How Homeschooling Guards Your Heart and Anchors You

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.

 

Gino’s Book Review: Why I Enjoyed “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”

Happy and blessed 2017 to all. Hopefully, this post will start the ball rolling for this blog that was put on hold for the holidays and CHRISTmas celebration /trip.   I hope I can say that I will attempt  one post a week in 2017 (my husband Gilbert actually suggests 2 short posts a week)as one of my New Year’s resolution.

Well, I’d like then to present my first post for 2017.  It is made possible by my guest blogger, my only remaining homeschooled son , Gino (check what he is up to at IG #ginosgimmicks)! Enjoy!

This is our 4th time to do this book in the Simpao Homeschool !
This is our 4th time to do this book in the Simpao Homeschool !

Claudia Kincaid is an 11-year-old girl who wanted to run away from her monotonous and unfair life at home. She chose her brother Jamie, who was the second youngest of her three brothers to go with her. They both went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and stayed there for a couple of days. Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, one of the characters in the story, narrates this book.

I enjoyed this book for several reasons: the first is about Claudia and Jamie’s relationship. Any brother and sister could easily relate to them. Their arguments throughout the book made it very entertaining and amusing. But despite their arguments, they always had to agree or compromise so they could continue their adventure.

The next is the mystery of the story. It added a huge twist in the book. It went from just their everyday lives in the museum to them trying to solve a mystery about the famous artist known as Michelangelo. It made the story a lot more interesting. As a homeschool lesson, it was very helpful because I was also learning about Michelangelo as I was reading this book. We were learning about him through our Read-A-Loud book “Michelangelo” by Diane Stanley.

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A Sonlight Recommendation

I also love how the book is very detailed. The author included many unnecessary, but very humorous parts. Another reason is that the story is told by one of the characters, Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler. She added a lot of funny side comments.

Overall, “From the Mixed Up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler” is a wonderful book. It is definitely in my top 10 most favorite books. I recommend this book for 10+ year olds. I hope you give it a chance, and love it just like I did.

 

James 1:5  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.