Mostly About Homeschooling

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

One of my favorite comments from moms who do not homeschool is, “Oh, I could never homeschool my kids. I just don’t have the patience.”

Invariably, I answer, “Me either!”

The bare fact is that God never called me to homeschool because I was especially patient. Nor was I especially qualified. In fact, I never had a desire to teach before having children of my own, and thanks to some truly horrendous choices, never even finished college. At the time, I was not even a mature Christian!

In my wildest speculations, the only reason I can conceive of that my God would call me to homeschool my little brood is that my very weakness and ineptitude made a stunning backdrop for a display of His power. It certainly wasn’t my

Also, in my years of homeschooling, He has changed me. I am no longer as impatient as I once was. I’m less of a yeller. Truth be told, I am absolutely positive that I have learned far more than my kiddos through this experience.

Now that the number of pupils in my little academy has dwindled to one (at least for now), I have a little breathing room and can look back over the last decade and see some of the lessons I have learned. Here are a few of them:

  1. If God calls you to homeschool, you can do it. You don’t have to be a certified teacher, nor patient, nor gifted in the arts of education, nor anything, really. If you are called, you are called. The only question is whether or not to obey. Remember that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, so be on your knees frequently and ask for the wisdom and strength you need. Then trust Him to bring it to pass.
  2. If you are called, this does not mean it will be easy. Being both parent and teacher is never easy, no matter how much or how little training you have. I think sometimes we tend towards a crazy notion that when God calls us to do something, He is obligated to line everything up so that we can float through our days without so much as a breeze to ruffle our hair. The reality is that when He calls us to do something, our ruffles are more often buffets from gale-force winds, but this is only so we will learn to rely more on Him and less on our silly selves. Just because it is hard does not mean it isn’t worth it.
  3. Have fun when the kids are small. Now naturally, school cannot be all fun and games and I am definitely not an advocate of unschooling, but there’s no good in stressing over-much when they are little. The early elementary years are the times to get hands on and develop a desire to learn about this wonderful world God made. It can be a time to really enjoy these sweet little people God has planted in your life. While co-ops and tutorials can be very good things, I tend to think they are best from middle school on.  My one major regret is that I farmed out the fun stuff and compromised my vision for our school during the kids’ elementary years with a tutorial. While this was great fun for them and was still a good experience, they also did all the fun experiments and projects with their friends while I was left with the drier and duller subjects such as math and grammar. Needless to say, I was not the favorite teacher in those years. 😉
  4. Hold the older kids accountable. Scheduling is not always a popular topic among homeschoolers. Many let their kids sleep in and enjoy other freedoms that homeschooling offers, sometimes to a fault if we are honest. As our kids approach adolescence, it is crucial that we do not skip such critical life lessons as punctuality and meeting deadlines. If the goal is to train responsible, functional, Godly adults. That means they need to learn  responsibility, how to function under authority, and sacrifice. At this age, it’s time to focus on a work ethic and doing our work heartily as to the Lord.
  5. Hold yourself accountable.  Homeschooling may not pay a salary, but it is a real, full-time job. For me, sometimes this meant resisting the temptation to check email or fool around on faceboook during school hours, even if I was not needed at that moment. When the kids were older, it sometimes meant saying “no” to meeting friends or to babysitting because my kids needed the time to focus on their school work without distraction. Imagine if your child went to school and the teacher frequently cut corners and left early to play or even to do things for others but at the class’s expense. Once I thought of myself that way, it gave me a new perspective. Guess who gets to set the example of doing our work heartily as to the Lord? 😉

Of course, that’s just the nickel version. I have learned so much more, most of it not even related to homeschooling. However, that is quite enough words for tonight, I’d say!

