When I first began homeschooling my oldest daughter, I also had a 2-year-old and a newborn. I had spent the year before researching the best curriculum choices and spent a lot of money on a fancy curriculum filled with all the bells and whistles, believing that I was setting our family up for a great first year of homeschooling bliss. However, two weeks into teaching my fancy kindergarten curriculum, my oldest daughter was crying daily, my middle child was sneaking away and baby-powdering the house, and my infant was unhappy that my time was not being spent solely nursing her. I was exhausted, a hot mess, and wondered what on earth compelled me to think that I could actually teach my own children! Only two weeks into my journey as a homeschool mom, I wanted to quit! However, instead of quitting, I decided to pack up my expensive curriculum and scratch everything that I had been doing – because it obviously was not working!
I needed a restart – desperately!
So I prayed for wisdom and decided if nothing else, I could simply read to my children, teach them right from wrong, model how to love Jesus, and (hopefully!) train them to act like civilized humans in public. Little did I know at the time through my own epic-first-few-weeks-of-homeschooling failure, God was tenderly teaching me that my priority as a Christian parent should never have been focused on just teaching the curriculum.
Sometimes my formal training in education is also one of my greatest hindrances in parenting because I easily become hyper-focused on academics. I enjoy comparing curriculum options and thinking about which teaching method outweighs the others. Yet, God gently reminded me through my rough start in homeschooling that no matter how excellent the curriculum or how well-recognized the method of instruction, I will completely miss the mark in educating my children in the “way they should go” if I fail to prioritize training my children in godliness and character. Character training has to be the building block for all other instruction because our children’s ability to seek their Heavenly Father and His Word for their future wisdom and decision-making is birthed from a deeply rooted and well-developed personal character…Though our family has chosen the route of schooling at home, God has commanded all Christian families to train our children in godliness and character. Whatever educational method we choose should come from a personal place of seeking out God’s Word and asking in prayer what is best for each member of our family. Whether we choose public school, private school, charter school, homeschool, or any other type of school, we, as Christian parents, all have the same calling by God to “train up [our children] in the way [they] should go, [so that] when [they] are old, [they] will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 KJV…Discipleship and character building for God’s kingdom begins in the quietness and hidden corners of time spent with our children. There is no glamour . . . no trophy. Often times, it is the exact opposite. It’s cleaning up vomit and dealing with sickness that spreads throughout the entire family. It’s putting our foot down when our children disobey and feeling guilty when we give in to our anger (yet again!) It’s saying no and meaning it while still being brave enough to apologize when we are wrong. What we do as parents may often feel unnoticed and unseen, and in our social-media-filled world of displaying glamorous lives, simply reading the Bible to our children and teaching them in the ways of righteousness just do not feel that exciting. But dear friend, God sees! He knows how hard we are trying. And God will reward our diligence. Teaching our children to follow in Jesus’s footsteps and make disciples is our UTMOST calling. And it’s hard work! But little by little, each moment we instruct our children in the ways of living a bold, faith-filled life of character, we as Christian parents – unified in our ultimate calling – are also raising up a generation of world-changers and beacons light to a lost and dim world!
This is first in a three-part series. Much love friends, ❤️ Macki