The most important tool in homeschooling
If someone were to ask me, "What is the most important thing I can do in order to be best prepared for homeschooling?"
My simple answer would be, "Pray".
Yep, that's it.
Spending hours researching the best curriculum will not prepare you for the struggles your child might face in a certain subject. Stock piling your school room or school drawers with all the school supplies and teaching tools will not prepare you. Building a bookshelf wall and filling it with books, will not prepare you or your child for homeschooling. Reading blogs, forums and listening to podcasts will not prepare you.
While all of these are wonderful things, the only thing that will cover you in every aspect of homeschooling is humbling yourself before the Lord, asking him to pour his Holy Spirit on you and PRAY over every aspect of your homeschooling.
After all, your family, and your journey is not found in a book or through someone else's homeschooling experience. While we can relate to others and draw ideas that will help in our journey, the Lord is incredibly personal and wants to lead you on the best journey for your tribe, so to speak.
I love the book of Job. He goes through such a rollercoaster with his life and emotions. At one point he is incredibly honest with God and wants God to know how bitter and angry he is, but the thing to take note of is that God is ok with those feelings and even though Job is angry, he still remains faithful to God. The beautiful aspect is that even though Job goes through the lowest of lows, God has a restoration story in place for him and blesses him ten fold.
There will be hard day. Days that you feel overwhelmed and days that you may feel like a failure. Job 11:13 says, "If you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer!" He then goes on to tell us that through prayer we will be strong and free from fear. We will have hope that will give us courage!
Even if you are not a homeschooling family — who in this life doesn't need to have more hope, courage and the ability to live free from fear?
Isn't it funny though how we exhaust nearly every other avenue before we just seek the face of Jesus and pray?
Time and time again I have stressed, worried, researched, asked other moms and have tried to fix all the problems and find all the answers on my own as if I were in complete control and I could satisfy the hunger and dependency the Lord places on our hearts only meant for Him.
Thankfully, God did not put this great plan of placing His son on a cross to just be a "nice story" to pass down from generation to generation. His plan was to show grace, redemption and to send the Holy Spirit so there would not be any barriers to reach Him. His plan is detailed, with us in mind and perfect in every way.
I believe we are to reach out to God in life, and all the more as a homeschooling family, for 2 reasons:
1. Dependency — We have a Mighty God, Counselor of Peace and King of Kings who calls us to seek his face in all circumstances. I know I go to my earthly father for so many questions, so how much more does our Heavenly Father who knows all and sees all, want us to come to him, to DEPEND on him for the wisdom on all of our questions both big and small? He did not give us a direct line so that we can scramble around and struggle on our own only to use it as a last resort.
2. Battle — We have a Mighty God and a relentless enemy. If God has called you to homeschool the enemy will be nagging on you in your weakest moments and pulling out every insecurity. What you thought might be exciting and fulfilling, he will bring distractions, discouragement and comparison. Do not let the enemy steal your joy in your homeschooling journey. Pray without ceasing that God will restore your joy, that he will guard your heart, that he will renew your mind daily and the enemy will flee because you are a child in Christ Jesus and you have the right and authority to claim victory over your kids and their willingness to learn and the joy in which they learn.
Last year, mid-school year, I was drained and exhausted. Jude had no desire to do schoolwork, I felt creatively drained and then it hit me. Actually, Priscilla Shirer and her book Fervent hit me. Of course there was an enemy behind it all and I began to PRAY for the joy to be restored. For Jude to be excited about school, and for us to have unity and to conquer all those nagging hurdles.
What a difference! From then on, we had a new outlook, a new attitude and a joy that can only come from the Lord in such a drained time.
While we were at our first homeschool convention, one of the speakers said, "There is no one who will be more invested in wanting to see your child succeed than you, the parent."
In the same respect, can you fathom the heart of God for His children and the investment he made on the cross. The ache that he must feel to want His beloved to come directly to Him for all the answers? Even when we do not understand the answers, even when we do not receive the answers right away, he will reveal so much of himself to you and he will lead and guide you.
I struggled with a cover photo for this post. As I scrolled through my camera roll, I came across this picture of my children standing under a rainbow this summer, some of you may have already seen it. This was a beautiful moment for me, because it sums up answered prayer and faithfulness through Christ in my life.
I want to encourage you to write out a list of things to pray over this coming school year. It might include things like: joy, teaching my child to read, a desire for my child to learn, friends, a co-op or community to plug into, how to prioritize, what to balance. Anything that you could possibly forecast, let the enemy know that you are one step ahead and give thanks to God every step of the way for the gift of prayer and praise him for the ways in which he will answer those prayers and give you the wisdom and encouragement you need to enjoy this school year to the fullest.
"Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart." — Colossians 4:2
In case you missed it, here is my post on the second best tool in homeschooling.
I LOVE to pray and I would love to pray for you and your journey. Feel free to leave a prayer request or direct message me on IG or Facebook so I can pray for you!