28 thoughts on “Mostly About Homeschooling

  1. Really great reflections and advice, especially for parents who haven’t been homeschooling for very long. #2 especially…I’ve noticed when God calls me to do something, it very well involved very bit of my will to keep going to build the tenacity in my heart to do what he wants me to do and to become what he is molding me into. Patience is one for me too, and I get plenty of training in that just as a parent, let alone homeschooling! Sometimes it’s not about us being fully prepped beforehand, but trusting he will equip along the way and being faithful to the process he is wanting to enact in and through us.

    And definitely yes on the fun aspect. I love bringing what I am passionate about into their learning environment. So we’re on Khan Academy doing Javascript being computer nerds, or were watching Shalom Sesame and looking at the Hebrew alphabet.

    sounds like you’ve had a great journey with God through this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds fantastic! I wish I had plugged into some of the programming for my son, but by the time we laid down the things that were tying up our time fruitlessly, we had so much academic catch-up to do to get ready for high school that there was little extra time. But God works all things after the counsel of His will, and I am just praying that all 3 kids will listen to Him and find direction.

      My journey with God has really been amazing. There’s a lot to it, including learning to be thankful for things like chronic pain. But yes, He has brought me through a lot of testing and developing patience, and a great deal of trusting Him to equip me for whatever He calls me to do. He is so good!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Understood, my wife does so much of the core activities that I really have to carve out time and make it fun for the kids for me to layer in the extra stuff. God definitely works all things for his will.

        Being thankful under chronic conditions can be a hard place to get to, but it has lots of rewards in wisdom. So my story on this… I struggled with tinnitus for years and I think the connection God wanted me to make was that I really had spiritual tinnitus at the time. I wasn’t listening to him. And when I tuned into God’s voice more, I could hear better. I’m almost healed now. It’s literally been a miracle in my life.

        Patience is such a great thing to pursue! Last January at me and my wife’s anniversary dinner, I told her I wanted to be the most patient man she has ever know by next year. God has taken me to task on that one!! He’s allowed me to be in some very frustrating situations since then to develop that in me. But it’s been a good journey and I’m so glad I pursued it. It helps me slow down and just be with God in the small bits of life and my day 🙂


      2. That is awesome! Thanks for sharing. I’ve had a long history of chronic migraine that began after a bout with viral meningitis. It can be debilitating, but God has used it in incredible ways. For one, because I need wider margins than “normal” people, it forces me to slow down. Also, sometimes when I am in the throes of a full-blown migraine, I find I can still pray and listen… and some incredible times with God have come of that. That’s the short version, anyway. 😉 I do plan to blog on more of it (there are some past posts most likely, but I’m not sure which ones).

        It’s great that you try to help your wife out some with homeschool. That can be a huge blessing! My husband’s job is so demanding that it has largely fallen to me, although he did help me out choosing curriculum once our eldest reached high school, and his income has enabled us to homeschool, so no complaints! Having it all fall to me forces me to depend on God more, so there’s another bonus. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh no! I loathe migraines. I’m so sorry! But it sounds like your heart is really pursuing Jesus in it which is awesome. I get ocular migraines, which are freaky!! Part of my field of vision gets distorted and looks like a static screen on a TV. And then sometimes afterward I’ll get the actual headache. So when things start to look like channel 7 with the TV bunny ears disconnected, that’s when I take the ibuprofen and have a strong cup of coffee lol! And can’t wait to read more if you do write the full version!

        Understood about your husband’s role, I until recently with my new job, I was in a similar role myself with daily work time commitments. Oh goodness, we spend so much time at work!

        But agreed, it’s SUCH a great thing to depend sweetly and wholeheartedly on God in everything! 🙂


      4. I have had ocular migraines, too. I’ve pretty much been diagnosed with migraine, chronic migraine, cluster headaches, occipital neuralgia, and who-knows-what-else. But it’s good. The ocular ones are freaky, though. First time I had one, I was driving on the interstate and all three of my kiddos were babies. It was scary! Now I know what it is, though, so I just wait it out (and pull over if I’m driving!)

