4 Character Lessons in Homeschooling

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The school year is almost done. A few more weeks to go and we should be concluding another school year. This school year has been a tough one for me. When I first began homeschooling 4 years ago, I thought that homeschooling would be easier as the years roll along but I learned recently that it is not so. I’m sharing with you 4 characters lessons  I’ve learned through homeschooling the past 4 years.

1. PERSEVERANCE. Because homeschooling is a lifestyle, learning takes more time. Learning is not only confined  to completing the workbook or finishing the assigned books. As you get to know your child more over the years, you realize how your child learns best. You provide these avenues where they can understand and appreciate the significance of what they are learning. Thus, it takes more of your time as you research about the best ways to teach your child. You look for educational opportunities outside of your house and plan for that field trip. You teach practical life lessons and pray that your child will grow in wisdom and in stature as the years go by. You assign projects where they practice what  they learn. Homeschooling entails hardwork, year after year. It doesn’t get easier.

2. FLEXIBILITY. What worked yesterday, may not work today. Your routine last month may not work this month because  life’s interruptions can bring changes to your daily routine. Homeschooling thrives in flexibility and as the parent teacher, you need to learn to be flexible and adaptable. Your kids are growing and they change as they enter different life stages, your relationship will work best if you embrace the changes and grow alongside with your kids.

3. HUMILITY. Be teachable and humble, always. It might be humbling to admit that there are areas in Math or Grammar that you might not be familiar with, but admiting our weaknesses and letting our children know that we don’t know it all is part of the learning process. As they see us handle things that we don’t know, they learn to respond the same way. Does your child give up easily? Are they frustrated or pressured? We need to constantly check our own attitudes. As we homeschool our kids, we need to remain teachable and humble too.

4. WISDOM.  You can’t do it all.  We want the best for our children and often we will feel limited with what we give them, but we must remember  GIVING THEM THE BEST DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN GIVING THEM EVERYTHING. We must remember that our children don’t need ALL the extracurricular activities, trips or activities out there. Recall the primary reason why you are homeschooling your children, and then choose activities based on your mission and your child’s interest. Engage in a few but meaningful activities. Don’t fret over what you don’t do. Accept that you can only do as much in a limited time and believe that God will give you the wisdom in choosing what is best for your child.

At the end of the day, homeschooling my kids is a privilege that God has blessed me. I know that it is not about my abilities, or my chidlren’s.  I know  the reason why we are able to accomplish anything with our homeschooling is all by His grace alone.

I’m Thankful For…

One of my goals this year is to cultivate thankfulness in our family. And I realized that being thankful should start with me so I decided to do my best to write what I am thankful for every Saturday. It is my prayer that through this, may you also be encouraged and be thankful as you see life’s little blessings.

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- the opportunity to earn a little through my writing. God you never cease to amaze me. Your provision is always just on time.

- the growth group that I attend in. The genuiness and the fellowship of knowing that we are all learning and dying to ourselves as we seek the Lord Jesus together.

- our 13th wedding anniversary. It is only by God’s grace that we have a harmonious and loving relationship all these years.

- my favorite PBA team winning in their games.

- the Word of God which reveals my heart, guides me towards the right path and enlightens me on dark days.

Find Your Passion

I read this quote fruom C.S. Lewis a few weeks back, ”You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” It struck a cord in my heart and made me reflect on my life. I believe that God has a purpose for our life and a mission that he has set for each of us to accomplish.

In the midst of all the busyness we find ourselves in, it is important to find what that purpose in life is and to fulfill that mission with our wholehearted passion. It is only through doing this that we get to live  a full life.

Knowing that purpose will help us form goals and lead us to using our time more intentionally.Whether you want to be a successful career woman, entrepreneur, artist, writer, homemaker or something else, you just need to start setting goals and take little steps into fulfilling your dreams.

Here are some steps to find out your passion in life:

1. Take some time to reflect on your life and what you really enjoy doing. What are the things you would like to do even if you don’t get paid to do it?

2. Research about your interests. What specific area would you like to pursue? Are there other people who are already doing what you’d like to do? Talk to them and inquire. Get information on how you can pursue your dream. Attend workshops, conduct interviews or read about your passion.

3. Find a support group. Your support can come from your family members, friends or online support groups. Finding support can make or break your decision to pursue your goals. They can serve as your inspiration when tough  days come.

4. Create specific steps that you would like to make into turning your dream into a reality. Include details to help you accomplish these goals.

Life is short. Pursue your passion and make life more meaningful.

Christ is the Reason for the Season

Christmas is just 14 days away and I haven’t done my Christmas shopping yet. Anyway, I have noticed that the Christmas season seems to bring more stress to people now than the past years. Everywhere you go, the stores sell all sorts of items which could be possible Christmas gifts for your loved ones and friends. But as I take a moment to reflect, the gift giving isn’t the most important aspect of Christmas at all. It is Christ.

Most often than not, Christ is no longer the reason why people gather or exchange gifts. Christ is not even mentioned and remembered during the entire party or gathering. There is nothing wrong with all the merriment, but if Christ is not mentioned, everything is just meaningless. In our family, we are intentionally bringing back Christ into our Christmas.

I would like to share with you some ways to bring Christ back into Christmas:

Discuss the advent.  We read Bible verses together starting December 1 until December 25. We discuss, do crafts and pray together as we reflect on the meaning of the season. This year, we are using Why Christmas ebook as our devotional guide.

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Discover the meaning of Christmas symbols such as the Christmas tree, why Christmas is celebrated o December 25th, gift giving, Santa Claus and other details. We used the book  The Adevnture of Christmas the past years to do this.

Do the Jesse Tree. It brings a different kind of perspective into Christmas. We saw how God has been involved in mankind’s creation to salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ. We worked on the Jesse Tree last year.

Develop a thankful attitude. Instead of talking about wish lists, make a thankfulness list and share it together as a family. We started a blessings jar at the beginning of the year and we plan to open this jar as a family come Christmas eve. There are many blessings through out the year and it is so easy to take these blessings for granted.

Christmas is all about Christ giving us the best gift which is eternal life in Christ Jesus. Let us not forget that He is the reason for this joyous season.

When Homeschooling Is Hard

The school year is half way through. We are done with our second quarter and will be going for our portfolio review soon. This school year hasn’t been an easy one for us. There are days that I really want to stop homeschooling and enroll my kids in a  school. I thought that as the years go on, it would be easier to homeschool but I am learning that is not necessarily true.

Homeschooling for four years now, I probably expect to see more development of character like discipline and diligence but sometimes, it is not easy to see these in your children. As I consulted with other homeschool families, those who have been homeschooling longer than I have, you will not see the good results immediately in your children. It takes time to mold a character.

I also realized that as I homeschool my children, my own character is being shaped and changed by the Lord. Am I being faithful in what the Lord has tasked me to do? Or am I being irritable because of inconveniences that I experience? Am I diligently praying for them? Or am I spending too much time online?

When I calm down, and think the situation through, I know that God has not called us to stop homeschooling now. In fact, he wants us to persevere and continue on this path less traveled. It is certainly a harder route to take but as I have learned through the years, the harder route makes us rely more on Christ and less on ourself.

When homeschooling is hard, don’t just give up. Pray and reflect. Seek the Lord and listen to His instructions. Most often than not, God is talking to you about your own character. Persevere and depend on the Lord to help you fulfill the task He has called you to do.