If I could go back in time and leave myself the following points on how to enjoy my children and this home education journey, I think I could have saved myself many tears, moments of frustration, outbursts of anger, and sleepless nights. But knowing my nature, I supposed I had to walk the rocky path to unearth these universal truths. I’m sharing these points in hopes that others can benefit from my experience and failures. My first child, born 16 years ago, experienced mad/anxious/image-driven mom. My last born had a few glimpses of this mom, but mostly she has experienced a mom who lives in peace – because I now choose peace. So now I’m going to take a moment to talk to my 30-some-year-old self. Please listen in as I touch on the what, why, and how of our home education transformation.
1. Think about your educational philosophy. If you believe that man is a living soul created in the image of God, then that will naturally spill over into how you intereact with your children and what materials you bring into your home.
To think more deeply and contemplate your educational philosophy, read Charlotte Mason’s writings from her books “Home Education” and “Philosophy of Education”. At the core of her writings is the universal truth that Children are Born Persons and Education is the Science of Relations.
2. Ask yourself why you care so much about the success of this educational experience. How much glory do you image taking away when this experiment culminates on graduation day? Your children are not an extension of you nor are they going to be a copy of you. Work to understand them and see their unique gifts. Can you keep in mind that these children are not your possessions to craft into idols? Who do you choose to worship? Your dreams? Your kingdom? Or your Lord?
3. Character training is fundamental. Actually, your character training is fundamental. It is through example that they learn. And to teach children to love what is good, true, and beautiful is to point them to Christ and His truth and grace. So again, first point your heart to Christ. Spend time sitting with Him each morning. Pray. Trust in His provision. Trust He is also leading your children’s hearts.
4. Your love and unconditional acceptance of your children will open heart doors. Harsh and judgmental attitudes from you will slam those heart doors shut. Read the book “Christy” and see how this young teacher reached the heart of Mountie O’Teale.
“Perhaps what she needed most was of all was to be sure that she was a real person, that someone loved her for herself….with every bit of encouragement Mountie received, each time I could tell her that she was doing better, she would try even harder. Teacher cared about her. Teacher loved her.” (Christy, by Catherine Marshall, page 154.)
5. Christ came to give us life and life more abundantly. Look at your fruit and make sure you’re planting seeds of trust, kindness, and diligence. He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
I wonder if I was able to time travel back about 13 years and make those changes upfront, how much sweeter would my children’s memories could be?
I trust God.
I trust His timing.
I trust His redemption.