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August 25 2015 3 25 /08 /August /2015 04:05
Home Educating With G.R.A.C.E.

Teaching & Illustrating God's Requirements Authority Character & Excellence

Some Hard Learned Rules for Defeating The Back to (Home) School Blues:

Rule #1. God is #1. Take time to HEAR HIM!

This is very important. This job is not for the faint of heart, nor the weak of spine. You will need to KNOW that educating your children, yourself, is GOD's Perfect WILL for you - and for them. Because when you are assured that it is His Will, then you can trust Him for His GRACE! I personally believe that it is the job of the parent, and no one else. But each one must receive that for themselves for this to work! Trust me on this. The world, the flesh and the devil are all opposed to this feat, so we must be armed to combat all three if we would even dare to try this!

Please understand that in reality we can learn, and, therefore, can teach nothing significant outside of God's Wisdom. So our motivation must come from Him, and our daily strength for this great effort as well. We need His guidance in everything from choosing curriculum, to the proper methods for educating each child “in the way he should go...” They are each a unique treasure. And He expects them to be treated as such. Not put through some academic mill which turns out intellectual and social automatons! It is our job to help them discover their gifts and callings, and to encourage and facilitate those – in Him.

Rule #2. Relax! Remember that you are only a Steward.

It is not about us, nor is it all up to us! I am very thankful for those truths. We are God's personal Tutors for HIS kids – with which He has entrusted us, for a VERY short season. Our job is simply to instruct them - particularly in HIS ways.

Parents are natural teachers. Think about it, we begin teaching these people from the time they are born! We teach them to learn - to eat, to walk, to talk and to think , etc. It helps to remember that children are always learning something – and that our job is to simply guide them in what they are learning, by providing and supervising the materials from which they learn, and to encourage the process. Read to them, play games with them, teach math the fun way (using legos, beans, buttons, or popsicle sticks, or money), take them to the library, the park, the country, etc. Share your life with them. They will learn.

Rule #3. Throw the schedule out the window! Instead, Make a list of priorities.

For home schoolers, life is more of a “series of important events”, than a “set in stone” kind of schedule. Life happens. Let it. Be prepared to adjust daily to getting a certain amount done, and letting the rest go. Just remember that if you don't get to it before Jesus comes, it won't matter, because – as I remind myself frequently, “it's all going to burn!” Our job is to be sure that ourselves and our children do not burn with it! ;)

Rule #4. Deliberately enjoy this time with your kids

...it is going to be over before you know it.

Make your own proms, do art, take field trips, celebrate everything! Watch the current mess on t.v. with them and share your perspective (and/or God's) on what it is saying...be as present as possible, but do not be an oppressive hack! (Hint. *That balance is much easier stated than accomplished! And even if we get it right, their perception may or may not record that accomplishment!) Remember that Love covers a multitude of sins, and that grace forgives even more! Love them, relax, have fun, and learn how to determine the will of God for each of your lives, at any given moment. That is the point of home schooling.

Rule # 5. The Goal of Home Schooling IS Discipleship; NOT just Academic Excellence!

Though I believe we can have both. But in discipling them, we must remember that our job is not to disciple them to us, nor to our traditions, nor to the state's bare minimum requirements, but to HIS concept of TRUTH – which has been tailored to their specific needs and unique gifts! “Train them up in the way THEY should go...”. Don't teach fear! Teach Faith in the One who overcomes! Let them be in the world, not to hide out from it! But also help them to learn how to not be absorbed by it - and this includes the world of religion. Teach them boundaries.

Teach them to love others and to respect Godly authority. But be sure to teach them – and show them - the difference between Godly authority and ungodly control. Teach them the difference between willful, deliberate obedience and mindless compliance. Teach them to think, to live to the full, to calculate and take appropriate risks, and to have courage. Don't smother them in your own fears. Overcome those fears in front of them. You are a Training Sergeant in God's Army....whip those pups into shape soldier! But also make them cookies! ;)


Do not fall into the trap of comparison. It is a game that no one wins. It is usually motivated by the insecure lower fallen nature, and breeds lust, discontentment, and rebellion. Do not compare your life-style, income, methods or ideals with anyone else. Get those standards from God, receive the gifts from His hands with gratitude, and seek His help to overcome the obstacles with determination! Be assured that God meant for YOU to be who you are, and that He has given YOU the authority and anointing which you will need to equip these people for the life plans which HE has for THEM! And that He will equip you to accomplish this grand feat if you will simply stay tuned to Him!

