"Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa." -- I'm sorry. I said that phrase hundreds of times during our eleven years of homeschooling! Mess-ups, errors, mistakes. When you're homeschooling and spending tons of time together as a family, everyone sees what you do throughout the day. Mistakes become evident to all. Like the time I was vacuuming and heard all those little things get sucked up into the cannister.
"Could those be warriors from the LEGO ship?"
Or when I swiftly cleaned the house but accidentally threw out a really valuable antique that had belonged to Jay's aunt. Once while teaching history, one of the boys put his nose in the air and quipped, "Do you smell something weird?" I ran downstairs. The timer -- I forgot to set the timer! The mozzarella sticks were fried to a crisp...
On the other hand, we have the horrible enemy within -- sin. Not mistakes, but sin. Homeschooling, partly because of all the time spent under the same roof, provides a family with plenty of chances to see sin rear its ugly head whether it's in our own lives or in the lives of our family. And we've got to deal with it.
Teaching at home gives our children the opportunity to see real, authentic Christianity lived out, and enables them to learn how we deal with every-day mistakes and sin. In essence, as moms, we're saying, "Look, I'm not perfect. I'm still learning and growing too."
I hate to admit how utterly impatient I was during my first year of teaching. I sighed, rolled my eyes and got mad many times while teaching math. I'm ashamed to admit it, and only tell you this because I want to share with you how the Lord was more than faithful to (in time and with a lot of prayer!) deliver me, help me, and give me victory in this particular area.
Before we started homeschooling, I asked a friend of mine who was teaching her two energetic boys if she could give me some helpful advice. Waiting for something profound and intellectual, her simple response was, "Get used to saying, 'I'm sorry', and 'Will you forgive me?' quite a bit." Boy was she right! Now I know exactly what she meant.
One of the neat things about homeschooling is fostering healthy family relationships, and teaching what it means to repent and reconcile. What a privilege! We can quickly deal with arguments, squabbles or biting verbal exchanges.
Basically, we have one of two scenarios. Mistakes, like unintentionally tripping over someone's toes, or sin -- where we know in our hearts that we had malice or a wrong attitude which led to our wrong action. I tried to teach that sin is serious, and that we need to go to God first. We confess to Him, then go to the brother (or person wronged) and ask their forgiveness. I repeatedly said this:
1. Be nice! And if you make a mistake, say, "I'm sorry."
2. Be forgiving when someone offends you. Ask for forgiveness when you sin. Go to God, and repent without delay.
Of course, this takes a lifetime to learn, but the groundwork starts here at home.
My friend was exactly right! We needed to say, "I'm sorry" or "Will you forgive me?" many many times. My encouragement to you is to look to Scripture as you guide your children. Keep cultivating good relationships, a spirit of cooperation, teamwork and appreciation!
... As for blunders, unfortunately I have another one. In a recent blog, Cookies & Milk at 3:00 , I mistakenly mentioned that Julie Crone was the guys' high school Chemistry teacher. Susan Grimm was their Chemistry teacher. Julie taught Physical Science and Advanced Biology. Whoops! Sue and Julie -- Thanks for understanding. Sorry about that!
All the best today! With the Lord's help, keep being a great mom.
"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."