Well, here we go! A new school year is upon us. We logged two days of school before embarking on a week’s journey to New England. I wanted to try on our new schedule and make sure we had all of the supplies that we needed. Now that we’re back from a wonderful trip to Boston, Plimoth Plantation, and West Point (hopefully, I’ll write about all of that later) – AND all of the laundry is done! – we’ll put both feet on the ground and hit the books.
I’m grateful to begin this school year with a vision for homeschooling that was sharpened, sweetened, and expanded this summer. While driving back and forth to the swimming pool, I listened to the Wild & Free podcast, the Read-Aloud Revival podcast, and At Home with Sally and Friends. With windows open and kids playing outside, I read Sarah Mackenzie’s Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakeable Peace. (Yeah, it’s like everyone says: you should stop everything to read this one.)
All summer, I was reminded that my job is simply to faithfully tend to the work God has given me: to love and train my children who are made in the image of God. I needed that reminder. Workbooks, checklists, and the strong pull of modern day education distract me so easily.
When I consider that my children are eternal souls, I remember that my deepest desire is to spend my days demonstrating to them that “the world is worth learning about, our minds are worth cultivating, and people are worth loving.”
On a daily basis, I need to remind myself that my job is less about checking boxes and more about modeling delight, nurturing minds, and ordering loves.
With Sarah’s encouragement, I wrote our “Rule of 6”- the things that are most important to me regarding our homeschooling. If we do at least one of the things on this list each day, I can feel good about the day.
- Worship God – pray to Him, sing to Him, read His Word.
- Thrive in life’s fundamentals. (Don’t laugh. In this season of life, this just means “make the bed”, “go potty”, “eat your veggies”, and “enjoy a good night’s sleep”.)
- Read good books.
- Have good conversations.
- Encounter goodness, truth, and beauty.
- Expand our horizons.
I also came up with 6 personal Words to Live By – qualities that I want to practice. I want my kids to look back on their childhood and say, “My mother was…” I bring these to mind in the morning as I’m praying about the day:
*devoted to God
I wrote all of these things on a notecard that I keep as the bookmark in my daily prayer book. I hope to return to these reminders each morning and take them to the Lord, asking for His lavish, vibrant, attentive help in being faithful with the children He has placed in my care.