Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back to the Basics

   Welcome to February!! How is your homeschool progressing? At this time of year, we will no doubt have some families, who have plotted their course well and they are well on their way to the finish line of May or June! While others, are doing their best just to keep their head above water. It is to the later, that I wish to address.

    Whether this is your first year homeschooling or you are a veteran homeschool family who has just hit a bump in the road, I pray that you will find some encouragement throughout the pages of this blog.

   No matter the reason why you started to homeschool, whether it was for academic reasons, or just for one year, because the cost of private school was more than your budget would allow. I think one place we all end up, is that while we want each of our children to have academic success, and reach their God given potential, we come to the point that we realize that what really matters, is their relationship with the Lord and their godly character. Only those things that will endure.

   So, before we break out the text books, or living books or lap books, let’s break out the “good book”, the Holy Bible! Psalm 119:11, “ Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” That really is a good place to start. Not only is this useful for the children, but for us, their teachers. Our lives model for them how they should behave or respond to trouble or conflict. 

    How have you done at establishing the daily routine of daily bible reading and prayer time? Do the children, if old enough have their own time for that as well? For the children who cannot have their own personal bible study, incorporate that into the morning routine. If you are just beginning to do devotions together,  you can start with a proverb a day, and prayer time. You can take prayer requests from the children, and then pray together for those requests. And then adding a memory verse a week, would be a great idea as well.


    I will tell you, there is a marked difference in my children when the morning devotions are done. If we need to do them later in the day, because of our schedule, there is almost a sense of waking up on the wrong side of the bed. So for us, it has become a priority. God is good at showing us what is needful!

   Now onto character; obedience, helpfulness, respectfulness, and diligence are  just a few that come to mind.  We all know that the our flesh will battle us, every time we take a step closer to God and to godly living. The question lies in, how to develop godly character? I have heard it said, “rules without relationship, breeds rebellion.” That is definitely not our desired outcome!

So where do we begin?  Let’s go back to that verse we quoted earlier, Psalm 119:11, they need to hide God’s word in their heart! Then as parents our job is to pray for them. Pray for the character qualities they struggle with, and then we need to reward them for the right behavior. Reward them what you ask? Remember that quote about rebellion, how about rewarding them with time with you. You may be thinking.. time with me, we spend all of our time together. What I mean here is relationship building time, working on a project, learning a new skill together, doing something they enjoy, collecting rocks, or hiking, or bike riding, or reading together. All of these things will knit their hearts closer to yours, and closer to their Lord!

    Earlier this year, I discovered a really neat website, that I think will help your family in the area. The articles and resources there have blessed our family!

Check out www.valuesdrivenfamily.com for tools and ideas and inspiration on how to make the most out of opportunities that present themselves each and every day. God Bless you!      

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