"Education is DISCIPLESHIP", they said. "Homeschooling is not about curriculum its about character", they claimed. "It's more about you than your children", they stated. So many thoughts, demands, and questions.
This past weekend Patrick and I had the opportunity to attend the NYS LEAH Homeschool Conference and I have never posted my "notes" online for others to read. I have never been so blessed by the speakers or topics of choice as I was this year. So, I just HAVE to share!! We have attended the conference now for six years and I usually go to organize my thoughts and prepare for what will be for the upcoming school year (Yes, I have three little children but I like to plan ahead).
However this year was so counteractive to what my plans were initially meant to be. I was so excited to buy curriculum, lay it all out, lesson plan the first month (or even more) for the upcoming year and complete a temporary schedule that we will definitely stick to for the year.
Going to the first speaker, I realized that the Lord had much different intentions and this year it was going to be about my heart. WHAT!? At a homeschool conference!?
The speakers were used by God to totally speak into my heart, pull me out of me and allow me to be filled with Jesus. Sometimes as mothers, we may just try to have it all together but, in our busyness we forget why we are doing what we are doing for our children and perhaps even the vision we have for them gets muddled in the everyday expectations of just "wash your hands, stop picking your nose, I will be right there to wipe you up!!!" So...to encourage all of us (especially homeschooling moms) I was reminded of the following things:
- We homeschool for character not EDUCATION. Throw the curriculum out the door, "Don't buy a book on how to brush you teeth, brush your teeth with your kids". More importantly than teaching them academics, teach them to love Jesus.
-If we aren't on our knees as a parent, we are doing something wrong. The Lord wants us to know, "His strength is made perfect in our weakness." Encouragement is not found in someone who has it all together.
- Catch a Vision, know why we are homeschooling and walk with Jesus Christ.
-Homeschooling has NOTHING TO DO WITH PATIENCE!!! God has called you to do it, so DO IT! Who has mastered patience anyway? It is by faith that we do it.
- Don't try to prove yourself to your kids or anyone else, fruit takes time to grow.
- Guess what? Super homeschool mom? She DOES NOT EXIST.
-Kids are taking their memories of you with them, get them excited about LIFE!!!
- Your marriage is the priority relationship in the home, if homeschool comes first, doing something about it, because its WRONG!! "Don't sacrifice your marriage on the alter of ministry".
-The legacy to leave our kids: Love JESUS, Love SPOUSE, Love THEM.
-"Lay Down the banner of homechooling and pick up the banner of Jesus Christ.
-Are you scolding your children out of a desire to impress others?
- Its not time management, its me management.
-If you spend all your oxygen on your children and homeschooling your priorities will not be in order.
These are literally notes taken from the conference. I encourage all of us moms (and dads) to read them, not because of me but because these came from seasoned families truly seeking Christ and are seeing the next generation of their children following the Lord.
One last thing I want to share that really brought me to my knees was what do people see in us? Do they see a love for homeschooling or do they see a love for Jesus? There was a woman who was BEAUTIFUL, not HOT, but BEAUTIFUL. She did Yoga everyday, ate organic avocados, did everything she was supposed to. Those around her were exhausted, exhausted because they felt incomplete not able to attain to her standards or her ability to "have it all together". Then there was another woman, simple, quiet but restful. She was not PERFECT but people saw the love of Jesus in her and her desire to follow and live in the grace and truth of Christ. Which woman are you? I know I want to be the woman people can rest in, and someday people say, "She loved Jesus, not homeschooling."