reactionary… and to think on their feet to solve problems or get through situations. Many times, this homeschool subject is taught through very commonplace situations they’ll encounter in normal life— but you’ll be there to help guide them through it— and the fruit of those conversations will continue to grow through the rest of their life.

I could go on all day talking about specific homeschool subjects and how we can approach them. How I wish that someone would have pointed out to me the difference between academics and homeschool subjects when I started out. I would have felt less guilty for prioritizing those things I knew intuitively were most important and would have measured the success of my days with an entirely different set of benchmarks like I talk about in Homeschool For The Heart and the Heart School Course.  

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