It is time for the first Crew Blog Hop of the year. Our theme for this week is “5 Days of Homeschool Essentials”. So, for the next five days I will be sharing with you the things I feel are most essential for our homeschool. I have been giving this series a lot of thought, and I am excited to share my feelings with you, as well as read what my fellow crew members have to say.
So, my first essential for successful homeschooling? Having the right heart attitude. This applies to both me and my kids. In my experience, if our heart attitudes are wrong, there isn’t a whole lot else that goes right. So, how do I cultivate a right heart attitude in the midst of all of the stuff that goes on around here? Well, first, I start with myself.
Proverbs 3:5-6 is pretty much a life verse for me. Over this very bumpy road I have traveled, I have learned that I must absolutely and without fail “Trust in the Lord with all my heart”. Now, this is not always easy. I am only human, and I struggle with doubt and discouragement. And when I get discouraged I often get frustrated,and when I get frustrated, I take my eyes off the Lord. This often spells disaster for our homeschool. In order for me to be in the right frame of mind to patiently and effectively school my children, I must keep my eyes firmly fixed on God.
The best way for me to keep my eyes and heart turned to God is to stay in His Word DAILY! Even on those rare cold Florida mornings, and those (more likely) rainy mornings, when I would much rather stay snuggled under my covers, I get up an hour before my kids get moving. I usually chose a bible reading plan online each year (currently I am working my way through a chronological reading). I also get daily devotions in my email from Proverbs 31 Ministries and Alpha Omega. Spending time with God like this gives me a sense of peace and purpose before the craziness of my day starts. This year I have decided to take it a step further by reading a book of spiritual encouragement each month. I am starting with Believing God by Beth Moore.
As the mom, I have found that the condition of my heart attitude greatly influences the heart attitude of my children. If my core attitude is negative, theirs usually is too. If I am agitated, so are they. If I am impatient, they also reflect that. If I take the time to cultivate my own positive heart attitude first, I find I am better able to direct their heart attitudes later.
Which brings me to my children. Their heart attitudes play a huge part in the success of our homeschool day as well. And of course, just like me, they have bad days and they get frustrated. So, what do I do? In our homeschool we have spent the better part of the last few years focusing on the fruits of the spirit.
When my children are having an off day, I try to redirect them by leading them through a discussion of these fruits and asking them if their heart attitude reflects them. We have spent a lot of time talking about what the fruits of the spirit look like. And I emphasize to my kids that in order to have them in their lives they need to stay close to God as well. My children have developed the habit of daily Bible reading, and lately I have encouraged them to read devotionals as well. My oldest son has even begun writing his own book of 30-day devotionals for teens!
Does this mean that my days are always joyful, peaceful, and full of kindness and gentleness? No, of course not. But by spending time reflecting on the goodness of God in my own life, I find that I am better able to show my children grace, mercy, and patience each day. When I remember the incredible love, grace, mercy, and patience God shows me daily in my imperfections, I can do a better job of overlooking my kids imperfections and not snap at them. Does this always happen? Sigh…no. There are days when snappy, angry mom makes an appearance. Usually, if I catch myself early enough, I can apologize and redirect. Sometimes, I don’t, and when my boys get “that” look on their face I know it’s time to take a break from school, and just hang out and cuddle my boys.
So, heart attitudes are one of my most important homeschool essentials. What would you say is your number one ingredient for a successful homeschool day? Let me know in the comments. And please join me tomorrow when I talk about one of my number one curriculum essentials. To see what other members of the Crew had to share today, click here:
Visit these blogs for more Homeschool Essentials posts:
1. Day by Day in Our World
2. Nurturing Learning
3. Farm Fresh Adventures
4. For the Display of His Splendor
5. At Home: where life happens
6. Journey to Excellence
7. Homeschool Ways
8. Adventures with Jude
9. Delivering Grace