        So how did you and your family end up in Japan? That’s a place I’d love to visit someday. Very, very different culture, though!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oh gosh, that sounds rough!! I’m sorry!! Oh I know, the ocular migraines are freaky! It looks like something out of the matrix lol. Do you take any meds for them? Or are you med-free?

        Haha no were not in Japan…I’m curious, what made you think we live in Japan? We’re state side actually. I’d love to visit it too one day though! The next place we go out of country will probably either be to visit our Compassion kids, mission trip or adopt. (The link you had in the comment was broken btw).


      6. Ah… sorry, I’m not sure why I thought you were in Japan.. Must have gotten my wires crossed somewhere — I know another blogger was. Silly of me!
        I am on meds currently, but have been off and on in the past. I know that wheat is a big trigger for one of the headache types, so I avoid that. But it really isn’t bad. There are so many who have it much worse. One of my friend’s dad deals with the after-effects of childhood polio and another has muscular dystrophy. There are so many hurting people, and honestly my headache issues have opened up so many areas of ministry that would not have been available to me otherwise, so I mean it when I say it’s good!

        Umm… yeah, I looked back at the comments and I have no idea what the link was or how it got there… I’m glad it was broken. May need to do a virus scan… :-/

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Haha! Lene is in Japan actually, so I always hear a response from her comments like 12 hours later because of the time difference. Oh that’s awful, muscular dystrophy. There are so many people hurting and agreed, it’s so good to be open to hurting people and using our pain and discomfort to realize a little of what they are walking through and help minister to them. That’s a great perspective you have.

        Haha! Well my phone started saying it was now under the control of North Korea after I clicked on it, so I might have to virus scan mine too 😉


      8. God is so good 🙂 oh I’m just so in love with him. He gives us everything we need and is always there for us. Patience is such a great thing to pursue! That’s awesome, I love talking about this stuff! I told my wife at our anniversary dinner last January rhat at this time next year, I wanted her to say I was the most patient man she had ever met. Oh boy, God took me to task on that one!! But it’s been a great journey and I’m so much more patient than I was last winter. Being patient helps me slow down and enjoy God’s gifts in the little moments and just enjoy the presence of others 🙂 so good!

        Being thankful under chronic conditions can be a hard place to get to, but it has lots of rewards in wisdom. I struggled with tinnitus for years and I think the connection God wanted me to make was that I really had a spiritual tinnitus. I wasn’t listening to God. And when I really started listening to him more, I ended being healed. It was a weird, holy journey over 4-5 years, but had a great ending.

        My wife is similar, she has to hit the core stuff and then she leaves it to me to do the supplemental fun things that I wanted to incorporate. Does home school go fast for you all? We just don’t need a solid 6 hours to get the daily work done.

        Enjoying the conversation! Hope you have a great day! Sorry my responses are a little lagged on our different threads, it’s a busy morning for me!!


      9. No problem! A good friend and former sensei often has phone meetings in Japan, so I know about the crazy time difference pretty well.

        To be honest, school went much faster in the early days. As they got into middle and high school, it did take more time and there’s where I had to be intentional about saying “no” to things so they were free to focus on school. Honestly, in 9th grade, there were some days my son was working on school from about 8:00 am to 5:00 pm! But some of that was him learning not to procrastinate… My youngest takes anywhere from 4-6 hours depending on the workload and her comprehension — and honestly, her attitude. But that’s 7th grade and puberty and a whole other story! You grow into it, though. I miss doing some things with my oldest two and I do wish I had done other things differently, but that’s neither here nor there. 😉

        I love talking about our God, too! He truly is amazing! I can’t get enough…

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Haha I know what you mean, the time difference with people in like the eastern hemisphere is crazy…I always have to wait 12 hours for a reply lol!
        That’s exactly where we are…our kids pick up quick and we’re just rolling through the hours. I’m excited to get to middle and high school and see how that dynamic works out. Wow, so he was doing a full day’s work in 9th grade? I totally agree on the attitude part…that and redirection. Our middle son is pre-k and he’s just all over the place with energy and is wanting my wife’s attention, so she sets up stations of tactile learning for him to keep him focused. And it’s been successful to a degree.

