We need to:
- Exercise faith: This is obvious. If we believe that God has called us to this task we must trust in His grace to carry us through. The christian life is a life of faith and this applies to every aspects, school life included. I can tell you on those days when I want to give up, besides reminding myself of the conviction the Lord gave me, I turn to God in Faith to his promises of being with us through every steps of our life, and this includes this season of schooling the boys.
- Be Patient, or know that you will be learning patience: Homeschooling is tiring. Kids try your patience in ways you could not imagine. You have to keep repeating yourself over and over. That is where patience comes in. You can't afford to lose patience with your kids because they are kids, and in the process of learning.
- Be Flexible: Things do not always turn out the way we plan them or envision them, that is where we need to be flexible. We need to be able to stop, assess and change if need be. If we don't, we run the risk of discouragement and burn out.
- Cultivate a good sense of humor: Kids are fun and kids are funny. We need to be able to enjoy them, laugh at their silliness and their life. It builds your relationship with them and it's good medicine for you as the teacher. Involve them in your humor as well.
- Be humble and transparent: We cannot always be right, and our kids need to know that we are willing to admit when we are wrong. They need to see us demonstrate humility, so that they can learn. It also helps build trust and honesty.
- Have a prayerful heart: Now, I have not mentioned prayer yet in my list of essentials but it goes without saying that one cannot do anything in this life apart from the help, guidance and grace given to us by God through the Holy Spirit. So, with that in mind, when homeschooling, keeping a heart of prayer is definitely an essential. When these hard times surface, when we plan, when we despair, what do we need to always do? Turn to God in prayer. I can tell you prayer is not the thing you do in the morning or at night and you are done, it is a constant reliance upon God for his help throughout the day. Trust me you will need it.
- Be Self-controlled, both in our habits and with our money: Homeschooling has a lot of addictive aspects to it: addiction to books, addictions to curriculum, addiction to supplies. It also invites the sin of covetousness, jealousy, comparison. When we homeschool we have to be aware of these things and exercise lots of self-control. We need to be able to say no to the tendency to compare our kids with others'; say no to buying that extra book, or curriculum, or binding machine (this one is my new want). We need to be able to know when to stop looking at every homeschoolers' plans, schedule (I really struggle with that one). We need to know when to stop browsing all of those great ideas on Pinterest, and the list could go on and on.
- Express lots of love: This is another obvious one but sometimes we have to be really intentional about it. School can be really taxing and frustrating, and instead of showing love, anger takes the upper hand. I know, I am really good at it. But then, I remind myself my boys need to know that I love them and that I forgive them. I have to remember to hug them and to kiss them, especially in those difficult times. I also have to remember that rebuking them is part of the love I have for them, and they need to know that too.
Now it is time to check my crewmates' continued lists of essentials. Don't forget the crew blog as well.
Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart
Kayla @ The Arrowood Zoo
Deanna @ His Treasure Seekers
Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool
Beth @ Ozark Ramblings
Rebecca @ Raventhreads
In the series:Day 1: The Basics part I
Day 2: The Basics Part II
Day 3: The Curricula
Day 4: The Attitudes
Day 5: The Extras