On Starting a New School Year
Most of you have started your 2007-2008 school year. Whatever year of homeschooling this is for your family—maybe it’s your first, or perhaps it’s the tenth!—I’d like to offer some advice as you journey through this semester. For the times when you ask yourself why you're teaching high school at home, or juggling preschoolers’ nap time with math lessons for your 3rd-grader, it can be helpful to step back, take a look at your goals, and be encouraged.
PROBLEMS PLACE US
IN A SITUATION
WHERE WE HAVE TO BE
DEPENDENT UPON GOD
|J. Michael Smith, President of Home School Legal Defense Association.
We at Home School Legal Defense Association encourage Christian homeschooling families to decide as early on as possible that home education for their family fulfills a discipleship responsibility that helps the whole family grow in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord and to grow together as a family, better equipped to advance the kingdom of God.
But it can be easy to lose sight of this worthy goal in the midst of the everyday: child discipline problems, illness, complicated courses, or relatives and friends who oppose your decision to homeschool.
Problems place us in a situation where we have to be dependent upon God for His strength and His grace to be able to continue. However, this is not a bad thing. The Bible is clear that we are to take no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3). We’re not to take confidence in our patience, our educational background, or other areas that might appear to make us qualified to teach our children.
As Christians, we’re to live a life of dependency upon God, not self-sufficiency. I think that homeschooling has given homeschooling moms a greater opportunity to experience that spiritual truth than almost any other challenge in life.
From a practical perspective, I would encourage husbands and wives to plan a weekend away from the family this fall to pray and seek God’s direction for the rest of the semester and school year. You can use this time as an opportunity to discuss how each child is doing and what steps will be taken to continue to meet the child's needs. Would it help to make an adjustment to a child’s curriculum, extracurricular activities, or schedule? This time of refreshment and planning can be especially encouraging for Mom because it shows her that Dad, who is the principal of the school, is interested in and supportive of her efforts as the primary teacher of their children.
Obviously, each family has their own set of circumstances to deal with as they try to determine what is best for their family and their children in homeschooling. However, I have found that these decisions become much less complicated when the family gets beyond the “one year at a time” approach to home education. If you have not reached that commitment in your family, I would urge you to seek God’s direction in that regard.
At HSLDA, we want to assist you in every way possible with resources so you can fulfill your commitment to homeschool your children in a way that brings joy to you and honor to God. If you have any questions that we can help you with as you make decisions for your homeschool in the future, please feel free to call our office.
Thanks for being a part of the HSLDA family as we continue to advance homeschooling in America and around the world—and may God bless your 2007-2008 homeschool year.
New Brochure Coming Soon!
In HSLDA’s new brochure, Mike
Smith turns the question “What about socialization?” around to make a strong
case for homeschooling. The Best Kind of Socialization will encourage you as a homeschooling parent and will serve as a great resource to share with those who are unfamiliar with the social benefits of homeschooling.
For availability and ordering information, vist the HSLDA online bookstore.