The last few weeks, my brain has been filled with thoughts of the upcoming school year. Yes, it is still 8 months or so away, but I like to plan ahead so that I have time to gather supplies, make copies, put together student notebooks, organize, etc. We have always used My Father’s World, and have really enjoyed it. Next year, I will have a daughter in middle school. She is very independent and capable of doing about anything I give her. She loves to read. I also have several small children who still need Momma for just about everything. My days are spent answering questions, changing diapers, helping little ones use the toilet, cooking food, cleaning up messes, settling arguments, and training my children. I am busy, like seriously busy.
As I thought about next year, I found myself becoming more and more discontent with our homeschooling curriculum. It is hard to school an older child, plus several small ones, plus one in the middle. They are all on different levels and have different capabilities. I feel like I am missing out on my oldest because she is independent and I am so busy with the little ones.
On Sunday, our family was sick. We spent the day at home and watched a sermon on the internet by Steve Lawson. The sermon was about a man named George Whitefield. He was a great, if not the greatest, preacher during the Great Awakening. We read about him in school a while back so the kids were somewhat familiar with him. In his sermon, Steve Lawson pointed out several characteristics that Whitefield possessed that made him a great preacher, someone whom God used for big things.
There was one characteristic that really stuck out at me.
–George Whitefield possessed a singular devotion to Jesus Christ.–
You see, hearing how George Whitefield lived his life, made me consider how I was living my life. What or who am I living for? Am I living to please myself? My children? My husband? Those around me watching from the outside? Do I want to do what everyone else is doing because its popular? Am I coveting all those pretty books that are available with other curricula?
Why was I feeling so discontent about our homeschool? I decided that I needed to reevaluate the why behind our homeschooling. My husband is excellent at helping me with these kinds of things. After the kids were in bed, I got out all of our school books and had them laying out on the table. I was looking though them, and Austin asked what I was doing. I simply said, “trying to get myself excited about our school.” He looked at the books on the table and said, “how can you not be, look at all those great books. As long as you keep it focused on Christ, and sharing him with our children, it’ll be great.”
Ding! That was the problem! I was so caught up in the new and fancy that I had lost focus on WHY we homeschool. We don’t do this because we want the newest, fanciest curriculum. We homeschool because God has called us to it. We believe it is the best way to teach our children about God, his world, his story and his Son. Academics is important. But I was allowing it to be more important than the opportunities I get to evangelize and disciple my children.
Does this mean I am going to stop searching curriculum? No, not necessarily. It means that when I search, I am going to ask myself how the curriculum can help me share Christ with my kids. Is it written from a biblical worldview? Is the Bible interwoven in the curriculum? Can I use it to share with my kids the characteristics of God? Does it offer opportunities to share the Gospel with them?
These are the reasons for our homeschool. That God would be glorified! And that by his grace, our children might be saved. Homeschooling is a great opportunity to do what God tells us in Deuteronomy 6:6-7
– “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” –
This is what I need to keep my focus on. To find contentment in my homeschool, I have to focus on Jesus. Heavenly things and not earthly things. Serving God and doing everything for His glory.