But remember that comparison is a tool of the enemy to distract, to divert, and to discourage. Please keep in mind that, in the end, when we are standing at that great judgment seat where all our works are judged (but thankfully not our hearts & souls because of Messiah Yeshua) we won't care anymore about those multitudes of trivial, temporal, earthly things - like how many luxurious vacations we took - or didn't take; or what make/brand/year of car we drove them around in; or whether they wore all new, off the rack, brand-name clothing from some swank mall, or hand-me-downs from thrify shops; or even what blasted curriculum they studied their math and geography from!? It will not matter at all!

So do yourself and them a huge favor and stay focused on God - on their true well-being (which may or may NOT line up with their imagined social well-being) - and keep your eyes on the big prize, not the "sparklies" of this present existence! Remember, where we are going gold is only pavement - so keep that in perspective.

Rule # 7. Take time for yourself!

You can't give them what you don't have! And you won't have it unless you get it from God! So – BE SURE TO SET ASIDE TIME TO SPEND QUIETLY IN HIS PRESENCE! EVERY DAY! NOT AN OPTION! THIS IS A DIRE NECESSITY! It is the only means of keeping peace in the midst of the chaos of having these people with you 24/7! And the more kids you have, the more time you need with God – just saying! As well as making time for God, do something else nice for yourself everyday. Keep a stash of healthy snacks – for example - like cashews, or trail mix, or good dark chocolate, or read something pleasant during their nap time, or give yourself a veg time out on the computer, or watch a movie you like for a change, or have a friend over for tea, etc. Also - Make time to go out once a week – BY YOURSELF - while the spouse watches the brood (it is best if that time is not spent shopping for needs of others, or groceries, or ministering to friends and family, etc. - though that is better than nothing (Plus time spent away is prime stress relief only if you have NO set time to be back – lolligagging aimlessly is one of THE great stress relievers). Avoid guilt, and reward yourself!

Also, invest in a sitter at least once per month so you and the spouse can date! That is a need, not a luxury! We can not co-train, if we do not co-operate – and cooperation will not come easily if we don't stay unified! Divide and conquer is the oldest and most effective strategy of the enemy to steal our success and peace. Don't play into it! Stay connected! The kids figure out our weak points pretty quickly. We must take care of ourselves if we do not want to be facing adrenal failure at 40, and/or an early trip to the retirement center at 60! Exercise. Buy & take the damned vitamins. Work hard. Play hard. Laugh. Like yourself. Give yourself the credit you deserve. That is not prideful selfishness, it is living in a positive reality. Negativity is a thief of energy. But it is hard to stay positive if you don't take proper care of yourself. You are worth the investment, they are worth that investment. And when life just won't move aside long enough for you to find the time to properly care for yourself (which does happen) – then just trust God – and make a promise to yourself that you will get back to it as soon as possible (but be sure to keep that promise)!

Rule # 8. Do Right and Have Fun!

Because fun is even more fun if we are in the center of God's will – and regardless of the religious nay-sayers – there is a great deal of fun to be had there! (Besides the fact that it is infinitely safer!) Look at this not just as a “job”, or “just” a mini-career, or a temporary ministry – though it is all that, of course – but look at it as a grand adventure! Who knows what fun and challenges may lie ahead. Try not to sweat the small (non-eternal) stuff, and try to keep your eyes on God, and His provision for this endeavor. Try to love these people actively, to pour out everything you have on them, and then to let God refill the empty tank each morning before you start over! And, speaking of that...

So, to sum up – we must walk in and teach Grace - God first. Require only what He requires. Authority/Anointing are present to do this work. Character will be built, in time, as He guides. Excellence, the ability to teach it to, and model it for YOUR kids lies within you, and God will supply what is needed to transfer that excellence to them according to their needs & gifts. You are God's steward, they are His treasures. He will guarantee your success, if you seek His ways. You are well able to do this, He has seen to that. You have got this. Do Good and Have Fun!

L'Shana Tovah, Chavarim – To a really Good Year, My Beloved Friends!

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  • Sandra Carlton Duncan
  • I am a devoted follower of Yeshua, the Messiah. I have been married to Gene Duncan II for 37  years, and counting. I have 7 children, 3 boys & 4 girls - all grown up. They have been home educated, K-12. I also write, hence the blog  (including, but not limited to: children's books, poems, and personal growth art. ) Please stay tuned as I share my personal journey through poems and writing.
  • I am a devoted follower of Yeshua, the Messiah. I have been married to Gene Duncan II for 37 years, and counting. I have 7 children, 3 boys & 4 girls - all grown up. They have been home educated, K-12. I also write, hence the blog (including, but not limited to: children's books, poems, and personal growth art. ) Please stay tuned as I share my personal journey through poems and writing.