January 14, 2009

Homeschool Refresher: Refocusing on the Goal

I’m at the lab getting another glucose test run… seems the last time I was elevated a tad. I’m imagining having to give up cokes, sweets, bread and fruit. I guess 10 more weeks without the luxuries in my diet won’t be the end of the world.

While I’m sitting here for the next 3 hours, I thought I would share with you a few of the nuggets of truth that rest in Clay and Sally Clarkson’s “Educating the WholeHearted Child” (I keep it linked as a favorite book in my sidebar – and think it should come standard with every Homeschool kid). It took me a long many years to find Sally. Somehow I missed her for the first 3 or 4 homeschool book fairs. Heaven forbid. Then, a friend of mine insisted that we go hear her speak. I fell in love and bought her book right away. It has taken me quite a while to read it all, but her eclectic real-life, real-book, real-relationship learning style was exactly what my heart was pulling me towards. Her ideas began to rumble through my mind long before I came to the point of changing our methods and schedules to a more Charlotte Mason centered approach.

If you are just starting out homeschooling and all this method talk is confusing you (believe me – I’m a 7 year “vet” and still have trouble sorting it all out, so you aren’t alone), you might check out a few of the links on my past CM post. We have done Unit Studies and a bit of this and that since we began homeschooling back when my kiddos were 4 and 2. They are about to turn 10 and 12 now!

All this intro-mumbo-jumbo to tell you that I have enjoyed going back to basics and re-committing to my purpose and goals in Homeschool. I think it is imperative for a teaching mom to return to the source and see the bigger picture – to review, refresh, revamp, recommit and revive herself along the journey. Our jump off the CM cliff has provided a need for me to do this… and it has been tremendously beneficial. Hopefully the benefits won’t just stop with ME, either. I’m sure that my kids will be blessed because of it.

Here are a few quotes from Clay and Sally’s book to spur you on in your own reflections and purposes. I hope they bless you like they have me:

“Be sure you have counted the cost. Christianity is not a neutral issue. And neither is home education. There is always a cost to accepting the cross, whether it is your career, marriage, lifestyle, or family. If you decide to Homeschool, you will have to make some sacrifices – there will be a cost. A careful examination will reveal, though, that the benefits in your family’s life will far outweigh the costs.”

“The Cross Factor: Home education is a ministry of discipleship with much the same concerns as Jesus addressed. You are building your child into a disciple. You must be committed to finishing what you start. You are heading into a battle that will require all your resources to fight – you must be prepared to face that battle wisely. Whether building or battling, you are taking up the cross for the sake of your children, and the cross always has a cost.”

Are you sure that homeschooling is God’s Will for your family?
Hebrews 10:36 (ckc) says… “God’s will is not something hidden that needs to be found; it is something revealed that needs to be done.”

Here are some verses that the Clarkson’s offered to help you find out what God’s will is for your decision:

Stewardship – Romans 12: 1-2
Obedience – John 14:15-17
Discernment – Philippians 1:9-10
Prayer – Philipians 4:6-7
Counsel – Proverbs 15:22

In their book they share many scriptures and quotes that encourage the new homeschooler (as well as the old one that needs a boost after a long burn-out).

My verse for the day from page 5 as I took a few notes from my underlined sections of the book this morning was:

Ephesians 5:15-17 ~ Be very careful then, how you live - - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

My theme this year is simplicity and ‘intentional living’. I want to strip away what is of me and replace it with what is of Him. I want my priorities and life to line up with what He wants for me. I’m sure that if I seek to acknowledge Him in all my ways (especially in the education of my children), He will make my path straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

If you are a homeschooler (like me) that has been struggling with burn out.... If your joy has somehow gotten misplaced, please stop over at HOTM and read the article that Dawn and I wrote for them there. It’s called, “Burnout: Rising From the Ashes”. Trust me – with His help, you can dust yourself off and spread wings like an eagle – and fly again!

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Amy Ellen said...

Thank you for this "return to the REAL" reminder. It is easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget the bigger picture.

Mom of Many Hats said...

Thank you for your post. This one and the last one. I first fell in love with homeschooling and I know without a shadow of doubt it was totally a God thing and not my own doing. I never thought in my most wildest dreams to be doing this full time. I need to return once again to CM style because my priorities have been lost or pushed aside for less important ones (Satan's biggest trap).


Heather S. said...

First - I hope your glucose test turns out okay. I had one high number, no enough to have gestational diabetes, but I still had to be somewhat careful.

I love Clay and Sally Clarkson! I have never heard them speak, but I have read The Mission of Motherhood and (per your encouragement) Educating The WholeHearted Child.

I am very excited about incorporating CM into our lives!!
Thanks for your suggestions!

Melissa said...

I'm so glad you keep sharing about all this. It has so inspired me. I keep putting off writing about my(our)own journey because there's just so much to get down! Eventually, it will all leak out into my blog!

Edwena said...

I just ordered this book last week. I'm excited to get it and read it as well. I thought about blogging my through it.

Shannon said...

It's been awhile since I've stopped by your blog and I'm glad I caught this post. So timely for me. I'm struggling with homeschooling and truly need to refocus and make some commitments. Thanks.



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