All of us usually begin homeschooling with a combination of excitement and passion, mixed with some fear. We feel that teaching our kids at home is the best choice, and what God has called us to, but we worry that we won’t be able to “do it right.”
We will certainly make some mistakes as we teach our kids, but I believe there are 4 keys to being successful in our homeschooling.
1. The right attitude
As moms, we set the tone for the day. If we get up with a bad attitude, it’s going to affect everyone, and it’s not going to be a good homeschool day. It’s VITAL that we start our day by getting our heart in tune with God, and having a joyful spirit.
If you are having an attitude problem, find a verse to encourage you, and sing a song or two to renew your spirit. If needed, postpone the start of your school day until your attitude is right.
One of the most common things that triggers a bad attitude in moms is a lack of sleep. Sometimes we can’t help this. For example, if you have a baby who is still waking you up at night, or you’ve been up with a sick child, you’re going to be tired. However, this shouldn’t be the norm. Make getting the rest you need one of your top priorities!
When you are tired, everything is overwhelming and you are much more irritable. Even if the “spirit is willing,” when the “flesh is weak” you’re going to struggle through your days. Sometimes the BEST thing you can do is take a nap!
It’s very hard to feel successful when you have no goals or purpose for your homeschool. It’s important to write down your goals and priorities and look at them regularly so you stay excited about what you are trying to accomplish.
Remember that homeschooling is more than just academics; it’s about relationships and discipling our kids. It’s easy to feel like it hasn’t been a successful day when we spent half the day correcting and training for wrong behavior. However, that is much more valuable than completing all the math pages!
Character and heart issues are foundational and should always come before academics.
Don’t measure your success by the amount of academic progress, but rather by how you are doing with keeping your priorities in place, building character in your kids, and addressing heart issues.
Without the Lord’s help, all our efforts are in vain. We must seek Him and His wisdom daily as we teach and train our kids. As we ask Him to work in their hearts, and we correct them with His Word, He can do a work that we cannot do.
Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Psalm 127:1
We are in a spiritual battle for our kids, and it’s so important that we enter the battle daily in HIS strength. We should never start our homeschool day without seeking God in prayer. Even if it’s just a quick prayer acknowledging our need for Him, we can’t neglect it!
On those days when all the kids are up early, pray WITH them. (No one says your prayer time has to be alone!) When you pray with the kids, asking God to bless your day, give you all good attitudes, etc. it helps everyone get off to a better start.
When you’re having a bad day, or one (or ALL) of the kids is having a bad day, stop what you’re doing and ask God for His help. He encourages us to come to Him in prayer, and yet often we forget to tap into that power He offers us.
It IS possible to be successful in our homeschooling. However, we must remember that we can’t do it on our own, and that we need to continually ask God to keep our hearts and attitudes right, show us His purpose, and renew our strength as we wait on Him.