As I contemplated the theme of these blog entries- “back to school”, I thought of home schooling uniqueness. “Back to school” is more of a mental state for home schoolers. For we, are still at home, and haven’t gone “back” anywhere. We have been here all summer- we live here. Schooling occurs in every room in my house. Our vacations aren’t limited to summer either; and, some home schoolers do school work in the summer. “School” then is a state of mind and I believe that learning is a life long process and should be happening all the time. It should not be restricted to set hours in the day. Some of you may now be alarmed and view me as a relaxed, hippie home school mom- I am not quite that. I do hold to a schedule and we do have a “first day” to anticipate. However, I prepare mostly with prayer and a time with the Lord. Yes, I order new curriculum in the summer and fill in forms and lesson plans for the new year. However, my focus in preparation is to set aside time to pray and spend time with the Lord. I pick a passage of scripture to be our theme verses for the year. I also pick passages of the Bible for the kids to memorize for the semester.
I am thoughtfully anticipating this year. I have only two children left to home school. Abby is in grade 12 and Jonny is in grade 10. Hannah is finishing up her Bachelors degree in Kentucky and Grace will be attending St. Clair College after attending college online and in Germany. I cannot believe how the years have flown by! We have been on this crazy, lovely journey of home schooling for 18 years. I need a time to re-dedicate myself to this task. You need a firm resolve, a commitment and an unwavering determination to keep doing this. One of the repeated questions that I get asked is : ” How can you do that?” The answer is, I can’t… in my strength, I can’t. Homeschooling is hard at times. I don’t want to give a rose coloured impression of it. Nevertheless, looking back over the last 18 years, I can say that it was well worth it. Its benefits are numerous and rewarding. I am not strong in myself. My husband and I continually rely on God’s grace and strength to keep pressing on. At the beginning of this journey, Chris and I named our home school Coram Deo, which means in the Latin, “before the face of God.” It is before Him, that we live our lives, before His gaze.
The verses that I picked last year, when I was preparing for “back to school” were Psalm 18:28-36. These truths are so precious.
” You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning: my God turns my darkness into light. With your help, I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.”
He brought us through another year and He has promised to never leave us through this year. Scholastic preparation and achievement is important, yet temporal. If our children, succeed in this world with degrees and money, yet lack a true heart set apart for God- then it is all vanity. In eternity, God won’t want to see their paper thin transcripts, diplomas or resumes. He will test their hearts and is concerned with the condition of their souls. We are teaching and training for eternity. May God grant us strength and mercy to do just that.
Carrie is a daughter of God, saved by His grace. She was so blessed to grow up in a Christian home with godly parents. Carrie is originally from Michigan but has lived in Canada since 1995. She was a pastor’s daughter that married her best friend in 1990. She is a proud mother of three daughters and a son.