Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ten Tips for a Terrific Home School Year, part 2

Whether you are a brand new homeschooler, shaking in your boots as you step out into unknown territory, or a seasoned veteran who is eagerly (or wearily) facing a new year of home instruction, we are all on the same page in hoping for a successful school year. There are some things we can do to help make that a reality.  Yesterday, I shared the first of ten tips for having a terrific school year:

Tip #1  Know why you are homeschooling.

Today, I want to talk about the second tip -- putting first things first.

Tip #2: Set right priorities.

We will never be able to teach our children everything there is to know, so where do we start?  What do we spend time on?  How do we keep from getting overwhelmed?  What really matters in the scheme of things?

As always, God's Word gives direction and clarity.  Matthew 6:33 says:

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

We worry about so many things, but God wants us to seek first his Kingdom, and then trust Him to add all the other things we tend to fret about.  He knows what is truly needful for each child, because He has made each one for His purposes.  Practically speaking, I think this means we should make reading and studying the Bible, developing a Biblical worldview and growing in Godly character the most important goals for our homeschool.  From there, we add the basics and then tailor the "extras" to the unique needs and interests of our children.

Mark 8:36 has helped me clarify my priorities since starting my homeschool journey 22 years ago. It says:

"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

In other words, if our children make a perfect score on the SAT, get accepted into an Ivy League college, receive a full scholarship to play football for our favorite college, make it to the Olympics, play the piano at Carnegie Hall, or start a business that nets a million dollars a year, but they lose their own souls (because they fail to put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and live for His glory), what has it profited them???  There is nothing they can achieve that is more important than knowing and believing and living out the Truth of God's Word.  Yes, we want to do all we can to prepare our children to live in this world, but even more importantly, we want to prepare them to live for eternity!

A passage that has fascinated me for a long time is 2 Peter 5:1-8.  I think there is much treasure to be found in those verses as we dig deeper!  Consider this excerpt from verse 3 and 5 for now:

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness . . . But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge . . .

I will explore this verse more in the days ahead, especially as it affects how we schedule our days, but do you notice the order here? God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, and for that reason, we are instructed to start off by establishing our faith, and then diligently adding to our faith virtue (godly character) and then adding to our faith and character, knowledge. Our tendency is to start with knowledge, and then sprinkle on a little character training, and then worry about the Bible and faith last, if there's time left over.

I think a wiser approach is to focus on knowing the Bible, developing a Biblical worldview, and pursuing godly character. Then, from that solid foundation, we can add plenty of knowledge.

What do you think?

Homework Time:

What are your priorities for your children?  Do you have any special verses that have helped you identify what is most important?  How do your priorities affect your day-to-day schedule, curriculum choices, and decisions about what to do with your time?


Serving A Generation for Jesus said...

Thank you! I'll be sharing this with friends also.:)

Serving A Generation for Jesus said...

Thank you! I'll be sharing this with friends also.:)

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