Intentional Homeschooling or Falling Through the Cracks?
Last year, my 6-year-old fell through the cracks of my homeschool. I had it all planned out in my mind so that wouldn’t happen again this school year. I started school early at the end of July, and by September I was still not working with my now 7-year-old. He didn’t seem to care as he played his days away with an occasional math page or phonics lesson thrown in. I kept telling myself that he wasn’t ready to learn to read yet and I was so busy with the other five scholars in the family (one of them being his younger sister, who begged daily for schoolwork). And he was so good at keeping the 2-year-old occupied!
Well, last week he came to me and asked me to read the world atlas book with him as I had promised to do months ago (probably even last year). Looking at his face, I knew that I had done it again and pushed him aside for other things. Sometimes a mother’s heart can break-not with the guilt of what we have done, but with the guilt of what we haven’t done. Needless to say, since last week, we have been having daily times together when I am teaching him to read and reading books to him. I could no longer keep up the good intentions. I had to become intentional with him.
All things that need to be done don’t get done unless we are intentional about them. What are those things you really want to do this year with your kids? What are those things that you say you want to keep as a priority in your homeschool? What about that quiet time with the Lord you wanted to keep having? None of these things will happen unless we are intentionally making them happen. Good intentions mean nothing unless those good intentions become intentional actions. Intentional actions mean nothing if they don’t line up with what God desires for our lives. So, if we know what He desires, we must start walking in those things.
Is your walk with the Lord fading? Intentionally get up and meet with God face to face. You may have to sacrifice some sleep time or break away from the crowd for a while-just like Jesus did when He was on the earth.
Did you stop reading your Bible again? Did you want Bible to be the first subject in your school day? Intentionally gather those kids together and start reading and praying with them today. You may have to make those other “urgent” things wait. Believe me, they’ll still be waiting for you when you’re done.
Did your husband ask you to do something and you haven’t yet? Stop everything and do it. He needs to be respected, and in doing so, you will teach your children to respect you.
Did you promise to do something with one of the kids this year? Intentionally make the arrangements to make it happen. When you put it off and say, “Maybe later,” take it from me–it may not ever happen.
Do you feel like if you add all of these things you’ll faint with utter exhaustion? I have a verse for you: “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not” (Galations 6:9). I know you will reap a harvest of blessing as you do those things in your heart that you know you have been desiring to do.
Continuing to put off the things you really desire is like wandering in a “misty lowland” where your vision is cloudy. It’s truly time to intentionally get on your knees, then rise up to do the tasks God has called you to and created you for.
Let me end with a prayer from A.W. Tozer that echoes my heart:
“O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” (from The Best of A.W. Tozer)
Copyright, 2009. All rights reserved by author below. Content provided by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC.
Deborah Wuehler is the senior editor for The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. She resides in Roseville, California, with her husband Richard. They are the parents of eight children: three teenagers, three elementary, a preschoole,r and a baby. They have been homeschooling since the birth of their firstborn who is now graduated from high school. Many of her articles can be found on www.Crosswalk.com, and many other homeschooling sites. She is a group leader in her local homeschooling support organization and she loves digging for buried treasure in the Word, reading, writing, homeschooling, and dark chocolate! Email her at email@example.com.