I was sitting on my porch reading a devotional in my Bible for homeschool moms one cool morning a couple of weeks ago during, ‘false fall’. The weather was beautiful, my husband had all of the children out for a run so it was quiet, and I even had a nice cup of chocolate milk to drink. It was a beautiful morning, but as I started reading the devotional I was really struggling with what it had to say. I thought about what I had read and prayed about it most of the day because it was not the first time I had heard something similar and it just didn’t feel right. Today I want to share with you what the devotional said and why I don’t think it is the right attitude.
The devotional started out with Colossians 3:23, ” Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Then it talked about how some days we might be tempted to skip homeschooling in order to relax or to get the household chores done. Their answer seemed to be that we should never do that and our priority should always be our homeschooling. I have some very real concerns with that attitude. First, let me be very clear that I believe homeschooling our children is a big job that requires effort and dedication. It is a priority in our family and we treat it as such. However, I do not believe that there is a biblical mandate that it must happen every day or that it is our highest priority. Teaching my children to love and serve God is my highest priority as a mother and following in God’s will for my day should be my highest priority as a Christian.
There are many things beyond academics that I want to teach my children including life skills (laundry, car repair, cleaning, etc), caring for others, and relying on God to help guide our paths. I am certainly not perfect at balancing it all, but I have found that if I pray each morning for God to help us prioritize our day, he will often show me where my priorities should be. Sometimes that means getting right to work on our schoolwork and sticking to our schedule. Sometimes that means taking the day or morning off and helping a neighbor. Sometimes it means having a housekeeping day and getting things around the house straightened up so that we can all be more productive.
I am not writing this to tell you not to make homeschooling your children a priority but rather to counsel that you not elevate something above where God has placed it. Homeschooling is important but not the only important thing in your life and it is okay to be flexible some days and take care of other things that need to be done. The verse doesn’t say “homeschool as though working for the Lord” (though we should), it says “Whatever you do.”
Homeschooling your children is an important task and should be a priority in your life, but it doesn’t have to take first place every day. Making it a priority and giving your child a wonderful education does not mean that you can never take a break, clean your house, or just relax and enjoy your children. Spend some time each morning praying and asking God to help you spend your time that day as he would have you spend it and go forth knowing that he will direct your path.
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