We have been a homeschooling family for 15 years, and I am still homeschooling our youngest, Gino, level 5. I have been teaching non-stop for a total of 15 school years! Praise the Lord indeed. Come to think of it, that’s a third of my life!
So, I’d like to encourage all homeschoolers out there to press on and keep enjoying the ride. We are definitely doing something good. Something good not only for our children, but also for ourselves. Yes, you heard it right. This is truly good for us. We may have had to set aside a career, exchanged a high paying job to set “office” at home and lose a whole of benefits and add ons of work and “not homeschooling” our children.
We may feel that we are now so “tied” to our children, and “tied” to home but apart from the usual advantages we’ve already read and heard, let me share something very close to my heart. Yes, I’ve had days that I have felt “tied down”, limited and unable to say ,”Yes” to many other opportunities. However, as I see the bigger picture, what tied me down actually guarded and anchored me.
We teach many subjects. Our passions, biases, willingness to learn, patience and creativity all affect what and how we teach. We may decide to even outsource some subjects. I have to say though that being our children’s main teacher on Bible & Character ( some may call this area as Christian Living, Catechism, Values Education) poses the toughest challenge yet provides the most steady guide and anchor for our own spiritual walk of faith.
When we we teach Math, Science, Language or even History, we can truly read from a scripted text or find good youtube tutorials to explain a lesson. We may be the link to making the lessons more relevant, fun and experiential. If the material is unfamiliar to us, we can also learn like our own students. However, when we teach Bible lessons, character traits, timeless foundational truths and principles, we can’t simply read from the text or listen to others teach. To be effective teachers, there is a call to live what we teach. “Practice what we preach” as they say. Or the more often quoted saying nowadays, “Character is caught more than taught.”
Of course, we can be transparent and authentic in also declaring that like our children, we ourselves are “works in progress” and we are also learning and relearning with them. But that doesn’t remove the tough calling on parents of being the first examples and models of the character traits being taught . For our case, it is only by His Grace, His Enabling and His work through the Holy Spirit that can give me the courage and boldness to live and teach this daunting subject. For Christians, the goal is always to point them to Christ, not really to ourselves. But many experts say that young children need “Christ in the flesh” first to be able to appreciate, experience and believe in the spiritual Christ.
So, I guess what I want to to say is, the desire and commitment to teach our children about our “living and growing” faith, our God, our Savior and the work of the Holy Spirit (the Trinity), and ensuring that we impart to them the biblical principles that will give them a strong foundation in becoming loving, responsible, compassionate and kind people, are amazing forces that help me stay in course, stay in the right path in my own walk of faith. Teaching keeps me in check, and always on guard, on my toes and yes, as much as I can, on my knees (in prayer)! And so, thank you, homeschooling! Thank you to my hubby Gilbert whose hard work allows me to stay at home and homeschool, to our students: Vince, Marco, Gino and Raya, and above all , thank you LORD!
I was so awed by this truth today and as I pondered more, I became so grateful. I shared this today to encourage all you out there. We can be sidetracked and stressed by so many things in life and all the must dos as we care for families, raise our children and yes, even educate them. It really helps to take back step from time to time and see the bigger picture.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.