Are you focused on the right things in your homeschool? How do you even determine what the right things are?
I am convinced the reason many homeschool moms struggle with doubt about our choices is we have forgotten the focus of our homeschools. In the business world, one of the catchphrases is, “Know your why.” While many homeschool moms are not entrepreneurs, keeping the why in our minds as we move through our homeschooling year is crucial.
We have a tendency to look around us, see others succeeding in areas where we think we are failing, and attempt to shift in that direction. Makes sense, right? Look at those on the road ahead of us who are doing well and imitate them.
But what if that road the homeschool mom ahead of us leads down a path we weren’t intending to go in the first place? Because we spend our time focusing on someone else’s success, we lose track of where we were headed in the first place.
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Biblical Wisdom for our Homeschools
This verse in Proverbs has affected my home life and my homeschool in so many ways over the past 10 years.
“He who tills this land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.” – Proverbs 28:19
This verse contains so much wisdom to inform our home lives and our parenting choices – diligent work, personal focus, avoiding empty pursuits, looking ahead to the harvest.
But as I looked at it afresh – with my homeschool mama eyes, I saw something a little different this time. Poverty in plenty.
Now, there are two ways we could look at this:
- A person who has lost focus – who has chased after empty pursuits – will have poverty, while others around her, who have worked diligently will have plenty. OR
- A person who has lost focus – who has chased after empty pursuits – will not experience the joy commensurate with the plenteous harvest. She will feel poverty even in the midst of her plenty.
Either way, I don’t want to be the one who has poverty in plenty.
Then the very next verse holds the key to understanding how to avoid this precarious position –
” A faithful man will abound with blessings” – Proverbs 28:20a
Do you want to ensure you don’t experience poverty in plenty?
What Does Faithfulness Look Like in my Homeschool?
In order to be faithful in our homeschools, we must first determine what we are going to be faithful to.
Does your homeschool have a mission statement?
I must admit, mine didn’t have a written down, set in stone one. It was kind of this ethereal, in my head thing.
This summer at practicum, one of my CC mama friends shared her family’s mission statement. She mentioned they read it and are working on memorizing it each day. She mentioned it is a touchstone for her family – a way to get back on track when things have gone off the rails.
I asked her to share it with me again as I was preparing this article. She willingly obliged. Immediately I noticed it was similar to Charlotte Mason’s motto:
I Am, I Can, I Ought, I Will.
But hers had a more modern flavor.
Hers is a series of I am statements she calls her Family Pledge. The kids recite it daily and she uses it as a sort of plumb line for behavior. When discipline problems arise, she can point to specific statements within her Family Pledge and ask her child if he is living up to that pledge. Here is a portion of hers, without any identifying markers:
I am a child of God and He has a plan for my life.
I am smart.
I use my words to bless others.
I am capable of anything.
When I followed up with her, she mentioned it can change seasonally.
Creating a Family Mission Statement
I am currently reading a new book by my friend Katie J. Trent, Dishing up Devotions: 36 Faith-Building Activities For Homeschool Families. Her book is filled with ideas for developing a devotional culture with your family, centered around the kitchen. There are lots of wonderful recipes which help to teach Christian virtues. But what I like the most right now are the affirmations that go with each virtue.
Maybe it is because I am focused on creating a mission statement for my family to use in our homeschool, I am finding these simple affirmations inspiring! These are my favorites:
I trust and obey God every day, in every way
I love God, my neighbors…I will put love in action because the Father’s love flows through me
I choose to be joyful in every situation. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
A Resource for Your Family Mission Statement
This week I am taking the time to consider what I want our Family Mission Statement to be. I am looking at who we are as a family and what virtues I want us to demonstrate to one another and to our neighbors. Creating two different categories of statements: “We are…” and “We will…” will help us to consider who we are and what we are called to do. I figure these are good starting points for developing our Mission Statement.
I like this concept so much I wanted to give you a space to think about your own personal Family Pledge or Motto or Mission Statement – whatever you want to call it, too. So, I put together a super simple editable template on Canva (you can use an account for FREE!) for you to insert your own family name and your personal family mission statements. Everything on the template is editable – colors, wording, text, etc. Make it yours!
What do you want to be faithful to? Can you make simple statements to support your family in the pursuit of these things?