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|The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine |
This Year Wasn't That Great May 25, 2011
Looking back over the school year, we normally have one of two responses. We are either delighted with all that was accomplished or we are disappointed that our year didn't turn out the way we envisioned. If you are one who was disappointed and are ready to ship your children off somewhere, let's talk about disappointment.
Sometimes life does not meet our expectations and things turn out differently than we expect. Let me give you a personal example. I came home late last night from a support group meeting, expecting to find my children in bed. I found only two of the eight in their actual beds. Three were out in the backyard sleeping in a tent, two were asleep on the family room floor, and one was asleep on the living room floor. They were all getting good sleep, it was just not what I expected. Should I have been disappointed? No, because they were achieving the goal of sleep. In our educating, things don't always come out the way we expect, looking very different from what we envisioned. But if we look closely, our goal of educating was probably met in a totally unexpected way.
Don't give up! Galatians 6:9 says it this way: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
When I am disappointed in myself, I have been thinking too much of myself and have forgotten that in myself is no good thing. I need to refocus my attention on God Himself, for there is nothing in Him that can disappoint. He says, "Learn of Me for I am meek and lowly and you will find rest for your soul." Usually when we are disappointed, we are not meek, but mad. We are not lowly, but haughty. We are not at rest, but are in turmoil. The answer is to yoke up with God and follow His lead.
When I am disappointed in my children it is usually because I have set aside the task of making good disciples of my children and instead am trying to make good students. Disappointment in our children's achievements or lack of them or in their behavior can be a sign to us to stop what we are doing for awhile and make a disciple of that child. Students merely study. Disciples follow. Have them follow you wherever you go and teach them the ways of God.
Sometimes we are disappointed in others because we have a set of silent rules that become the line on which all others must walk. Maybe they don't even see the line we have drawn yet we hold them to walking that line in our own imagination! Maybe they ignore your line and make a line of their own. Maybe you should never have drawn that line.
If you find yourself disappointed, redraw your line heavenward. Get shoulder to shoulder with Him and learn His ways and let Him carry your load. When He steps, you step. Walk His line. You will never be disappointed in Him. In fact, when you are disappointed and you turn to Him, you will find that even the disappointments in life can be sweet because they drew you even closer to the Savior.
People will fail you, your children will fail you, your family and friends will fail you. You will fail yourself. He will never fail you. Do you know Him in this way? Cry out to Him for He really hears the hurt and knows the disappointment and He is ready to be the strength of your heart, and your portion forever.
Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. Psalms 73:21-25
Hanging in there with you,
TOS Senior Editor
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| The Familyman|
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries
Didn't do good enough? Hogwash.
What? You don't feel like this past year went very well? You feel like you could have done more? Like you let your kids down? Congratulations! That means you're normal. The truth is, most homeschooling moms feel like they didn't do a good enough job last year.
In fact, I was talking to a homeschooling mom this past weekend at a homeschooling convention who feels like she blew a lot more than just the past year. As I listened to her, it seemed she doubted her whole homeschooling career.
She approached me after I spoke on Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe. I wasn't sure what she was saying at first, but the more she talked about non-homeschooled kids and all the things they achieved, awards they won, and scholarships they received, she seemed to be saying her children could have been "something" if only she had done more (read: put them in public school). As she talked, she also mentioned how her son was writing a book and giving a workshop at the convention and he was STILL in high school.
Finally I said, "You are using the wrong standard. You're using THEIR standard, and it doesn't mean anything. Besides, you're telling me you have a son who is writing a book and giving a workshop as we speak." Most parents would call that success and envy you.
The truth is she had done great, but NOT because she had a sharp kid who was speaking and writing. It's because God knew what He was doing when He gave her those particular children to train and teach.
I'm telling you, Mom and Dad, if you feel like you didn't do good enough this year, it's because you're using the wrong measuring stick. Let me tell you loud and clear, if you taught your children at home . . . you did a GREAT JOB (even if there are changes or modifications that need to be made)! Home is the best place for children to be taught.
