Together in the Mission
It’s a sad fact that many homeschooling families don’t have the anchor of a higher calling than homeschool to tether themselves to— or they start out at odds with one another over how they achieve that call , so the drop out or burn out rate continues to be high. In fact, statistics show that there is about a 20% drop out rate among homeschool families every year, which is super sad considering that when asked, most Christian homeschool families make the decision to homeschool their kiddos for some sort of a religious reason.
Getting a vision of the bigger picture about what you’re doing, though, will take you far and will definitely change your perspective in the days ahead— both on the fun days and the difficult ones!
Did you know that the average American parent spends just 34 minutes a day with their children? That sounds INSANE, I know, but think about it. Mom and dad work. Kids are in school from catching the bus around 7 am until they get off again at 4 pm or so. Pepper in homework, sports practices, private lessons, activities, etc. and you are probably getting the idea that it’s not as crazy of a statistic as it may seem. 🙁
With only that much time allotted for conversation and interaction with your children, how on earth could you possibly accomplish the mission at hand?
**So, the anchor here is—> Work together on your mission and be intentional and present in the lives of your children.**
Are ya’ getting a better idea of why homeschooling is such a great tool to accomplish your calling and work towards your ultimate goal of raising children who love God with all their heart.
Statistics show that 60% or more of children that grow up in a Christian home will leave the church after they grow up. That’s devastating— and a horrible commentary on the state of discipleship in our world today. But another study by Focus on the Family found that children in homes where parents were heavily engaged in discipleship activities were WAY more likely to continue in what they have learned.
The commitment of parents to be engaged in their mission makes a massive difference in the lives of their children, so in this lesson, we’re going to look at how you can really codify your mission statement, so you can have that to go back to when you may get off track or find your priorities shifting out of line.
So, now let’s look at how we can use the way God has led to the means of accomplishing our mission together to strengthen our resolve in the days ahead.
Remember I told you in the last lesson how God had been impressing on both my heart and David’s that we needed to move to homeschooling our children? Once we saw that God had been leading both of us in the same direction individually, we were better equipped to write down how God had led us together, and that’s exactly what I want to encourage you to do.
Set aside time to have both of you independently write down the story of how God worked and led— and then take those two stories and put them together into one cohesive narrative.
You’ll learn so much more about your spouse and how he or she thinks when you read their side of the story, too, and God can use that simple activity to increase your faith AND YOUR TRUST in one another and in God Himself.
**You’ll find a worksheet for doing this and for creating a well-defined mission statement in the resources that go with this lesson**, which I hope you’ll take advantage of.
Better yet— send the kids to grandma’s, get a hotel or a cabin or something, and make a weekend out of planning, praying and generally being TOGETHER in as many ways as you can think of. I’m always for sneaking in romantic times as you plan together— You can’t lose sight of the fact that before you had those children you’re called to disciple, you fell in love with each other. It’s important that you stay TOGETHER in that endeavor as well!! 😉
Knowing your goal, and writing the story of how God led you, along with creating your mission statement come in really handy on those discouraging days when you may be tempted to quit altogether, so it’s a great idea to keep them in an emergency folder somewhere for easy access. It will determine many of your actions going forward.
So, once you know and understand your goal and write the story of how God led you, the next really helpful exercise to reinforce that foundation upon which you’re building your homeschool TOGETHER is to write a mission statement. David and I often refer to that as going for the heart of your homeschool.
So, why are you going for the heart of your homeschool?
I bring this up in every homeschool session I do, because it is so, so important.
Know why you’re doing this… After you have written the stories of how God led you to this point, work together to compose a mission statement that will serve as a starting point for every decision you make regarding your homeschool in the days ahead.
By working together on that, you can weave a strong, cohesive, agree-upon mission statement. The different complexions of your individual perspectives will give you great insight into the full scope of what God wants for your family. **That will give you a lot greater chance of success— and start you both off on the same page, the importance of which cannot be overstated.**
How will your mission statement impact your daily decisions, you ask?
Well, I get lots of questions about specific homeschool situations, but here is one from Jennifer to give you an idea of the importance of being TOGETHER in your mission and fully understanding your why in a concrete situation: I was asked,
“With so many kids, housework, and life stuff, I feel like I can either teach them the book learning or the character-building. How does one balance these things?”
That is a perfect question to look at in relation to your family’s calling and your homeschool mission statement!
What is your driving motivation for your homeschool?
What do you want to accomplish?
If I were to evaluate that question in light of our family’s mission, I would note that in every situation, character-building and focusing their hearts on Jesus is paramount. I make educational decisions every day based on this, where we may step away from the task at hand to concentrate on a heart issue or character flaw. But, there is another element of our mission that has to be considered in tandem with what I just noted.
That is that David and I don’t want to do anything (or allow our children to do anything) that will close doors for them in the future and keep them from becoming exactly what God created them to be.
With that part of my mission in mind, we would then return to the book learning as a character building exercise most of the time. They need to learn discipline to succeed as an adult. They will always be faced with tasks that seem overwhelming or just simply unenjoyable, so those are great opportunities to talk to them about the character it takes to keep going when you just want to play.
Now, there have been situations when I have called school early to go to the park or simply play games and be together, and I have the freedom and flexibility to do that, which is amazing, BUT if I as the parent-teacher am not doing what I am required to do academically, I am not effectively homeschooling my children either! As the mom (or dad!) with your mission in mind, you can make those calls and keep the proper balance of working on character and academics perfectly.
Remember, God is gracious! He will never call you to do anything that He will not also give you the grace, wisdom and strength to accomplish! Strengthening that foundation by making sure you’re doing this big work TOGETHER will go a long way towards ensuring you’ll successfully make it to the finish line!
In the next lesson, we’ll continue to look at relationships by examining other relationship issues within our homes— including talking about what you should do on your first day of school… or next first day of school. I’ll see you there.
Together in the Mission
It’s so important that you and your spouse are on the same page as you approach homeschooling– and anything else for that matter! Let’s discuss how to do that!