I love homeschool moms. I love their passion, their resourcefulness and love for their families. But now with the luxury of viewing homeschooling through the rear view mirror, I can see a couple of sore spots that contribute to our exhaustion and occasional loss of vision.
- We are more aware of our own shortcomings in our homeschool life than we are of God’s activity.
- We feel guilty when our kids work independently of us because our image of a good teacher is one who micro-manages her students.
If there ever was a ploy of the devil in our midst, this is it. Our enemy doesn’t want you to notice God at work. He wants you to keep believing it all depends on you! Secondly, he’d never want your kids to learn independently. That would give them too much motivation and investment in this venture, and he isn’t looking for a successful outcome.
The Ultimate Homeschool Planning System (UHPS) is a small attempt to keep your eyes of faith focused on God and not yourself. Even though you are writing down the nuts and bolts of your academic plan each week, we ask you to first spend time recounting God’s faithfulness and surprising blessings from the week before. We give you a place to list small beginnings, signs of progress, notable achievements and unexpected acts of kindness all under a heading we call “Evidences of Grace,” just so you can remember what the source of these memorable moments s — God’s unmerited favor in your family’s life. We also know from our own homeschooling days your kids are going to look inside your planner to see what you think is worth noting. We want them to find a record of God’s activity as the focal point, not a manmade effort.
Secondary to that ultimate goal, we want to help you raise an independent learner. If you don’t, you aren’t going to finish the course. Dependent students are a key contributor to homeschool burnout. We want you to know the truth about learning: You can’t teach anyone anything. Is that a shocker? Especially from a teacher with thirty-some years of experience under her belt? You can only motivate a student to engage in learning. And learning only results when effort on the student’s part is expended. If your child is staring at you dull-eyed and slack-jawed, go find something better to do with your time. Kids only learn when they are cognitively engaged. The outward signs of that are effort, interest, motivation, and initiative.
Here’s some really good news about that reality: God has hard-wired your kid to learn. That’s right, we are built for learning. We will live longer, and lead happier, healthier lives as long as we keep using our brain to learn. An ugly truth about this is schools aren’t built to encourage independent, healthy learning. Rather they are built for crowd control. And because most of us were schooled under that system, the powerful model in our mind is a teacher at the front of the room controlling our time, our work, our interests, our learning. The Ultimate Homeschool Planning System ( UHPS) which includes a planner for mom, a planner for students ( 4th-8th) and a planner for teens (7th-12th) is designed to foster and reward independence and initiative while you provide accountability and strategic guidance.
We pray putting our planners in front of you each day will be a gentle reminder of the central and secondary goals of homeschooling: Seeing God’s handiwork in the details of your family life and raising up the next generation trained to seize responsibility and lead their own families according to His plans.
How has God been faithful in your family’s life this past week? Let’s get that down in writing.