Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Gentle Nudge...or a smack with a 2 x 4!

Since our homeschooling journey began several years ago, I've been blessed to meet and become good friends with some amazing people. If you've never done so, introduce yourself to some of the vendors who attend your local home educators convention. You will probably find some like-minded lifelong friends.

Anyway, one of my favorite people (and one of the wisest men I know) reminded me today of all the reasoning that went into our decision to homeschool all those years ago. When we started this adventure over 13 years ago, we believed we were called by God to teach them to know Him, love Him and love others. All the other stuff was to be built upon those few principles.

But as the years have gone by, it's become so easy to get bogged down in making sure each child is "doing what they should do" to satisfy some intangible standard apllied to my family by some mystical force "out there." By that, I mean, it's become easy for me to take my eyes off of the most important thing (knowing God, loving God and loving each other) and instead, because of outward (or sometimes inward) pressure to make sure my kids are "smart enough," focus on whether we're teaching the right math, the right history, the right (or enough) language arts.

I can see how that happened. Like most homeschooling parents, I'm bombarded with dozens, if not hundreds, of choices of curriculum. This one helps them learn faster, while that one helps them learn more. This one teaches in a style that makes learning more fun, while that one focuses on rote memorization. And after awhile, the idea of my children being faster, harder, more critical thinkers become quite appealing. And I cave...cave to the pressure to make sure each day that they're "doing enough," insted of building solid, strong and Christ-honoring relationships FIRST and foremost in our home.

So today, thanks to my friend's proverbial 2x4, we focus anew on the heart concepts that set us off down this road all those years ago. And I pray we never lose sight again of what what God has called us to do.

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