Now, don't get me wrong. I don't believe that it takes a village to raise a child. I believe that it takes a family to raise a child. I believe that homeschooling is so effective because it puts raising and educating a child in the hands of the people who love him most: the parents!
With that said, we all need people in our lives to be effective and productive. God made us to need one another. In our homeschooling, we need other people too. Some of the most important people we need to homeschool high school effectively are our husbands, our children, other homeschooling families, and a support system.
"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives," (I Peter 3:1-2 NIV)
"Shine is behind again," I informed my husband while we fixed our coffee first thing in the morning a few weeks ago. "She is so smart. It is just hard to keep her focused. She gets distracted."
"And you get distracted too, Honey," he replied honestly. "Don't try to get too much done during school hours. Even though they are older, they still need your time and attention."
Ouch! Sometimes my husband is gentle and sometimes he is painfully honest. I am grateful for both times. I need his sweet encouragement, but sometimes I need an honest prod to do the right thing. God gave me the perfect husband for me. And, He gave you the perfect husband for you. Your husband is exactly what you need.
Your husband's authority in your home is a protective covering for you. Be sure to ask his advice and counsel in your homeschooling decisions and follow it! Esteem him to your children so that they will honor him and his authority. Cultivate the romantic side of your marriage. Let your marriage be the kind of marriage that your teens will want for themselves one day.
If you do not have a husband, God will be your husband. Lean on him!
"I hope you are praying for me," I teased, but then added with a more serious tone. "I need your prayers."
"I always pray for you, Momma," she replied and tears filled my eyes.
Jenny Rose is 17, graduating this May, my third to graduate. I wish I could make the years slow down. She is lovely, gentle, and kind. We are friends, singing together on the worship team, going on walks, and working on writing songs together. I don't just love her, I like her very much. I am so thankful she is running this race at my side.
Your teens and younger children are part of your team. Run beside them as you serve the Lord together. Bring them on board with your homeschooling by sharing your vision with them and letting them help you prepare their classes and schedules. If at all possible, minister together at church or volunteer together in the community.
They should honor and obey you, but remember to build the friendship side of your relationship too. Think about the kind of relationship you want to have with them in ten years, twenty years, and, even, thirty years. Build for that time right now!
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother'--which is the first commandment with a promise--'that it may go well with your and your may enjoy long life on the earth.' Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord," (Ephesians 6:1-4 NIV).
This verse applies to teens as well. Your keep teens on your team, running beside you, with a delicate balance of parenting, guiding, loving, laughing, and instilling vision and purpose. Don't back off during these years and get distracted with other things. The end of the race is the most important. As you get ready to cross the finish line, stay focused on bringing your teens into adulthood in a way that honors the Lord.
Next time, we will talk about finishing well in our relationships with other homeschooling families and our support system. Until then, keep your eyes on the prize and keep running!
Hope to see you at Finish Well!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)