Top 10 lessons learned in the past two years

Part of my job as a parent is to ‘constantly expand my children’s world’. This means, I should be constantly introducing them to new things so they have a broad and deep sense of what’s available to them. Two years into this homeschool journey, I have learned a few things.  

 

  1. We can’t fit it all in. I can constantly introduce my kids to new ideas and new experiences, but there’s not enough space and time to do it all.
  2. I have to prioritize where we spend the most of our time in the balance of accomplishing our life’s purpose, amongst the business of living, while living according to our family’s values. Let me decode that. We have a purpose: to love God and love people. We have to get things done so we can live: we need to earn money and do laundry and dishes, etc. We have to live in a way that honors God, and fosters respect, compassion, truth, passion, and responsibility, and leads us to be free, successful, disciplined, good stewards, embedded in deeply meaningful friendships and also having fun there and again. 
  3. A major part of my kids’ education will be in learning the business of living, but in a way to compliments accomplishing our lives’ goals. My sons will somehow uncover the trifecta of a ‘best fit’ career: a career for which they (1) are the best at doing (2) are well-paid  (3) hold an enduring passion. Now, God only knows if a career switch will be appropriate, what whatever He says is the path we will follow!
  4. The most important thing I can teach my kids is to teach them how to love God and love people. This lesson will be the one thing they will have to hone, and rehone, their entire lives. It’s my responsibility to set the example, and tell them when I’ve failed. Then pick up the pieces and move forward. 
  5. It’s difficult to keep a toddler focused on being helpful and appropriate while he’s passionate, but the best thing I can do to help a little mind grow, is to constantly replant him by my side, and let him out a little by little only as I know he can effectively uphold our family ‘values, purpose, and business’ well (in whatever applicable area), and with the same enthusiasm with which he started. Yes, my children will have a strong ‘sense of self.’
  6. My model of discipline is the one I saw Jesus do: Model, tell, train. My kids quickly call a bluff if I’m not committed to my words. My actions have to follow through, and I have a huge job trying to become the person I want my kids to grow up to become. Help, Lord!
  7. The world’s standards, increasingly, don’t agree with my own, so I have to model how we can be different, and yet loving, while living in the world. We were called to love Jesus. He asks us to honor Him with our mind, body, heart and spirit. It’s just incongruent with popular culture. And no, I’m not going around thinking I’m ‘holier than thou’ – I’m struggling just like you are.
  8. I’m really poor in the area of memorization, and sticking with routines. I’m also not naturally inspired to clean. But there is a  beauty in simplicity, tidiness and cleanliness we can’t afford to let go. I want my children growing up with a deep appreciation for people, resources, and time and space. I have to constantly grow and be self-critical, not with the goal of feeling badly, but rather with an eye on self-improvement.
  9. Myself, and my husband, are the best humans at seeing inside our children’s souls. So when we see their heart aching, their bodies disorganized, or their spirit dragging, our first job is to take them to their Creator in prayer. Our second job is to meet their needs. Our third job is to help them understand themselves, and on an increasing basis, to help themselves. Our fourth job is to translate our intuition about them into packages the people around them can understand, so people around them can be equipped to respond appropriately, in the instances that it’s appropriate or necessary.
  10. We are not qualified to provide all they need in terms of spiritual, emotional, or intellectual growth. This handicap drives home the point that we must cover them in prayer… And cover ourselves in prayer. Because, afterall, there are no excuses in life. We either raise men, or boys. And God trusted us with them, which means He says we cut the mustard somehow, but only with His help!
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