Need more convincing? Get my book or CD Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe. And . . .
P.S.: I'll be in North Carolina this weekend at the NCHE Homeschool Convention. Be the first to come to my booth and sing, "Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning" and get a free audio CD of your choice.
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|It's Just Common Sense|
Ruth Beechick, Curriculum Specialist
Debbie Strayer, Homeschool Consultant
Home education is the education that comes with being a part of your home. Some years are much more about life and its adjustments than about what comes from books. You may want to broaden your view when you think about how things have gone.
When you review your year, make sure you look for all the types of growth that have taken place, for both you and the children. Ask yourself these questions: What challenges did we face as a family this year? (Finances, family illness, new babies, toddlers or teens, moves, stresses, etc.) What adjustments have we made this year? (What did we do to continue in spite of our challenges?) What growth have I seen? (In attitudes, actions, service, etc.)
Once you have considered these questions, take these next steps:
- Give your year to the Lord. Scripture is clear. God is near to those who come to Him humbly.
- Get some rest. Take time to seek the Lord for the lessons of this year and His plan for the next. Give yourself and the children a break of whatever length you feel is best. It may be a day, a week, a month, or a summer. Pray and listen to the voice of the Lord, wise counselors, and your husband.
- Look forward to His grace and direction for the future. He is faithful to provide for those He calls, and homeschooling is a calling (I Thessalonians 5:24.) It is on His shoulders, not yours, to get this done.
From many years in the classroom, I know there were children who were there in body while their hearts were elsewhere. I don't think those days of school amounted to much for them. From many years of homeschooling, I know that there were days when my children were there in their hearts while their minds may have been elsewhere. With my eyes fixed on Jesus and His plan, those days at home were never losses.
Read more from Debbie at www.debbiestrayer.com.
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|Contest Central |
For the month of May, 2011
The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education
Leigh Bortins, the founder of Classical Conversations, a classical homeschool teaching community, has written this new book, a thorough look at how all parents and educators can apply classical methods to their students' educations.
The Core is composed of two main parts. Part One discusses the merits of classical teaching in today's society in three chapters titled "What's Wrong With Education Today," "Why We Need Classical Education," and "How Classical Education Can Help You."
The lack of meaningful relationships between student and teacher, government replacing community as the force behind education, discarding memorization (with repetition) as the main tool of learning, declining literacy rates, and therefore leaving today's children out of the "great discussion" are the problems with today's education system: "We have rejected the historically successful model of rigorous, classical education in favor of entertainment and job training."
Part Two describes the classical method for the grammar-stage child as it applies to reading, writing, math, geography, history, science, and the fine arts. How parents or teachers of various kinds (single, double-income, after-schoolers, non-classical educators, and homeschoolers) can apply these ideas makes up the last chapter. (...)
Read the rest of the review here. Win this book for your family!
Email Deb with your name and mailing address and the subject "The Core" for a chance to win* this book!
|*Disclaimer and Legal Notice:|
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC ("Company") is sponsoring the May Contest Central contest running from May 1, 2011, to May 31, 2011. You must be 18 years of age or older and follow all rules to participate. Entering the contest constitutes full and complete acceptance of, and a warranty that the entrant has read, understands and agrees to, all contest terms and conditions, including without limitation all of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC Contest Rules ("Official Rules") and The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine Writer Guidelines and Terms and Conditions for Submitting Queries. All Official Rules apply. Entry also constitutes full consent and unlimited permission for Company to print, publish, broadcast and use all intellectual property and personal information submitted as part of the Contest entry on the Internet and in any and all Company publications in accordance with the Rules. Entries become the sole property of Company and will not be returned. Employees and independent contractors of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, Contest sponsors, individuals or entities furnishing Contest prizes and their family members may not participate in this contest. Company reserves the sole, discretionary right to determine contest winners and to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the contest or the Rules at any time with or without notice or cause, subject to applicable law. See Official Rules for details.
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