August 5, 2008

As You Begin

This one is for parents.
Especially parents who are fairly new to home schooling. I know a lot of our sons' friends stop by here and none of them are parents yet-maybe you can just take notes for future reference? :-)

Anyway...last week I spent a few minutes, (Ha!) reflecting on our lives and our home school experience to date. I was able to visit with a young mom who is just getting ready to start her first year of home schooling. Whew! I'm glad I'm not in her shoes! :-)
However, as I listened to her talk, and saw how excited and nervous she was, I was reminded of how I felt 17 years ago.

I was terrified. I was well aware that our son's entire life was in "my" hands and his education depended on "me". I wish someone would've come along side me and told me this:

Relax. It truly is the Lord who is in control. He loves your kids and has a plan for each of their lives. He can use your mistakes, your baggage, your impatience, and your ignorance to turn your kids into everything He wants them to be. You are one tool, not the carpenter.

I've said it before, but our sons were able to learn what they needed to learn each year under some pretty amazing circumstances: deaths in the family, moving, illness, a wild and woolly little brother, etc. We've seen the Lord fill in the gaps over and over again as we've plugged along doing what we could.

Focus on building a relationship with your children while they're young. Academics are cyclical-if they don't get it this year, they will next year or when they're in Junior High or even High School. To me, academics are the small stuff. Right now you need to be teaching your kids that they are loved, no matter what. Work on building a friendship with them. Of course you are the parent, but you can find ways to be a friend as well. If they know you love them unconditionally, they will trust you when you tell them Jesus loves them even more than you do. That will enable them to trust Him when the time comes and they're grown. And, once you build a solid foundation of friendship, love, and trust with your kids, you can really hit them with the books: Algebra, chemistry, biology, poetry, Shakespeare....


  1. Thanks, Judy. We just got started this week and I feel like I'm already behind...I liked the analogy of the tool/carpenter. I may have to laminate that over our school table to help me maintain the correct spiritual posture!

  2. You will be getting a call from Oprah, my attorney and my therapist to discuss the legal charges I'm bringing against you for ruining my life. Something along the lines of poor socialization and an inadequate educational curriculum. If you want to appear on Oprah to defend your abominable decisions that's your choice. Right now I'm unemployed, living on the streets of Las Vegas with a sign saying "please feed me - my mother homeschooled me".

    Your firstborn and the joy of your life

    PS If anyone new to the blog is reading this, it's a joke. I'm currently developing the new astrophysics program at Berkley and have been approached by Obama, McCain, Medvedev and Castro to serve as VP.

  3. You've inspired me this summer with a new curriculum for our three year old. Thank you for that!

  4. Thank you for posting a comment on my blog. I have taken a breather, doing what I can and feel comfortable with - Stress level at about a 3.
    I agree whole heartedly with you on the Home Schooling. Your point about us being the "tool" and God being the Carpenter is so very true. 'Cause so far my kids aren't messed up too badly from my ineptness but, they are only 12 &7 - Thank goodness God is in control.

    Looking forward to looking over the rest of your blog.

  5. I had to only skim this one tonight, or I'm sure to burst into sobs! I'll come back later when I'm less hormonal to read it through again's wonderful! I can tell. Thank you for this wonderful encouragement.

    Your "firstborn and the joy of your life" is crackin' me up!

  6. Amen, Judy! Character and Godliness is so much more important than academics.

    Love ya - Sniz

  7. "You are one tool, not the carpenter."
    Amen, sister! But I do think that, now that I'm so wise and all, God ought to let me do some more carpentry work. (What? You say that my past attempts at running my own life have been positively horrid? Shhh.....)

    "And, once you build a solid foundation of friendship, love, and trust with your kids, you can really hit them with the books: Algebra, chemistry, biology, poetry, Shakespeare...."

    Yup. Kids learn a lot better from somebody they love and respect! Otherwise, it's just like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons: "Blah, blah blah blah blah blah,"...with the occasional sounds of "Othello!" and "Octagon!" slipping through.

    For all your homeschool moms, both new and seasoned: keep it up!
    I, too, was homeschooled and am an early graduate of Berkley. Most recently, I was approached by Obama to be Secretary of State (Hilary's got nothing on me), and while I was talking to him on my new iPhone, John Piper texted me, requesting that I write the forward to his latest book.

    Alexandra :)


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