        Haha! Yeah, we’re a couple grades behind puberty! I’ll keep those lessons in the archive for now! Haha! 😉

        So we don’t do a lot of screen time each day. When we do offer screentime our daughter is like a moth attracted to the light with it. I’ve kinda used that to my advantage in teaching her hebrew. I let her use my Mango Languages app for her hebrew lesson sometimes, and it’s been successful!

        One if my closest friends and I used to have epically long conversations about Jesus at Starbucks in college. We would sit on the patio at Sbux and talk until close at midnight. Sometimes, going back to my house to keep talking through the night. Coffee and talking about Jesus are my addictions by far!! We had a couple really good ones on Romans 8, which I adore Romans. Oh goodness, the depth and wisdom in that book is mind blowing. 🙂 love it!


      11. And this was a longer delay because we were camping with no cell or internet service at all. Gorgeous place.

        Screen time has increased as the kids have gotten older for us, in part because some of their school uses technology now. I don’t love it. Still, tech time is the first thing to go if their attitudes go too far south! We hardly did any at all when they were young. I kicked them out in our backyard with our neighbor kids, and they made some wonderful memories. 😉

        I agree — Romans is wonderful. There are so many excellent books in the Word, though, that I’d be hard-pressed to choose a favorite. I love Hebrews, Ephesians, James, Revelation, Genesis… I have a good friend like that, too, only we were older when we met (I wasn’t a Christian when I was college aged, unfortunately). Even when we get together with the kids, though, we always end up talking about the Word or what God is doing. Love, love, love it. . .

        Liked by 1 person

      12. I just unplugged this weekend. It was great 🙂 camping is fun! Maybe when ours are a little older, we’ll try it out for real!!

        Those are all good choices! We read some James 4 in small group tonight. I love that book. Revelation is fantastic as well. Just curious, do you have any thoughts on the end times? I’ve been reading some of Revelation in the Greek the past several days and it’s just epic haha! I’ve actually found some good nuggets in the Greek that have cleared up a couple questions I’ve had lingering on the timeline of the tribulation. Good stuff!!


      13. Thoughts on Revelation… yes, quite a lot, actually! I have studied it, but I don’t yet know Greek (hoping to tackle that after Hebrew, but it’s slow going right now) so I’m relying fully on translations. I have read a few books on Revelation, too, but mostly from the pre-Trib perspective. However, I do tend to think that there’s some grey area there and I often wonder if God leaves it unknown so that we will look to Him continually. I follow a ministry of Jews called the Chosen People ministry and they once had an article about the amazing parallels of some of the traditional Jewish feasts to the first advent of Christ, none of which were evident until after the fact. They made mention that some of the other feasts and traditions may point to the second Advent, and only after the fact will we see the beautiful harmony of it all. So… goodness, I can’t even make sense in a short space like this. Suffice to say I have given Revelation and the end times events quite a bit of thought. I would love to hear what you’ve learned from the Greek. I do tend to think we are winding down towards the end times with all the breakout of chaos in the world, but then I am sure most of Europe thought that when Hitler had his little hey-day. Anyway, we could always streamline this discussion via email: Your wife is welcome to ask any homeschool-related questions, too! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Oh no, I’m definitely at the point where in reading it all the way through in Greek. It’s bits and pieces for me right now haha. One day. But it’s going slow for me too…ah, the life of a parent and a language student! 😉 sounds like you’re doing good on Hebrew, I definitely want to give you encouragement!! Stick with it and with time it will come easy!! 🙂

        pretrib, OK now we’re talking!! 😉 so I was pretrib forever, I got saved reading the left behind books, until I watched my Greek tutor’s colleague Alan Kurschner on YouTube. Alan is a PhD student at seminary in New England in Greek linguistics. Brilliant man. He debated Tommy Ice, Tim lahaye’s buddy who started the pretrib research center with him, and Alan’s argumentation on 2 Thessalonians 2 changed me to prewrath. Here’s part I from their debate if you’re interested parts 3 & 4 are the good stuff my opinion.

