Our children are the measure of success in our homeschooling endeavor. Are they godly men and women who love Jesus, serving Him with all their hearts or do their hearts wander to things of the world? Do they resist temptation or do they cave in to the devil's tricks and schemes? Are these ladies and gentlemen confident and courageous, or do they shrink back, afraid to live life to the fullest? Are people important priorities? Do they enjoy healthy relationships?
We can look at our children at graduation, ten years after graduation, and at their children to see the results of our homeschooling. But that is in the future. What about now. In the homeschooling high school race, how can we finish well?
Commit Yourself to Finish Well
First of all, we take homeschooling high school seriously, realizing that the results of our efforts will last a lifetime. Homeschooling is not a "part-time job," a hobby, or something to try out for a year or two. Homeschooling is a calling from God. He sets us apart for this ministry to raise up mighty men and women of God for Him!
Answer this call from God with an act of consecration. Dedicate yourself to him...Again! Yes, you may have done this before, but do it again. Tell the Lord that you are committed to follow His plan for your life, including His call to homeschool. Then pray and give yourself to the Lord fully for this mission. Get ready for God to do amazing things. He just waits for hearts to be fully consecrated to Him!
After committing yourself, your students, and your home school to the Lord, the next step would be to get some marching orders. Those marching orders should come from the Lord! No one else knows better what your teens need in their high school years to be equipped for the call of God on their lives.
God will speak to you from His Word as you dig into it, searching for principles to homeschool by. We often are more concerned with the small things (what curriculum to use or how to organize our stuff) than the more important things (how to impart wisdom to your teens or teaching God's Word so that they remember it). We are called to instruct our children in righteous living, teach the Bible incisively, proclaim the exploits of the Lord in a way that they will proclaim them to the next generation, and enjoy healthy, loving relationships. That is our priority in homeschooling, along with equipping them for life!
Let the Bible be the foundation of your home school and family life. Read it aloud to your children, even if it's just a verse. Better to read one verse aloud every day, then to read it for an hour once in a great while. Consistency is the key. When my grandmother was 101, she could remember her daddy taking out the Bible every morning and reading it aloud. She lived by the principles found in Scripture all of her life. Do not underestimate the power of hearing the Word of God. You don't have to add stories, crafts, or funzy-wunzy stuff to this time. Just a little bit of prayer afterward is about all you need, especially for high school.
Make Spiritual and Academic Goals for Each Class
In history coop last week, we read George Washington's very long farewell address. Many of the children could not understand it, so I read it a paragraph at at time, stopping for summarizing and discussion.
"That sounds like what is happening today," David, 16, said more than once.
"He was a very wise man," my 17 year old Rose, declared at the very end of our discussion. "He warned us about possible consequences, but we ignored them.
Ah, history is always full of warnings that are ignored. God is so kind to always provide a way out, that often we do not take.
Read Washington's Farewell Address was a different kind of class assignment, but it accomplished educational goals on so many levels. We read an original document (the speech!), we talked about the role of Christianity in United States government (because George did in his speech!), we discussed many constitutional breaches through history, including Roe vs Wade, and we talked about foreign policy and wars. We covered so much ground in history, government, current events, economics, morality, and God's Word.
But, the greatest lesson for everyone, in my perspective, came at the end of the speech, where Washington said that to the best of his ability he had governed by his convictions, but that because he knew that he was human and humans make mistakes, he believed that he must have made many mistakes. He shared that he prayed that God would cover over his mistakes and not let them cause damage. Such humility. We were all impressed. So there was a character lesson as well.
You are free to be creative in the way you teach your classes. Let the Lord lead you and trust Him to cover all your mistakes, just as George Washington did.
If you are wanting to Finish Well, then please prayerfully consider joining us at Finish Well February 24-25, 2012--be equipped and inspired!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)