God Has Not Called You To Be a ‘Great Homeschooler’

At least, if He HAS called you to that, it is not the first thing He has called you to do.  More importantly, He has called you to be His disciple-er to your child.

I remember a conversation I was a part of many years ago in my parents’ home.  A visitor was in the room adjacent to the space where I was “schooling” my young kids.  We had spread our books over the dining room table and had our pencils in hand, but the conversation that this visitor overheard that day was not about math or science.  Our discussion of a battle in history led to a more detailed discussion about right and wrong, about standing up for what you believe. Ultimately, it was about following the Lord to help know the “right” in these battles.  The visitor came into the room as he was leaving and spoke words that have blessed my heart for years.  He said, “You’re not just raising ‘scholars;’ you’re raising ‘good people.’”  

Often, we get muddled down in being sure we have completed what our lesson plans tell us we should and marking off the completed lists of math facts and history dates. We lose sight of the actual calling on our lives as parents, which is to disciple our children. 

Discipleship may take the form of a well-thought-out, planned discussion on following the Lord. This is a beautiful thing that we can do because our children are with us all day. Or maybe we simply catch a few moments here and there between activities. Though these times are so valuable, the “discipling” will likely more frequently take the form of “real-life” moments where we have the opportunity to pour life lessons into our children. 

Many times, as my children were growing up, English and spelling had to be set aside momentarily as we loaded up the car to take care of a grandparent who had fallen ill.  I often drilled history dates between my children as we ran errands for a sick neighbor.  One of my favorite memories is dictating spelling words to the kids as we worked together to prepare a quick meal for new friends who moved into the neighborhood. More laughter took place than spelling.  These moments allowed the kids to learn life skills: teamwork as they helped each other in their subjects, flexibility when interruptions came, and connection between and love on people of ALL ages.

If/when there is a conflict between the lesser goal of completing lessons and the greater goal of “discipling” our children, we should set aside the books- at least for the moment. We don’t allow ourselves hesitation or regret while we grab on to the opportunity to disciple. There will be an opportunity to pick these school tasks up at a later time. Years from now, it will not matter if we indeed completed all the 180 lessons in our planner before the end of May.  However, it will matter that our children learn how to love and care for others and follow Jesus daily.  I believe that we will one day stand before the throne and give an account of our life and how we raised the children that our Father has entrusted to us.

So, dear homeschooling parent, grandparent: yes, homeschool them, but above all parent them. Raise them. Disciple them.

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