        Here’s one of his blogs on 2 thessalonians 2 as well, so good

        I wrote a couple blog posts on this too like a month ago. Alan and my tutor Travis are rock stars at koine Greek, seriously amazing. They blow my mind when they delve into the linguistics and morphological side of Koine Greek and the prophetic side. Awesome scholarship.

        I’m prewrath, I think the rapture probably happens in chapter 7 of revelation, but I think we can tie that in to Daniel 11/12 and Matthew 24. I’ll have to walk you through my time line sometime! I did a post on it a couple months ago as well.

        I’ve never heard of chosen people ministries! Looks interesting!! 🙂 we do some of the Israelite feasts, like we did tabernacles last year (kinda) and made a tabernacle out of bedsheets on the tent haha. The kids loved it!! Plus we do passover. Love the festivals!! And latkes!!

        Agreed I think we’re winding down as well toward the end. And agreed too on streamlining our conversation, we have like 3 or 4 threads going! I had already written this one so we can combine them in the future.


      15. I will look into those resources for sure! I have always felt that there’s some danger inherent in leaning too heavily on the pre-trib viewpoint because of human nature, specifically the tendency to not feel a sense of urgency when we know we will be spared some trial or trouble. It’s like the theology of watered-down blessings… Mary was called “blessed among women,” yet her blessing wasn’t what many of us would consider a blessing — giving birth in a stable, likely viewed as a liar or worse in her community, watching her firstborn suffer a criminal’s death. I’ve written on the topic before, but I’ll tie it in quick: If we get our head around the fact that spiritual blessings often come at the expense of physical and emotional pain, then the tribulation isn’t necessarily something to be avoided. Not pleasant, but maybe not avoided. At any rate, it’s all guesswork for now. He will come when He comes. The trick is to remain faithful no matter when that is! 😉

        We haven’t done the Jewish festivals yet. I have been trying to talk folks into it, but I’m kind of a unicorn here in some ways. Still, I hope to at least do a Passover meal next spring!

        Liked by 1 person

      16. I totally agree with you. I think it’s especially difficult for American believes who many have never personally underwent persecution. It was pretty bad in early Rome when they were feeding Christians to the lions in front of spectators. If that started happening today, Christians having to wrestle lions on prime time TV, because we got the wrong person in office and congress, I’m sure the church would probably take it as, this has never been this bad before in the entire history of the church. And agreed as well, the tribulation actually could provide just the benefit you said. It also could prune the branches of the country club christians, the luke warm, who won’t go to their cross with Jesus.

        Yes passover is fun! We do chanukah too. We play dradel with chocolates for the winner and then I beg my wife to make latkes haha! Great times, it just enhances the time of celebration around Christmas. It’s lovely.


      17. So fun! My sister has a book about the Jewish festivals and they celebrated all of them one year. I did Purim with my kids when they were small, but I don’t know if they even remember.

        Agree with all your comments on the past persecutions and the tribulation. I know things look pretty bleak for our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, China, and other places right now, too. Each successive persecution seems to bring fresh horrors. I just pray that God’s people will all be faithful and have the strength we need to endure. He will come in His time!

        Liked by 1 person

      18. Oh that’s neat! We should try something similar because we don’t do every single one of them. Amen, that’s my prayer too, faithfulness for God’s people to endure until he does return. It’s bad in some areas, especially where ISIS and Book Haram are, and starvation in various places in Africa. Breaks my heart for those sweet children 😦 Come quickly Lord Jesus!


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