Today I want to talk a little bit about homeschooling. I’m a mom, pregnant with baby number seven. YES, you read that right. 7! We homeschool our kids because wow, *I* get to be my kids’ teacher, year after year! The conviction is so strong for us to homeschool. I evaluate and re-evaluate often the things my kids are learning. They grow fast, and each one is unique in their learning styles. I get to individualize the education for my children, and that is a beautiful thing. The title of this post is “Truth, beauty and excellence.” I chose it because it is the heart of our homeschool approach. And I want to say LOVE is the means through how it is brought forth.
I would like to provide a little bit of my past working career because I think it helps my readers to have a little bit of perspective. I grew up in my dad’s garbage business. I’ve worked in the non-profit world where fundraising and accountability is key. I’ve done staff accounting work in one way, shape, or form for many years. I’ve been involved with several business and contract negotiations and deals over the years, some, with publicly held companies. I’ve been a CNA, and sat with and prayed with the dying. I have a missionary heart. I served in an orphanage, and have a burden for the people of Romania. I’ve been a church secretary. I ran my dad’s business a couple different times. I was a schoolbus driver for a whole week(God bless all the schoolbus drivers out there! You are AMAZING!) before I realized it was NOT the job for me. I washed dishes in a restaurant at one point. I have worked in so many different types of jobs, and the other day I began to wonder about what responsibilities and roles my kids might have one day.
Parenting and homeschooling can be a little overwhelming if you over think it too much. I had to come up with a simple yet profound emphasis as the basis for teaching my children. I’ve been reading the blog written by Cindy Rollins. You can find it HERE. I have also been listening to the podcast called, “Your Morning Basket.” So far, after the first three episodes that I’ve listened to, it has much value for homeschooling.
Simply put, we want our kids to put their faith in Jesus and live their lives unashamed for Him. We want them to know the truth about God and the Bible and know it well.
When it comes to beauty, I want my children to recognize and know REAL BEAUTY, that God created, to be able to use their senses to distinguish what is truly “beautiful.” From knowing the beauty of a kind and loving heart; to the absolute WONDER of the beauty of places like Niagra Falls; to the beautifully arranged music of artists like The Piano Guys.
We want them to learn the value of completing tasks whatever they may be, with EXCELLENCE. With these ideals as part of who they are in life, they will be able to accomplish whatever it is that God leads them to. I don’t have all the answers, but I know it’s worth all the efforts it takes to try with a whole lot of faith.
I will give you a few thoughts on what I mean:
Truth-This is the foundation for the other two. We teach truth as God has revealed it in His word. We memorize His word, meditate on it, and purpose to obey it’s principles, all by FAITH. One of my favorite quotes by Dr. Charles Stanley is “Obey and leave the consequences to God.” No matter where our children will end up, they will be faced with things contrary to real truth. If we do not prepare them well with the TRUTH of the Gospel, we may very well lose them to a dying and dark world. We teach them the truth about all topics and subjects.
Beauty-It is my heart’s desire to raise our kids with a real sense of beauty. When it comes to music, we are very specific about what we listen to. There is much music out there that is just noise. On the other hand, the beauty in some music is truly profound. Our desire is to help them to learn, discern and understand the difference. My dad was one of the most generous people I have ever known. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t give if he knew someone needed it and he had it to give. It was something that has stuck with me. So one of the ways we help our children understand beauty is through generosity. God is the giver of all things, and we never hold on to things tightly. The amazing things we have seen transpire in this area brings tears to my eyes. God multiplies generosity from one to another to another and the beauty in that is unexplainable. Beauty also is found in nature. We recently began nature walks and journaling. I am excited about all the BEAUTY we will see that we might not have.
Excellence-I am a perfectionist by nature. But there are some things that come so hard for me. Gardening is one of them. I have purposed to incorporate this into personal growth and consider it a parenting opportunity. The vision is to do it with excellence. In order to have enough raspberries to freeze for all of us to eat a serving every other day or so, I have estimated we need to plant about 10-12 raspberry plants. We are preparing to do that this spring. They will need to be planted in the right location, the right distance apart, and then maintained properly. This project will help demonstrate year after year how excellence pays off. When we are able to harvest our own berries, freeze them and eat them year in and year out….it will be a huge reinforcement to doing something with excellence. It doesn’t get taught only in gardening….it is something we encourage in all aspects of life.
As you can see I haven’t mentioned curriculum at all. The curriculum we use isn’t the core of our homeschool, it is a tool to help us with the above three. Sometimes we find better tools as we go. Sometimes tools get changed out for different needs at different times. But the heart of it all is truth, beauty and excellence.
Homeschooling is one of my most appreciated freedoms. If you have questions or need encouragement in this area, feel free to get in touch!
May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today!