Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mild Homeschooling

I have long struggled with my spirit in the area of homeschooling.  Most people who know me can tell you that "meek" and "mild" aren't usually words associated with me.  I've often wished that they were.  But it seems that instead of an obedient heart, I was blessed with obstinacy, and a stubborn nature.  I say "blessed" because, while my character can be difficult, it gives me one more thing that I must constantly turn over to God, and one more way that I can become closer to Him on a daily basis.

In the area of homeschooling, my character becomes more of a hindrance.  It's more difficult, because everything I say will impact my children for better or worse.  I can be the teacher that builds them up and teaches them how to succeed, or I can be the teacher that magnifies their faults and humiliates them.  Of course, one can guess which I'd rather be.  One can also guess which I more likely am.

My nature, added to the stresses of housekeeping, correction, working outside the home, and the thousand and one other things that must be done daily, make it harder to be the mother and the teacher that I would like to be.  I would love for this post to sound like I had discovered the answers and am therefore living them to the fullest as the perfect mother and teacher.  But I am not.  I only have ideas that I struggle daily to live out.

My first one is to remember JOY, and teach it to my children: Jesus first, others second, yourself third. It's something I learned from Michelle Duggar and have not forgotten.  Practicing JOY helps us to work as a team, and help one another.

The second one is encouragement.  There is much correction that needs to be done when teaching one's children.  But if it can be done with a spirit of encouragement, it's better.  At least for my children.  It will help them to look at things in a more positive light, and help them to remember that their mother is on their side.

The third one is prayer.  I need to pray in the morning before starting my day.  I need to pray with my children often, as we move from task to task.  Remembering to offer up each part of our day, and to thank The One from whom all is given helps to keep us in the right place, emotionally.

And the fourth is patience.  Especially with myself.  When we make mistakes, we have to acknowledge them.  Even mothers.  And we need to ask God, and eachother for forgiveness.

My family is a team.  It is really our family, not just mine.  The education is ours, the time is ours, and the memories are ours.  I hope that my children will look back and learn one of the most important lessons in my struggle to submit my will to God's each and every day.

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